GREATMARTIN's SparkPeople Blog GREATMARTIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community "Beauty and the Beast"--A Movie Review <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> This Walt Disney combination of live and animated action has to be one of the most overproduced productions ever but no matter how thousands of napkins, dishes and gowns swirl around on the screen the basic story that makes "Beauty and the Beast" a classic is still there. <BR> <BR> Whether speaking through an animated object or being seen on screen, even if very briefly, ... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:33:30 EST "The Last Word"--A Movie Review <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “The Last Word” is a movie for people who love/like Shirley MacLaine and I am one who does. It is also a movie for people who enjoyed her role as Ouiser in “Steel Magnolias” in 1989 because as Harriet in this movie she is even more of a curmudgeon along with being a control freak who, in her 81 years, has ‘lost’ her daughter, (Anne Heche) husband (Philip Baker Hall) and whatever friends she ... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:05:05 EST A Perfect Fun Evening in Fort Lauderdale <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Weather wise March 21, 2017, was a perfect day with sun, clear sky, around 80 degrees and as evening came with the sky still clear the stars and moon were visible with the temperatures in the mid to lower 70s. <BR> <BR> We had pre-theatre dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, the Quarterdeck, and I ordered Seafood pasta while Allen had Chicken Franchise and we ended up with a doub... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:41:35 EST "Something Rotten"--Broadway touring company review--a Must See <img src=""> <BR> Walk, run, drive, call a cab, uber, lyfte, go on the Internet ( or call (954-462-0222) and get tickets for “Something Rotten” playing at the Broward Center for Performing Arts before it is sold out, if it isn’t already! You have until April 2 to see it here and if you don’t live in South Florida find out when it is coming to your city and get those tickets. <BR> <BR> After seein... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:52:20 EST Off for fun at the BCPA! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This evening at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale at 8 PM I expect to spend 2-3 hours having fun laughing, humming (to myself) and doing what one is suppose to do in life, enjoying it! <BR> <BR> Can you sit still listening to this? <BR> <BR> “A Musical” <BR> <BR> At the Tony awards<BR>E <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <B... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:07:39 EST Whatever happened to the 2016-2017 winter in Ft. Lauderdale? <BR> <BR> <BR> Part 1 <BR> <link><BR>F5u1ZRk </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Part 2 <BR> <link><BR>U4EAxtg </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Be sure to see the last slide so you won’t hate me too much and did you spot the bluebird in the collage? He is exactly in the center of each picture. > Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:27:39 EST MY FRIEND HAD HIS FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> FROM RICARDO: <BR> To my family and friends, my new book is out and available to everyone. You can click on the ink below to purchase. <BR> I want to thank you all for your love and support in this project. <BR> Some of your names are written in the thank you section of the book. <BR> My goal in this book was to explore solutions to achieve peace, love, and success. <BR> <BR> https://www.a... Sun, 19 Mar 2017 09:19:51 EST "The Sense of an Ending"--A Movie Review <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Like many English dramas “The Sense of an Ending” start off slow, takes it time getting to the pay-off while giving you time to get to the know the characters. Unfortunately there are too many characters in the past, the 20+ year olds of today’s 60+ year olds that look too much alike without enough emphasis on their names to keep them straight. This becomes very important when the denouement... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:18:57 EST "Life Story" <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> In 1956 I bought a book of poems by Tennessee Williams called “In the Winter of Cities” and have had it with me now for 61 years. When I sold the over 500 books I had in my collection this one stayed with me. <BR> <BR> I was 30 years old when I bought that book and was on the edge of hitti... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:01:36 EST 2 Restaurant reviews: Giuliano's & Joe's Crab Shack Fort Lauderdale <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Giuliano's restaurant joins about 50 other restaurants in a square mile ranging a smorgasbord of many tastes including seafood, steaks, Thai, burgers, Chinese, Mexican, etc., while also ranging in prices from Denny's to Mezzaluna Bistro to Burger Fi, I Love Mac & Cheese, Panero's, Outback, Gilbert's, Tropical Smoothies, Chef's Palette, etc., plus at least 4 other Italian restaurants. <BR> ... Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:51:26 EST Learning to use a cell phone <img src=""> <BR> (Yes I've been through 3 of them--so far!) <BR> <BR> By now it is no secret that I was off the Internet for 8 days and most people know I HATE the phone. I had to come into the 21st century and get a cell phone (and give up my landline) in order to get the uber app. <BR> <BR> I do not take the phone with me as I get annoyed with people who use them when not necessary like in movies where that ph... Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:11:18 EST 2 Movie Reviews: "The Salesman" & "Year By The Sea" <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The only reason I can come up for “The Salesman” winning the best foreign film Oscar was the Academy members voting for it because the director, ASghar Farhadi refused to come to the USA in protest of Trump’s immigration executive order! <BR> <BR> The two leads, Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti, play actors appearing in a stage show of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” and are show... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:55:34 EST If you are coming to South Florida!! This took a lot of time, research and work--I would really like some constructive feedback-Thanks <BR> Theatre March 21, 2017 to May 8, 2018 in Miami and Fort Lauderdale <BR> <BR><BR>bEc <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> March 21-April 2, 2017 Something Rotten Fort Lauderdale Photo by Joan Marcus <BR> <BR> April 4-9, 2017 Jersey Boys ... Sat, 11 Mar 2017 21:22:02 EST Catching up little by little <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 8 days without the Internet means I have a lot of catching up to do. I am overwhelmed with all the notifications I have from blogging sites and emails plus posting my 'diary notes'. As most of you know I have kept diaries for over 70 years having many lined notebooks of all sizes and shapes. <BR> <BR> In 199? (What year was it Chuck?) Chuck introduced me to computers and started writing my... Sat, 11 Mar 2017 12:59:52 EST An--involuntary--vacation from the Internet! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> On Friday morning, March 3, 2017, I wanted to get on the Internet for my email and couldn't! I called AT&T and after 2 hours and 10 minutes I found out something was wrong--DUH! Of the 30 people who live here at least 10 were without the Internet and we immediately knew what was wrong--the lawn maintenance people had cut a wire. It took AT&T 4 days to come to the same conclusion and t... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 19:15:20 EST THIS SAYS IT ALL!! <img src=""> Wed, 1 Mar 2017 10:33:18 EST PILLOW TALK <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Do you ever give second thoughts to the pillows you sleep on/with? <BR> <BR> Due to having COPD, AFIB, etc., my doctor suggested I sleep with my head much higher than the rest of my body so I like firm or extra firm pillows, 2 on each headboard side, and I usually have to get new ones every year so having Allen’s car off I went. <BR> <BR> Do you have any preferences when it comes to pillow... Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:22:35 EST MY OSCAR PICKS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You aren’t going to see many nominations for La La Land as I thought it was a very over-rated film. Sorry but I expect the leads in a musical saluting ‘old’ musicals to be able to sing and dance which neither Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling can do. <BR> <BR> I don’t have a good record in picking winners but these are my choices not who I think will win. <BR> <BR> Best Movie Moonlight followed... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 12:37:47 EST "A UNITED KINGDOM"--A MUST SEE MOVIE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "A United Kingdom" is based on a true story that took place in the 1940s-1960s in Africa as apartheid was taking hold in that continent. We meet Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), who is black and future king of Bechuanaland (now called Botswana), where he is studying law in London just after WW2 has ended. At a dance he sees, and meets, Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white English... Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:49:30 EST "DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID"--TOURING COMPANY REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> In 1837 Hans Christian Anderson wrote a fairy tale about a young mermaid who wanted to become part of the human world and last night at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts the audience, the children, the adults with some kid still in them, all became enchanted with “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” no matter how well they know the story. We were taken under the sea to meet, and get ... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:55:33 EST WRITING A BOOK <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Writing a book is exhausting but satisfactory way to accomplish what you feel you need to accomplish. <BR> <BR> In the mid 1980s I met, was interviewed and eventually quoted quite a bit in an excellent book by George Chauncey called “Gay New York 1890-1940” and which I always recommend to anyone who knows very little about gay life or those who think they know a lot about gay life. <B... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:28:08 EST "TONI ERDMANN"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> The movie poster hails “Toni Erdmann” the funniest German comedy you will ever see while a few critics add ‘3 hour’. What was the last funny German comedy you saw? What was the last 3 hour funny comedy you saw? <BR> <BR> At the Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale they have a section where audience members can post cards with what they thought of the movie they just saw and I put “Awful... Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:27:45 EST WINTER (FEBRUARY) 2017 IN FORT LAUDERDALE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (FOR MY FRIENDS UP NORTH--NOT THAT I AM MENTIONING NAMES!) <BR> <BR> While some cities in the Northern United States of America have been having 7-9 days of snow in a row we have been having record high temperatures, one day reaching 90, for weeks now. <BR> <BR> Wherever you look there are beautiful flowers blooming outdoors and indoors, boats are cruising along, paddlers are busy going up... Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:02:52 EST "ELLE"--A MOVIE REVIEW---A MUST SEE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> On December 20 I wrote a review of “Things To Come” a movie starring Isabelle Huppert. <BR> <BR> In it I said, <BR> <BR> “Isabelle Huppert is one of those rare actresses who can be doing one thing while her face shows, expresses, shows deeper emotions. Huppert is an interesting actress to watch and I am looking forward to seeing her in “Elle”, a much praised with Oscar talk perf... Mon, 13 Feb 2017 12:52:40 EST "I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> (Disclosure--not full: I met James Baldwin at the 92nd Street YMCA in NYC just after his second book "Giovanna's Room" was published and he was participating on a panel for what was very rare at that time talking about gay sex, black men and women in the 1950s none of the 3 related to each other. At that time he was friends with Marlon Brando and Wally Cox and I had lived next d... Fri, 10 Feb 2017 21:10:54 EST "NERUDA"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> When will I learn to walk out of a movie that is boring me?! I went to see “Neruda” only knowing that Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) was a Nobel Prize winning poet and I left knowing even less. How much was true? How much was the imagination of the screenwriter Guilermo Calderon and director Pablo Larrain? The last movie I saw by Larrain was “Jackie” and a lot of that was made up dialogue ... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 12:53:29 EST MY CHRISTMAS/LEAP YEAR/EASTER CACTUS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Blooming cactus <BR> <BR> I have the craziest Christmas/Easter/ Leap Year cactus!! I don’t remember when I first bought the Christmas cactus plant but probably 7-8 years ago. It was already in bloom when I bought it that Christmas but stopped blooming after the buds dropped. It didn’t bloom the following Christmas and then all of a sudden there were blooms around Easter. Once again it... Mon, 6 Feb 2017 12:43:52 EST RUBIO'S COASTAL GRILL--A RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Rubio's, Chipolte, Fresca, Lime, etc., seem to be all of the same places. Yes, they are all clean, have some good service, use fresh items, are bright but none stand out from the other while their prices all seem to be a bit high. For a dollar or two more you can go to a full service restaurant, have your order taken, your drinks served, have cloth napkins and, in most cases, tablecl... Fri, 3 Feb 2017 10:11:09 EST "GOLD"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Matthew McConaughey can be hammier than any actor around as he is in many scenes of “Gold” but, at the same time, he can turn on a dime and touch your heart and brain as he also does in this picture. He can also turn himself into the anti romantic comedy hero which he started his career with and become a drunken, hair receding, funny middle age pot belly, looking like he needs a shave man wh... Wed, 1 Feb 2017 11:16:23 EST WINTER (JANUARY) 2017 FORT LAUDERDALE <link><BR>YC_v8Wo </link> <BR> <BR> All of these photos were taken where I live at the Gateway apartments in Fort Lauderdale. <BR> The first few were taken at what we call The Point! You see speed boats to yachts going up and down Karen Bay plus you will usually see Bill fishing. In this shot he caught a fish that he said was rare in these waters called lizard fish. It was too small—looked like a lure—so he threw it back. <BR> There are always flowers n... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:37:21 EST IT'S A GREAT/GOOD WORLD BUT STRANGE! <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> OMG!!! We had a high of 'only' 60 degrees today--folks this is Fort Lauderdale--and it is raining!!!!! <BR> (No I don't expect any sympathy/empathy from my 'friends'--wait until tomorrow) <BR> I just took these 2 pictures--talk about a crazy world!! Sun, 29 Jan 2017 17:32:24 EST "PARIS 05:59 THEO & HUGO"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The film “Paris 05:59: Theo and Hugo” is three stories in one all melding together to tell a love story at its beginning, a coming out story as the leads get to know each other and how the French—seemingly more advanced than the USA—deal with and handle HIV and AIDES. Unfortunately it won’t be a crossover film as, probably, only non-gay people and those in the closet, who are still curious a... Fri, 27 Jan 2017 18:25:55 EST "THE FOUNDER"---A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> A moviegoer enters a theatre with expectations whether it is seeing the star(s) or they have heard of the story line and, in some cases, who directed it. I walked in expecting a good performance by Michael Keaton and some of the more familiar names in the cast like Laura Dern and Patrick Wilson and not expecting much else. To my surprise, and delight, “The Founder” was a much better fi... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 11:55:24 EST COOKING AND EATING AT HOME PART 2 <img src=""> <BR> Despite what some people may think I do most of my eating, & cooking to eat, at home. To some extant I do that to keep my weight in control. (that’s another post—not that I am weight obsessive but I can tell you what I have weighed every Thursday—and Monday-- since the last Thursday of March 1967!!! Who says I have a problem?) <BR> <BR> I cook very simply for myself unlike when I use to ‘entertai... Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:55:06 EST COOKING AND EATING AT HOME PART 1 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We all know losing weight is hard but, as many of us can tell you, keeping the weight off is THE battle. As a gourmet chef for many years I gave up giving dinner parties which makes life so much easier plus the fact that I live alone--by choice!--also makes cooking (and eating) more manageable. <BR> <BR> Yes I love eating out and will any chance I get but then again I really can’t afford t... Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:59:43 EST "LIVE BY NIGHT"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Ben Affleck wrote, directed and starred in "Live By Night" but forgot to act, to bring any excitement to the screen or make an interesting story!! He gives a very bland performance and with all sorts of car chases, killings, shoot outs, and even the KKK burning crosses, the film feels and looks static. <BR> <BR> The three female leads are flat-chested and rail thin almost being interchange... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:42:23 EST THE TILTED KILT--A RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Where to start? If you like VERY loud noise/music blasting out of the speakers you might like it. If you want to see more television sets (including 5-6 in the men's room) all on without sound in one restaurant (wonder if they hold a world's record?) you might like it. <BR> <BR> If you like food that tastes as if it was taken out of a frozen box, or sauces taken out of a gallon jar, d... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:11:36 EST THAI MOON BY THE SEA--A FT. LAUDERDALE RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You get off to a bad start when you have 'by the sea' in the title of your restaurant and you are lucky if you will even smell the salt air let alone see a sea!!! <BR> <BR> Okay we went for lunch around 3 PM and the place was empty. They had a sign wait to be seated and it took some time for someone to acknowledge us. There was a little to do about the menu since we had a groupo... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:16:24 EST "LION"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “Lion” is a first rate, sentimental, emotional, ‘small’ movie that will move even the coldest hearted person. It is a true story that starts in 1986 when we meet five year old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) and his older brother (Abhishek Bharate) in a poor province of India where their mother (Priyanke Bose) earns what money she can hauling rocks. The boys help by bringing in any money they can earni... Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:44:18 EST Home decorating is NOT my thing! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Unlike the old cliché as a Gay man I am not good at decorating where I live. I just put things here and there more on convenience than color, setting, etc. I live in an apartment where in the living/dining room I have 6 large windows. I never put drapes/curtains on the windows and the blinds are always up. Due to the way my apartment is set up I don’t have to worry about privacy and if I wan... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:17:51 EST "HIDDEN FIGURES"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> When you watch a movie based on true events that you watched when it was happening and know the ending it takes a good director, Theodore Melfi, good screenwriters, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, to get you caught up in the events being shown on the screen and "Hidden Figures" is such a movie. <BR> <BR> There is also another part to the film that has a tag line "the untold true stor... Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:46:18 EST MY FIRST HEALTH REPORT FOR 2017 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (January 2, 2017) <BR> <BR> On January 5th I went to my primary doctor’s office to get a bunch of lab work done and then on January 11th went to the doctor to sit down and go over it plus ask a few questions. <BR> <BR> Basically the report was good with a few ‘minor’ glitches such as my sugar was a little high—hey, this was just after the Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year’s holiday—and though t... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:35:06 EST "CABARET"--BROADWAY TOURING COMPANY REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I first ‘met’ Sally Bowles in 1948 when I was given a book of short stories called “Goodbye to Berlin” by Christopher Isherwood. In 1951 I saw her for the first time on the stage of the Empire theatre when Julie Harris, as Sally, starred in the play “I Am A Camera” based on the Isherwood stories. It would be the first play that I would return to see multiple times and I would see everything... Wed, 11 Jan 2017 09:52:13 EST MY FRIDGE & FREEZER--WHAT'S A 'LEFTOVER'? Laura wrote a post about matching her plastic lids with their bowls and mentioned leftovers which made me ask “What’s a leftover?” which in turn made me go over, open my refrigerator and see if I had anything that could be considered a leftover which is defined in the Random House dictionary ‘something remaining unused from a meal’. <BR> <BR> Opening the refrigerator facing me was a gallon of water which I sip on all day and a gallon of mixed powdered milk from which I make a Weight Watchers... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 12:28:46 EST "JACKIE"--MY FIRST MOVIE IN 2017--A REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Anyone a teenager or older in the 1960s remembers the 'age of Camelot" and its horrific ending on November 22, 1963. The TV scenes from that day, and the week after, are embedded in our heads and the re-enactment of these scenes are the ones that move us the most in "Jackie". <BR> <BR> Natalie Portman, who is being touted as the one to beat in the Oscar race, plays the title role and ... Fri, 6 Jan 2017 19:43:53 EST A DART BOARD FOR 2017 FROM 2016 <img src=""> <BR> I have never been shy when it comes to having my picture taken and have a record from birth to today in pictures though I am missing a few mid teen years. <BR> <BR> Don’t remember when I first discovered ‘selfies’ but I haven’t stopped since! I take pictures of myself at restaurants or with and without glasses, different shirts, any time something happens to me—which is more and more as I get old... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 13:37:07 EST BEST THEATRE OF 2016 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I saw 20 shows in 2016 14 of which were touring shows of Broadway productions presented by Broadway Across America and Bank of America and 6 by a local production company called the Slow Burn Theatre which present show that have played on and off-Broadway that we wouldn’t see otherwise. <BR> <BR> The best shows I saw in 2016 were; “Beautiul” (which will be playing again and I am looking for... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 11:42:02 EST RESTAURANTS IN FT. LAUDERDALE--THE BAD, GOOD AND EXCELLENT As far as I can figure it I have eaten out about 164 times last year which includes sit down full service restaurants on Thursdays while out food shopping and running errands, fast food restaurants usually on Fridays for a bite after the movies, new restaurants introduced to me by groupons plus some classic restaurants like Big Louie’s, The Quarterdeck where we usually eat before going to the theatre and those I take people to who are visiting from out of town which are above average. <BR> ... Mon, 2 Jan 2017 13:51:51 EST BEST/WORST MOVIES & PERFORMANCES OF 2016 People rate movies in all different ways from using stars or numbers or even thumbs—I use words! <BR> <BR> Lowest rating is ‘bad’ going up to boring, blah, so-so, okay, not bad, good, excellent and the highest rating, MUST SEE which means I want to see it again. <BR> <BR> I believe movies should be seen on a movie screen 45-50 feet not 60 inches! DVD and TV should only be used if you missed it in theatres or have seen it once and want to see it again! <BR> <BR> I saw a minimum of 52 movies... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 11:52:14 EST LOOKING BACK ON MY 2016 IN PICTURES AND WORDS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> MY LAST 'SELFIE' IN 2016! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Any year that I celebrate a Leap Year birthday is a better than average year and 2016, with a few ‘minor’ happenings was just that so here are some of the ‘highlights’ and a few mishaps. <BR> <BR> January: Spent most of the month getting ready for my Leap Year dinner party. I ordered M & Ms and pens with my name and the date as mementos for... Sat, 31 Dec 2016 17:01:16 EST