GREATMARTIN's SparkPeople Blog GREATMARTIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 "LA LA LAND"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I LOVE jazz, love stores and Hollywood musical movies so why is my reaction to "La La Land", which right now seems to be the one to beat for the Best Movie Oscar and Golden Globe, so blah? Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have chemistry as the lovers from the boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy loses girl in the acting department but are sorely lacking in the singing and dancing department ... Fri, 30 Dec 2016 18:55:24 EST WINTER IN FORT LAUDERDALE--JUST THIS WEEK! THIS SHORT VIDEO SAYS IT ALL! <BR> <BR> OH DID I MENTION WE HAD ONLY A HIGH OF 85 DEGREES AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN AT THE BEACH WAS ONLY 78 DEGREES? <BR> <BR><BR>A <BR> <BR> <link><BR>dFdJ15A </link> Thu, 29 Dec 2016 11:24:26 EST "AN AMERICAN IN PARIS"--REVIEW OF BROADWAY TOURING COMPANY <img src=""> <BR> There were times last night that the stage of the Ziff Ballet Opera House in the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami didn't seem it could contain the artistry, the talent, the love of dance that Garen Scribner brought to his role as Jerry in "An American In Paris". Whether dancing solo or doing a pas de deux with Sara Esty or dancing with the ensemble of 19, or the whole cast, his body takes amazing ... Wed, 28 Dec 2016 12:06:39 EST "FENCES"--A 'MUST SEE' MOVIE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Viola Davis as Rose, in “Fences”, makes you afraid to breathe because you don’t want to miss a word, an emotion, she says, and shows on her face, but there are two particular scenes that are among the most mesmerizing ever seen on screen. Denzel Washington, as Troy, her husband, equals her performance but, unfortunately, never stops talking! <BR> <BR> The Pulitzer Prize winning play w... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 11:48:39 EST THIS SAYS IT ALL <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 25 Dec 2016 10:57:21 EST "PASSENGERS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> "Passengers" is a perfect example of star power plus chemistry between the two leads making a so-so movie much better. Yes the CGI effects are, at points, amazing and/or amusing--anyone for an android bartender?-- but the basic story of 'boy meets girl, boy loses girl'--do I really have to add the third part?--is as old as the movies are but Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt give the f... Fri, 23 Dec 2016 19:39:02 EST A JEW LOOKS AT CHRISTMAS PART 3 <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> To me the Nativity scene, Santa Claus, the Rockettes, St. Patrick's cathedral, Carols, Jingle Bells, snow, cold weather, horse and carriage rides in Central Park, the skating rinks in Rockefeller Center and Central Park, decorated store windows, hot chestnuts, etc., just to name a few things--ALL m... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:09:24 EST A JEW LOOKS AT CHRISTMAS PART 2 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The last time I was in New York City was in September 1985 and the last time I lived in New York City was 1969. I don't see myself ever going back but there are certain times, certain memories I have of life in the city that will never go away and they all revolve around Christmas time, the week before, the day of and the week after. No where in any city of the world is t... Wed, 21 Dec 2016 11:48:43 EST A question to all posters here about SPARK POINTS! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> At the moment I have 43,614 Spark Points and I know I can't get a box of chocolates for them and neither can you so why do people have 260,000 points and don't do anything with them?? <BR> <BR> What are they good for? Why are you holding on to them? <BR> <BR> I've recently started sending Spark Points to people who comment on my posts and I still have 43,614 points. Maybe I missed SPARKPE... Tue, 20 Dec 2016 12:46:20 EST "THINGS TO COME"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> In her 40s Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) has it all: a comfortable 25 year marriage to a man, Heinz, (Andre Marcon) who is her equal, 2 teenage children, a job she loves teaching philosophy to young adults, an annoying mother, Yvette (Edith Scob) who was a very successful model when younger, and she loves, wrote an ongoing much used and admired textbook, edits a highly praised scholarly ... Tue, 20 Dec 2016 12:40:36 EST A JEW LOOKS AT CHRISTMAS PART 1 <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I very seldom repeat past posts but I get so tired at this time of the year regarding "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy Kwanzaa"--I personally don't care what you say as long as this time of the year means something to you for whatever reason. This is a... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 10:43:14 EST "ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> All Star Wars die hard fans please don't read any further because this review of "Star Wars: A Star Wars Story" will make you very mad!! <BR> <BR> "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is loud, noisy, boring and, except for 4-5 lines that are funny, not at all original. <BR> <BR> Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the series will know where it is heading from the introduction of Felicity Jon... Fri, 16 Dec 2016 19:09:51 EST RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S "CINDERELLA" TOURING COMPANY REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The stars of the “Cinderella” touring company that opened at the Broward Center for the performing Arts, and which will play there until Christmas Day, are Leslie Jackson as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother aka Crazy Marie, the ‘magic’ of the stage and the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. <BR> <BR> Ms. Jackson has a soaring voice that touches everyone whether she is singing her beautiful solo... Wed, 14 Dec 2016 12:25:33 EST NAMES/LABELS WE ARE GIVEN THROUGH LIFE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> As we go through life we get/have various labels from baby to kid, to teenager to young adult to being middle aged and then old. Also there is son, daughter, mother, father, husband, wife, partner, better half, mate, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, in-law, not to forget Gay, Jewish, Christian, Black, teacher, student, male, female, single, marine, veteran, lawyer, doctor, salesman, marri... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:24:05 EST WELL AT LEAST IT ISN'T SNOW! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It started with a few sprinkles on Friday and then all day Saturday it rained while today it has been pouring on and off! Adding insult to injury the temperatures went down into the 60s in the early morning and it has only gone up to the mid 70s today!! <BR> <BR> It is not always sunny, hot and humid in South Florida but I must admit today is one the the worst days, weather-wise, in Fort La... Sun, 11 Dec 2016 16:21:24 EST "THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In "The Brand New Testament" God lives in Brussels in an apartment with his wife and daughter with his son JC taking off many years/centuries before and has a huge room filled with files of all his creations, also with important information on his computer. He is bored with the humans he has created so he sits around all day making new rules like "The other line will always move faster than ... Fri, 9 Dec 2016 18:59:14 EST CHILL N NITROGEN ICE CREAM STORE--A REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> Chill-n nitrogen <BR> <BR> The novelty of how the ice cream is made in your presence is worth a one time trip but the final product wasn't worth the price and I have a feeling when they are busy there is a long time to get your order. <BR> You have a choice of 18 flavors of ice cream--or you can have it made with yogurt--and then if you want you have a choice of 29 mix-ins. I am not sure of the s... Wed, 7 Dec 2016 10:46:23 EST WELCOME TO MY WORLD NOVEMBER 2016 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> At the end of every month I look back at what I did and I always come to the conclusion that I am the luckiest, happiest guy around. Sure I don’t have monetary wealth and I can’t afford a car but I have a roof—a very nice roof—over my head, food in my belly and clothes on my back. Oh did I forget to mention friends, people who care for and about me? Everything else is a bonus!! <BR> <... Mon, 5 Dec 2016 10:28:37 EST "MANCHESTER BY THE SEA"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> "Manchester by the Sea" asks how do you survive an unimaginable tragedy?? People handle it in different ways and Lee (Casey Affleck) becomes a totally cold, uncaring person who cuts himself off from all those he loves, leaves his hometown, gets a job as a janitor in Boston, drinks a lot of beer and has fights in bars. <BR> <BR> The first hour of the film deals with Lee before and after the ... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 20:21:54 EST "ARRIVAL"--MOVIE REVIEW--MAJOR VIDEO SPOILER AT END <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I went to see “Arrival” sort of reluctantly because I am not into sci-fi movies with aliens coming to take the world over and a war ensues between the good guys (us) and the Bad (the aliens) and we always win. It was a choice of seeing this movie or “Rules Don’t Apply” and I am not a fan of Warren Beatty’s and I understand it is really a flop so I decided on “Arrival”. <BR> <BR> The m... Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:04:08 EST CROCKPOT TURKEY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> After last year making my turkey in a crockpot I decided to do it again this year as it had turned out so tender. This one was just a bit too big but using a crockpot liner to cover the turkey worked. <BR> <BR> First picture) Along with the turkey there was pumpkin pie, yams with marshmallows, mushroom soup (to use with stuffing), string beans, corn, mac ‘n cheese (which I use as stuf... Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:29:07 EST "MOANA"--A MOVIE REVIEW--DELIGHTFUL! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't remember the last time I enjoyed one hour and forty-three minutes, including opening and closing credits, as I did this afternoon watching "Moana" (pronounced Mo-anha). I laughed out loud 2-3 times, which is pretty rare for me seeing a movie, and had a big smile on my face for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes while in the remaining time tears! <BR> <BR> There is so much to talk about ... Fri, 25 Nov 2016 19:21:59 EST "ALLIED"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> “They don’t make movies like they use to,” is a cry you hear from older/old folks and “Allied” shows them to be right. Director Robert Zemeckis and writer Steven Knight seem to be doing homage to a certain spy thriller genre that was standard in Hollywood during the 1940s and production values from clothes, cars, sets, etc., are there but it is excruciating slow paced not having the sp... Thu, 24 Nov 2016 18:38:32 EST BEING THANKFUL We all have many things to be thankful for but every Thanksgiving (and many times over the year) I am most grateful for people who have added to my life and are no more with me physically--I know they are my Guardian Angels looking over my shoulder every day of the year--though YOU may not know them they are a part of my family. <BR> <BR> In the 1980s I lost 76 friends to AIDS and as I get older I lose more and more. Living at Gateway, a senior citizen community where the average age is in t... Wed, 23 Nov 2016 10:40:43 EST A NEW CAR--A VACATION---GOUT--CREWCUT <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 1) Allen’s car <BR> <BR> After 5 months driving his red Caddie Allen decided that it really wasn’t for him. Though I loved the color I agreed with him as this one and the Caddie he had before were really too small, especially for the price. You couldn’t sit in the back comfortably and the trunk was too small. <BR> <BR> I got a call from him and he told me to come on down and se... Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:25:25 EST "NOCTURNAL ANIMALS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> "Nocturnal Animals" is 3 films in one starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. The first is who and what Susan (Adams) is today while the second is the mystery novel that Edward (Gyllenhaal) has written and dedicated to his ex wife Susan while the third is Susan and Edward over 19 years ago when they met and got married. <BR> <BR> Along the way the have and have nots are explored with Los An... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 18:29:12 EST "LOVING"--A MOVIE REVIEW---MUST SEE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Richard Loving loved his wife Mildred and she loved him but never once in the movie “Loving” do they say “I love you,” in words. The way they look at each other, touch each other, lean on each other, interact with each other shows those three words more than saying it would. At one point Richard tells a lawyer that he should tell the Supreme Court that he loves her and in a scene that ... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:06:38 EST "KING COBRA"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am a big supporter of gay themed films and The Gateway Theatre that over the years have played many of them. I was happy when “Philadelphia” with Tom Hanks became a ‘cross-over’ film and though I didn’t like “Brokeback Mountain” I cheered when crowds filled the theatres to see it. Other movies like “Milk”, “A Single Man”, “Maurice”, “In & Out”, “Boys Don’t Cry”, just to name a few, were bo... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 12:28:43 EST "MOONLIGHT"--A MOVIE REVIEW--A DIFFERENT COMING OUT STORY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Once again I think I fell for the hype and found myself disappointed in a movie when I actually saw it. “Moonlight” is not your ordinary movie in that it tackles the subject of a Gay, Black 9 year old kid/teenager/adult as he goes through discovering who he is. It is not a ‘Gay’ and/or ‘Black’movie meant only for a minority as it gets into the many feelings all human beings go through. <BR> ... Sat, 12 Nov 2016 11:38:18 EST U.S. MARINE--MOVIES--MUST SEE TV--THEATRE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> No matter how it ended I have always been proud that I was and am a United States Marine. <BR> <BR> My