GREATMARTIN's SparkPeople Blog GREATMARTIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community MY AUGUST 2015 RESUME IN PICTURES <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (BANANA TREE IN BACK OF MY BUILDING) <BR> <BR> Aside from ending on a slightly sour note--see my post on Saturday’s call from my vascular surgeon!--August was a good month. I started off with my getting rid of the cast for my knee, retiring the wheelchair and being dismissed from the orthopedic surgeon’s care <BR> <BR> I saw 6 movies, ate out in restaurants, had Allen’s car for 10 ... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:49:53 EST PAYING FOR THE SINS OF MY YOUTH! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> At 7 PM on a Saturday night your vascular surgeon calls to tell you that results of your c scan shows your carotid artery is now 80-90% blocked. <BR> <BR> Since I can't handle MRIs he will arrange to have a CTA (I think?) but knowing me he said he wouldn't tell me not to worry as I wouldn't anyway! <BR> <BR> If another doctor called me on a Saturday evening I would be concerned but I kno... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 12:19:37 EST "WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS"--A MOVIE REVIEW PLUS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is going to be a review of two films, the first being the movie I saw on the screen called “We Are Your Friends” and the movie I was making in my head called “Wes & Zac, Where From Here?” <BR> <BR> “We Are Your Friends” is about a DJ, his 3 friends and electric dance music, learning more about the latter than I knew or need to know but, as I have found lately with a few mov... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:13:36 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 3 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yes it is HOT and HUMID in Fort Lauderdale at this time of the year but just by walking around you will feel a breeze and be cooler--or so I tell myself! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. In the title photo and this first photo is Biscuit--Richard’s dog--who is scratching his own back since his owner is busy in the swimming pool! <BR> <BR> 2. It is very rare to look up and not see a bird somewher... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:12:21 EST "ANT-MAN"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hesitating to make 2 statements, feeling they will come back to bite me in the butt, I still will: 1) “Ant-Man” is the first Marvel comics to screen that I really enjoyed and 2) “Ant-Man” is a very funny movie! It is funny in its ridiculousness, in its insensible, illogical, crazy screenplay and the incredible special effects has too many to mention moments. This may all be a reactio... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:56:05 EST "THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The past few weeks I have seen a couple of entertaining movies like “The Gift” and “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”, a few okay films like “Phoenix”{ and “Ricki and the Flash” but I knew, from experience, it would all come to a screeching halt and it did today with one of the worst movies I have seen this year called “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”. It is one of those mo... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 20:06:28 EST "I GOT ME A CADILLAC CAR" <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Looks like I am going to be running around town in a 2014 Cadillac ATS charcoal gray car for about 10 days! Allen is off to see his daughter, son-in-law and twin grandsons so all I do is take him to airport when he leaves and then pick him up when he comes back. Oh I check his place every 2-3 days and get his mail but aside from that I will be here, there and everywhere! <BR> <BR> It ... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:34:09 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 2 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (VIEW FROM MY WINDOW--YOU JUST MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE OUT THE PADDLER JUST LEFT OF THE MIDDLE!) <BR> <BR> When you live near water the scenery is always changing. At any time of the day--or night--you can see small, large, old or new boats docked or cruising on the water along with people in canoes or on paddles. (Pictures 1-7) <BR> <BR> It is also nice to live in an area where a neighbor c... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 12:24:29 EST "THE GIFT"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> For the second time this week I want to start off a review with “They DO make films like they did in the old days” no matter what seniors say and “The Gift” is such a movie. <BR> <BR> Simon (Joseph Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have just moved from Chicago into a modern home in Los Angeles. He is up for an important job at business and she is recovering from a miscarriage and th... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 19:15:46 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 1 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I open my door, walk out and I just feel good seeing the baby morning glory vine purple flowers and the Cuban Butterfly yellow flowers (picture # 8) and I immediately get a spring in my step. Yes it is hot and humid in Fort Lauderdale in August but I would rather be here than in NYC, Boston or D.C. We always have that breeze coming from the Bay and across the canal! <BR> <BR> No matter wher... Thu, 13 Aug 2015 10:45:37 EST "PHOENIX"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “They don’t make them like the did in the old days, “ is the cry of many senior film buffs, including me. In “Phoenix” the director, and co-writer with Harun Farocki, Christian Petzold certainly tries. With bits of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” here, Kander and Ebb’s, with Fosse’s, “Cabaret” there, this movie, as film noir, cries out for a Barbara Stanwyck or Lana Tu... Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:27:44 EST LE BONN CREPE--RESTAURANT REVIEW NOT FOR YOUR DIET OR BUDGET! LOL <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It has been awhile since we went to Le Bonn Crepe but Groupon was offering a coupon so off we went. <BR> <BR> Le Bonn has been a mainstay on Los Olas Boulevard for many years but I stay away from that area because of the parking situation but we lucked out this time, mainly because Allen has a handicap placard. <BR> <BR> Le Bonn Crepe is deceptive in t... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 12:56:00 EST "RICKI AND THE FLASH"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> When the best acting in a movie starring Meryl Streep is done by Rick Springfield you know the film “Ricki and the Flash” is in trouble. Unlike other scenes where either screen writer, Diablo Cody, and/or the director, Jonathan Demme, were afraid to go one step further and make it interesting, the one between Streep and Springfield is emotionally moving. <BR> <BR> Meryl Streep is ... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 17:17:25 EST FARMER'S MARKET AT GATEWAY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This past Wednesday I bought: (see 3rd picture) 3-1 pound packages of mushrooms, 4 tomatoes, 2 packages of Romaine lettuce (3 heads each package), 2 pound package of seedless grapes and a head of cauliflower for a total of $12.50 On Thursday, while in Winn-Dixie I got the prices for the same items: 3 boxes of mushrooms $9, a head of cauliflower on sale $2.95, 4 tomatoes $3.49, 2 poun... Thu, 6 Aug 2015 11:03:19 EST ACQUA FARINA OSTARIA--A RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> Osteria Restaurant 1 july 30 2015 <BR> Does Fort Lauderdale really need another Italian restaurant with the so many we have? Yes if they are as good as the Ostaria Acqua Farina Restaurant! I had heard about the restaurant and we always passed it on the way to 17th street. On Thursday I suggested we have Italian food suggesting either the upscale Café Vico or the down at home Big Louie’s, both m... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 11:27:27 EST MY JULY 2015 RESUME IN PHOTOS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As in most months there has been good and bad. I did see 4 movies (pictures 4-7) ate out in at least 6 restaurants (pictures 8-12) including a new and excellent one which I will post about this coming week. At the beginning of the month I was still in a cast for my knee and using a wheelchair while in the middle of the month I was going to physical therapy and by the end of the month I was d... Sun, 2 Aug 2015 13:04:57 EST "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE--ROGUE NATION"--A FILM REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From the opening bars of the memorable theme along with Tom Cruise hanging from a plane door taking off “Mission Impossible--Rogue Nation” is a winner. Checking your logic at the theatre door as you must in any action thriller--come on, 6 guys shoot at Cruise and he walks (well runs) away while he gets 4 rounds off and kills 4 guys!--the chases whether by cars, trucks, motorcycles and th... Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:44:02 EST BILL'S GARDEN AT GATEWAY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There are many different gardens around Gateway and it really wouldn’t be fair to say one is the best but a resident, Bill, has spent a lot of time and years growing his garden in the courtyard of building T. I thought I had a picture of when it only had the fan palm tree against the back of the elevator but I don’t so you will have to imagine how it looked before he started to work on i... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:16:54 EST MOTHER NATURE VISITS GATEWAY, WHERE I LIVE <img src=""> <BR> I have many reasons for loving and living at The Gateway Terrace apartments and one is just walking around and being surprised. It could be a sunset (photo #s 1-4)--nothing spectacular but beautiful anyway with reds, pinks, grays, blacks all changing as the minutes go by. <BR> <BR> Just walking along you can all of a sudden come across the bright eyes of one of the owned cats who stroll around as... Sun, 26 Jul 2015 13:17:10 EST 'MR. HOLMES"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I first became aware of Ian McKellen as a gay activist when he publicly came out against a law in England in 1988. I was aware of his being an admired stage British actor who occasionally made films and then, after he came out, I saw him in “And The Band Played On” and “6 Degrees of Separation” but it was 17 years ago in a movie called “Gods and Monsters”, for which he won an Osc... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:10:05 EST A LUMP OF COAL! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> For the past decade I have been trying to dispose of ‘things’ that I don’t NEED! I have gotten rid of many things I want but aren’t necessary to my daily living. Yes I love to read and I use to collect books as I really couldn’t/wouldn’t throw them out. For many years I would pack up my books and lug them with me to wherever I moved. It was the same with tapes, DVDs and everythin... Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:35:03 EST "LOVE LETTERS"--WITH ALI MACGRAW & RYAN O'NEAL REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> From the moment Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’neal stepped on to the stage at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale there was a warmth exchanged between the actors and audience that lasted until the actors took their bows and walked offstage.It was if all were old friends seeing each other after a long time. <BR> In the play “Love Letters” Ali MacGraw is Melissa ... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:11:56 EST Still not doing IT after 7 years! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It is really hard to believe that 7 years ago this week I had my last cigarette. I had been smoking since I was 12--to appear older and sophisticated!!--59 years. Though I started out slowly after the age of 17 until 2008 I smoked 2-3 packs a day!! <BR> <BR> I never even thought of quitting. In fact over the New Year’s weekend of 1999-2000 I had congestive heart failure and as soon as I r... Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:44:58 EST I LIKE IT IN THE DARK! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (4 PM RAINY SEASON IN FLORIDA) <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I have slept through earthquakes in California and Japan. Through tornadoes in Tennessee, hurricanes in Florida and, not to forget, loud next door neighbor’s parties in New York City BUT I don’t/can’t/won’t fall asleep if there is any light in the room!! <BR> <BR> I moved into this apartment in February 2004 and the first thing I... Sun, 19 Jul 2015 12:10:15 EST A CAR EQUALS FREEDOM! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s a whole new world when you have a car! For those who don’t know I had a red Chevy 1971 convertible with a 454 engine which I got in 1981 and had until 2004 when I couldn’t afford the repairs and insurance. I have been without a car since and getting around Fort Lauderdale isn’t easy without a car. Luckily Allen has been good enough to take me shopping on Thursdays and we g... Sat, 18 Jul 2015 18:54:20 EST "TRAINWRECK"---A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “Trainwreck” centers on Amy Schumer’s character, also called Amy, who was taught by her father (Colin Quin) that monogamy is not realistic or normal and we next meet her 23 later when she is the male version of most leads in romantic comedies such as Jim Carey, Will Farrell and that ilk. She is rude, crude, very promiscuous and doesn’t believe in spending a whole night with any of h... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 22:34:09 EST GARDENS AT GATEWAY PART 1 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Most of the buildings here at the Gateway Terrace have a small plot of land in front and back of the ground floor apartments. Many residents will spend time planting their own little gardens to be shared by all while some just have the hedges that Gateway planted and the lawn maintenance crew takes care of. <BR> <BR> My neighbor downstairs, Irene, takes care of both the front and back... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 11:05:06 EST "LOVE LETTERS" IS COMING <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Next Tuesday the touring company of “Love Letters” starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal will stop for a week at the Broward Center For The Performing Arts. For you youngsters who may not know who they are, 45 years ago they were in one of the biggest hits of the year in the film “Love Story” which had the tag line “Love means never having to say you are sorry”. Both starre... Tue, 14 Jul 2015 13:01:31 EST PARRILLA ROTISSERIE & GRILL--A RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> There seems to be a competition between fast-casual specialty hamburger places and fast-casual Mexican places in the Fort Lauderdale area as to how many different chains of each can be opened up. I can name 6 of each to start with and still wouldn’t have named them all. <BR> <BR> Right now La Parrilla Rotisserie & Grill has two locations right outside Fort Lauderdale, all within e... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:23:32 EST QUEEN CREPE MYRTLES <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The driveway at The Gateway Terrace apartments are lined with about twenty-eight Queen’s Crepe Myrtle trees that bloom into a sky of purple from April to October and in the Fall their leaves turn to red and orange. Their bark can be used to make furniture and their flowers and/or leaves can be made into a herbal tea known to lower glucose levels and also know to aid in weight... Sun, 12 Jul 2015 12:34:22 EST "INFINITELY POLAR BEAR"--MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> For 23 years Mark Ruffalo has been a journeyman actor, always becoming the character he is called on to play as in his last 3 films. He was Dave Schultz the wrestling Olympic champ in “Foxcatcher”, Ned Weeks, AIDS activist, in “The Normal Heart”, and in today’s movie “Infinitely Polar Bear” is Cam, husband and father who is bipolar. Though probably not a “STAR” or â€... Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:47:40 EST DRESSED FOR SUCCESS WITH A KNEE BRACE <BR> SLIDESHOW <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FLIP-FLOPS, SHIRT AND SHORTS JUST HAPPEN TO MATCH THE BRACE AND WHEELCHAIR! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> It all started Tuesday, May 26, 2015 when I fell because I wasn’t looking where I was going and broke my knee in 3 places. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt and I even went to the movies! It was about 6 PM that night that I started to feel pain and couldn’t walk on it so I immediately called 911--... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 10:42:57 EST JULY 4, 2015 AT GATEWAY IN PICTURES <img src=""> <BR> <BR> JULY 4 2015 <BR> <BR> SLIDESHOW <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> (OR C & P AND PUT IN url) <BR> <BR> <BR> Though the pictures talk for themselves I, of course, will add a few words here and there! <BR> <BR> 1 & 2) The invitation to all 300 residents of Gateway. (I don’t know how to delete a picture from a slideshow so you have 2 chances to read it!) <BR> <BR> 3) Shir... Sun, 5 Jul 2015 12:46:56 EST MY JUNE RESUME IN PHOTOS! <img src=""> <BR> <BR><BR>aSA <BR> <BR> SLIDESHOW <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. My June avatar 2. With cast in wheelchair 3-6. Movies seen <BR> <BR> 7-14. Some restaurants I went to 15 & 16. Home cooked meals the first country fried steak and the second Tilapia 17-19. Signs of the Times 20. Eye doctor’s fish tank 21. My plants--some from those Dollar Tree see... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 10:12:14 EST STRAIGHT WOMEN, GAY MEN & MARRIAGE (The following is strictly my opinion from observations/experience of over 65 years of gay life.) <BR> <BR> There is a gay stereotype very seldom discussed outside of the gay world though it effects many a nongay relationship and that is of the gay married man married to a woman. Woman have written books about the situation as have gay men who have tried to explain why they married and/or why some are still married. Actually it didn’t come before the public until movies like “Brokeback M... Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:33:45 EST KAREN BAY AT GATEWAY--PART 2--DOGS AND BOATS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last month I wrote about Karen Bay which is at the east end of the Gateway Terrace apartments I live at. There is always something going on the water whether it is boats coming and going or people water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, riding on paddleboards or going up in the sky with water jet packs. <BR> <BR> In the late afternoon and early evening the dogs of Gateway come to The Point, bring... Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:52:55 EST THE VILLAGE STORE--FOR MAINTENANCE ONLY!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After the great lunch (and service--see Fishtales Restaurant post) to celebrate Allen’s birthday we went to The Village Store. It’s in a small unlike Fort Lauderdale area called The Village right south of Sunrise Boulevard and across the street from the beach. Consisting of about 7-8 blocks in a E shape section there are bars, restaurants, a souvenir shop (with some very tacky t-shirts a... Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:10:26 EST SEEING OLD MOVIES <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (I LOVE IT!) <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> After finishing my post about "The Bad Seed": I started thinking about other old, possibly forgotten, movies that would always be on my 'must see' list and then that got my to thinking about what does it take to get you to watch a movie--the actors? The director? The previews? The genre? The reviews? Word of mouth? <BR> <BR> Along with the 'old' movie ide... Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:42:29 EST MOTHER NATURE REIGNS! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It boggles my mind how anyone whether a child or a senior citizen or spanning the years in between can say “I am bored,” let alone write a whole blog about being bored or having nothing to do! Every minute of every day of every year Mother Nature puts on a show that is constantly changing whether it is a calm, sunny, beautiful day or she shows her fury with tornadoes, snowstorms or earth... Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:38:47 EST MELLOW MUSHROOM--A RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> MELLOW MUSHROOM is the latest member of the franchise that started in Atlanta. It is a huge whimsical location at the new Flagler Village complex. Parking is sort of a puzzle though I heard there is valet parking in the evening. An employee told us that they would be building a garage across the street--that’s across busy Federal Highway--which is far from a workable solution. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 09:36:10 EST "BECOMING US"--A NEW TELEVISION SERIES I watched this last night and highly recommend it--told from the teenager's point of view--will repeat first episode Friday and Sunday at 10 PM (EST) Regularly scheduled on Mondays at 9 PM ON THE ABC FAMILY CHANNEL <BR> <BR> Evanston the site of TV's new transgender story on 'Becoming Us' - Chicago Entertainment -... <BR> <BR> <BR><BR>2015/jun/08/becoming-us-transgender-ab<BR>c-family Tue, 9 Jun 2015 12:23:31 EST SMASHBURGER--A RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> It has been almost two years since I was last to a Smashburger Restaurant and the one I went to has closed. There are now at least a dozen more different burger franchises in the area and yet wanting to go for a good burger we couldn’t think of one we wanted to go to and after a process of elimination because of easy parking we decided to go to this one. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I ordered the Cla... Sun, 7 Jun 2015 16:14:18 EST MOTHER NATURE'S CREATURES <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> We have lizards of all kinds on the grounds here. Some have straight tails while others have curled and a few don’t have tails at all. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors and though some people are squeamish these guys keep the ant, roach, fly and mosquito population very low. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I don’t know if the ones in the pictures are geckos, anoles or skinks. I woul... Thu, 4 Jun 2015 11:57:20 EST THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I learned early in life how up and down it can be whether in a week, a month or years. You go through highs and lows but most of the time your days are at an even keel. <BR> <BR> Looking over the month of May 2015 it is more or less a typical month. I take a lot of pictures and they reflect how I spend my life and, luckily, there is more good than bad. <BR> <BR> First of all I have to salu... Tue, 2 Jun 2015 20:16:25 EST "I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don’t know if 2 movies of the same genre are the start of a trend but I hope so. During the second week of May I went to see “Five Flights Up”, a movie about an elderly couple together for forty years with neither dying of Alzheimer’s or any other ‘old people’ diseases nor were they battling with being an inter-racial couple. They were a pair who made and enjoyed a life togeth... Sun, 31 May 2015 15:47:32 EST WHEN YOU ARE SICK... EAT! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My dinner: 1/2 a chicken made in the crockpot with tomatoes, peas, corn and noodles (the half tomorrow!)--a salad with onions, tomatoes, Romaine, grated cheese and topped with blue cheese. Blueberries for dessert. Could use a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the berries but I am sick. <BR> <BR> All the while watching a new movie about Marilyn Monroe which will probably b... Sat, 30 May 2015 21:05:06 EST ANYONE HAVE A SPARE WHEELCHAIR? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Talk about clumsiness!! Allen was picking me up on Tuesday to go see the movie “The 100-Year-Old-Man Who jumped Out The Window and Disappeared” at The Gateway Theatre. Before he got there I wanted to stop at the Gateway apartment offices and inquire is if I was eligible to have my place repainted. I had lived in this apartment 11 years and my first one for 5 years and ... Thu, 28 May 2015 10:57:08 EST "THE 100 YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED" A FILM REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> While watching “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared” (hereafter called 100!) I would flash on to Peter Sellers in “Being There” and Tom Hanks in “Forrest Gump” more so the latter due to Robert Gustafsson’s performance as a man, Allan, who meets famous people in history and sometimes changes the course of that history. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The flash... Tue, 26 May 2015 18:52:07 EST GETTING OLD EQUALS BEING CLUMSY? <BR> Does getting old equate with being clumsy? I never was clumsy up until a few years ago. What do I mean by clumsy? Last Thursday I ran over my small toe on my left foot with a shopping cart. It bled profusely for two days no matter how much I packed cotton and bandages and, trust me, it is not easy putting bandaids between the last two toes! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> On Tuesday I noticed the foot was red and on Wednesday it was swollen and I knew it was infected. Called the doctor to have ... Mon, 25 May 2015 12:07:12 EST IT'S A JULIE ANDREWS SORT OF DAY! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Since the age of 13 when she made her debut on the London stage with the critics raving about her 4 octave clear as a bell voice Julie Andrews has been a star. From her Broadway debut in “The Boyfriend” at 19 in 1954 to her touring Australia and New Zealand for the first time at the age of 77 in 2013 she has always been in the spotlight mostly for good events but also for the heartbreak ... Sun, 24 May 2015 11:55:06 EST