whole life when I have wanted to escape from certain situations in my life I went to the movies. This week three movies are opening as if to answer my need to escape so off I go on a movie binge. <BR> <BR> Today at 1 PM I will be going to see “Moonlight” then <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 11 Nov 2016 11:11:03 EST ODD FOODS PART 3 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Saying Chocolate chip banana bread, cornbread with blueberries, a coconut chocolate nest with jelly beans in the same breath as Ciboulette (French for chives) or sprouted watermelon seeds certainly makes for odd foods and I’ve tried them all!! Along with organic canned tomatoes, meatless burgers not to forget asiago cheese crisps, flakes and clusters, carnitas cooking sauce and batch chili c... Wed, 9 Nov 2016 11:20:25 EST ODD FOODS PART 2 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s no secret that I will eat most any foods with the exception of Oyster Plant and I love discovering new foods or old standards prepared differently. <BR> <BR> A really big discovery this month was the bottle of Southern Raspberry Mix I found last month. It has zero calories and fat and carbs but fantastic taste. I used it on salads, cooked veggies also cooked chicken with i... Mon, 7 Nov 2016 12:39:01 EST "AQUARIUS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> "Aquarius" is a slow moving 2 hour and 22 minute movie that would have been a very interesting hour and 45 minute movie. Director, and screenplay writer, Kleber Mendonca Filho puts in too many unnecessary scenes that add nothing to the film or plot except to tell us more than we need to know about Clara, who is at the center of the film. There is a scene at a cemetery, another of Clara's gra... Fri, 4 Nov 2016 18:59:47 EST JACK'S BAR-B-QUE RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> We were going to Kelvins 3200 on Oakland Park for lunch only to get there and find it closed which wasn't surprising as my one and only experience there was pretty bad. Being in a Southern food state of mind, and having a groupon, we came here. <BR> For $5 (Normally $10.55) I got a Beef Sandwich with a side of baked beans and a side of steak fries plus a diet cola while Allen, f... Wed, 2 Nov 2016 12:18:38 EST "SECRETS OF SUCCESS" TO LOSING WEIGHT I really don't know how long I have been here but today I discovered a new section called "Secrets of Success" and I decided to immediately write some things I have experienced--if I had realize you had to write 1700 words I probably wouldn't have tackled it but I did. <BR> <BR> Here is a copy of the chart I talk about in the article. If I can help in any other way don't hesitate to ask. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <B... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 18:16:24 EST HALLOWEEN-THE GREAT GAY HOLIDAY! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I look at the date on the bottom picture and I realize it is exactly 30 years ago and I still recognize that guy--WOW!! <BR> <BR> I was never into the Halloween scene especially since the 1970s when everyone dressed as either Judy Garland or a Nun! <BR> <BR> At that time I was working at Wag's on University Drive and Commercial Boulevard--it has since been 3 different businesses--and Gonza... Mon, 31 Oct 2016 10:46:15 EST "INFERNO"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Though a huge Tom Hanks fan that doesn't mean he always makes good movies. I saw but don't remember the first two films based on the books by Dan Brown and this is the most forgettable of all, that is if you can even remember what the plot was about though it was again a case of a man wanting to rule the world and the good people who want to stop him. <BR> <BR> Tom Hanks, not being a Tom Cr... Fri, 28 Oct 2016 18:39:38 EST LA BAMBA--RESTAURANT REVIEW--FT. LAUDERDALE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> With opening day offering a '50% off your complete check special' it was surprising that we only had a 10 minute wait plus everything, as far as I could see, went smoothly. I believe this is La Bamba's 6th restaurant in the area and, probably, one of the most brightly decorated one in the area including the new 'thing' of the ceiling being a special part of the restaurant interi... Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:31:15 EST A GREAT INTERNET DEAL--A LOUSY FINGER DEAL <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (Mold/cast made for new finger!) <BR> I am sitting here minding my own business and I get a call from The Hanger Clinic who are making my prosthetic finger--for a second I thought they might be calling to tell me my finger came in but oh no! <BR> <BR> Tiffany was on the other end and she told me the insurance company denied my claim even though they did okay it Oct 4 and I went for measurem... Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:46:08 EST