GREATMARTIN's SparkPeople Blog GREATMARTIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community "BROOKLYN"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is a young immigrant girl from Ireland who comes to “Brooklyn” to make a better life for herself and hopefully for her mother ( Jane Brnnan) and older sister (Fiona Glascott) back home. She is sponsored by her church who arranges the boat fare, a rooming house to stay and a job as a salesclerk in a department store. <BR> <BR> It is a simple story about a young gi... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:52:09 EST "SPOTLIGHT"--A MUST SEE MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> “Spotlight” is a MUST SEE for many reasons first being that if you think you know everything, or just a lot, about the cover-up regarding the Catholic church and the pedophilia priests this film will show you that you don’t. This is the best, if not better, newsroom movie since “All The President’s Men” and shows investigative reporting as it is done and what it accomplishes. The cast ... Fri, 27 Nov 2015 09:50:27 EST HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Be thankful for what you do have everyday! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:13:02 EST "SECRET IN THEIR EYES"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is not the sparkling Julia Roberts of “Pretty Woman” or the sexed up one in “Erin Brockovich” but a completely bare of make-up, stripped of all emotions except of love for her daughter, that when someone says she “..looks a million years old” you can believe it. Aside from her looks Roberts is at the top of her acting game being effective in quick scenes consisting of just a glance or l... Wed, 25 Nov 2015 10:47:07 EST MY WANT/NEED/WISH BIRTHDAY GIFT LIST BY DEMAND OF CHUCK & MARY FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW ME THIS IS PART OF THE RITUAL OF MY CELEBRATING MY LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY EVERY 4 YEARS DONE IN FUN--OR IS IT <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Well they have been hounding me (okay asked me once or twice) what I want/need/wish for as a gift on my birthday. Doing this mostly against my will (HUSH! Don’t say a word!) I am offering 3 categories of gifts. Let’s be clear NO ONE HAS TO ... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 19:55:53 EST "THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2" MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The last--maybe--of "The Hunger Games" entitled "Mockingjay Part 2" has arrived to tie up the loose ends of the 3 young adult book series turned into 4 films that made Jennifer Lawrence a star. <BR> <BR> It is too long, running 2 hours and 17 minutes, too many and too dark with scenes taking place underground and low lit scenes even above ground. <BR> <BR> The older adults are mainly give... Fri, 20 Nov 2015 22:26:17 EST ON THE STREET WHERE I LIVE! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Photos 1, 2 & 3 No matter what kind of weather Mr. Cat has to have his nap every day at 4:30 in the same window! (I will be writing more about him!) <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Photo 4 Does the bird know he is going in the wrong direction? Does he know that senior citizens drove cars down this path? <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Photo 5 Always a sign that thunderstorms are on their way <BR> <BR> <BR... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 10:37:21 EST I'M OFF TO THE THEATRE AGAIN! AND I LOVE IT! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Coming on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts is the hit Broadway show "DISNEY'S NEWSIES" and I'll be there! It is the kick-off show of the 2015-2016 Broadway Across America series of touring shows coming to Fort Lauderdale. It will be here until November 29! <BR> <BR> It won the 2012 Tony awards for Best Score written by Alan Menkin and Jack Feldman pl... Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:38:57 EST "ROOM"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Joy (Brie Larson) was kidnapped at the age of 17 and 2 years later gave birth to her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) by her kidnapper Big Nick (Sean Bridgers) where we meet them as Jack celebrates his 5th birthday in the 10 X 10 room, a shed, the only place he has ever known, never going outside. What he knows of the world outside of the shed he has seen on the small TV set they have or been told ... Fri, 13 Nov 2015 19:03:13 EST THEATER SEASON COMES TO FORT LAUDERDALE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After seeing "Big Fish" 3 weeks ago (See my review at tomorrow night I will be going to the launching of the Abdo New River Room Theatre series at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts by the Slow Burn Theatre Company (which put on the dynamic "Big Fish" in the Amaturo theatre within the same complex last month) with the Broadway musical "Dogfight". Look for my rev... Fri, 13 Nov 2015 17:07:23 EST FARMER'S MARKET, BAGELS & A NEW TV! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I EITHER TALK ABOUT FOOD OR I EAT IT!!! <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s amazing how tough my life is! I open my door and I am faced with a lush green tree that is home to about 3-4 bird nests (picture #1)---which was almost destroyed 11 years ago with hurricane Wilma--and I walk to the mail boxes and are faced with more of Mother Nature such as flowers blooming (#11) or a lizard hiding (#3) or enjoyin... Wed, 11 Nov 2015 13:00:23 EST SWEET TOMATOES--A RESTAURANT REVIEW--FORT LAUDERDALE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As much as I love discovering new restaurants there are always a few that I enjoy going to every once in awhile and one of those are the Sweet Tomatoes chain. The first time I went there I thought I would be eating healthy--WRONG!!! They have so many good things, each waiting to undermine any diet you might be on! <BR> <BR> Just by looking at these photos in the slideshow you co... Mon, 9 Nov 2015 09:29:06 EST "SPECTRE"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From the opening frame of a foot race through the streets of Mexico city top the closing scene of a combination boat and helicopter chase on the Thames river in London you are in the world of “Bond, James Bond” in the 24th movie of the franchise. “Spectre” will be remembered in many ways such as being the longest movie in the series at two hours and thirty minutes and all the references, suc... Fri, 6 Nov 2015 18:08:43 EST DO YOU KNOW/CARE WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE? <img src=""> <BR> Well at least they aren't vultures!! <BR> <BR> This is a very interesting site--I found out I am already dead! Am I a vampire? Am I part of the Walking Dead? <BR> <BR> I think I'll go out and celebrate by having some chocolate and carrot cake--maybe some salami--peanuts--beef wellington--a couple of scotches--ooops! Better not as I’ll find out I am still alive but fatter!!... Wed, 4 Nov 2015 09:14:10 EST MY LIFE IN OCTOBER 2015--RESUME IN PICTURES <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It seems like life goes smoothly and then something comes along that makes you think about various things of which one, at my age, is mortality. I do know that at the age of 80 I am still standing and that is what counts so when I wake up in the morning I look forward to another good day not worrying what it will bring. <BR> <BR> There are many things I look forward to such as eating out an... Mon, 2 Nov 2015 11:26:35 EST HALLOWEEN: THE GAY HOLIDAY! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There is a distinct difference between cross dressers, drag queens and the neighbors who put a lamp shade on their head for Halloween. And neither category necessarily means the person is gay or has a sexual identity problem. I don't profess to be an expert on any of these subjects though I have enjoyed Jim Bailey as Barbra Streisand in his one man show in Las Vegas. I am not a fan of 'Dame ... Sat, 31 Oct 2015 13:22:52 EST "OUR BRAND IS CRISIS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> In a role originally written for George Clooney, Sandra Bullock gives an outstanding performance as Jane Bodine, who was hired to go to Bolivia to help ex-president Castillo get re-elected after 15 years of being out of office. She is matched in a performance by Billy Bob Thornton as Pat Candy who has beaten her in the last 4 elections they have competed. Bullock, walking around in a f... Fri, 30 Oct 2015 19:50:04 EST IS THE PARTY OVER??? THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS AFTER 60 YEARS OF SMOKING AND EATING FRIED FOODS--THE QUESTION IS IT WORTH IT? <BR> And I didn't yell once as she took the staples out BUT it is now swelling up and I am a little concerned--as per instructions I am patting aloe and oil on it--right now it is too late to call anyone so that will be the first thing I do in the morning. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Monday October 20 2... Thu, 29 Oct 2015 21:06:50 EST TCF ON LOS OLAS BOULEVARD FORT LAUDERDALE WARNING: READING THIS BLOG CAN BE FATTENING! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One of my favorite restaurants is THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY ON LAS OLAS BOULEVARD in Fort Lauderdale. In the year 2000, for my Sweet 16 Leap year party part of the all day celebration a group of us had lunch at TCF sampling most of their cheesecakes. <BR> <BR> Las Olas Boulevard is a long stretch of various upscale shops and restaurants. For th... Wed, 28 Oct 2015 12:32:58 EST THE THEATRE CAN STILL SURPRISE ME!! <img src=""> <BR> (Cast of “Big Fish” Slow Burn Theatre Company Production--photos by Gemma Bramham) <BR> <BR> The regional Slow Burn Theatre Company have found a home for the 2015-2016 season in the Amaturo Theatre in the Broward Center for the Performing Arts with a seating capacity of 590 patrons. On their opening night they presented a winning production of “Big Fish” based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and ... Tue, 27 Oct 2015 17:32:36 EST ARE YOU READY? NOT PRETTY! <img src=""> <BR> (ONE POSITIVE--MY THROAT HURTS SO I AM EATING LESS! NO IT DOESN'T HURT THAT MUCH! :o) <BR> <BR> 1 First came Lon Chaney in "Phantom of the Opera" <BR> <BR> 2 Then came Boris Karloff in "Frankenstein" <BR> <BR> 3 Then there was Joan Crawford on "A Woman's Face" <BR> <BR> 4 Now, Get Ready for it <BR> <BR> 5 No, not a face lift==No, not a mask HERE IT IS! <BR> <BR> The HUGE staples will be take... Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:19:06 EST "STEVE JOBS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> With a definite Best Actor Oscar nomination for Michael Fassbender, Best Supporting actress nomination for Kate Winslet and probable nominations for screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director Danny Boyle along with Jeff Daniels and/or Seth Rogen for Best Supporting Actor I wish I could say “Steve Jobs” is a ‘must see’ movie but the most I can say is the fast smart dialogue while walking fast, a... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 20:44:10 EST SIAM CUISINE RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There is something definitely wrong with a restaurant that serves 5 dishes cool to lukewarm when they should be served hot and that was my experience at the Siam Cuisine restaurant. Add to that an unsmiling wait staff and it all comes to a very disappointing first time experience. <BR> <BR> Allen had eaten here a few times before and seemed to enjoy it so when I saw a groupon I figured it ... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 15:49:40 EST "BRIDGE OF SPIES"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, in their 4th collaboration, have made a good, winning film in “Bridge of Spies”. Sort of a nod to a Frank Capra/James Stewart movie with humor, in a serious situation, and Hanks being the All American Everyman. This Cold War spy story based on a true story of an exchange between an American pilot, Francis Gary Powers played by Austin Stowell shot down and accu... Fri, 16 Oct 2015 20:26:30 EST "FREEHELD"---A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “Freeheld” is first and foremost a love story beautifully portrayed by Julianne Moore and Ellen Page. The former plays Laurel Hester, an in the closet police officer for 23 years who meets and falls in love with the latter who plays the much younger Stacie Andree. After being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer Laurel wants to fight for equality so that when she does die Stacie would get her pensi... Wed, 14 Oct 2015 10:06:38 EST END OF SUMMER PARTY! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> How do we know it is the end of Summer? It was only a high of 85 degrees and it even went all the way down into the 70s in the early morning! Welcome to Autumn in South Florida! <BR> <BR> Once again the Residents Association came through in spite of new rules by the new owners. They are no longer allowed to post notices up in elevators and on bulletin boards around the property so it is now... Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:08:38 EST "SICARIO"---A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “A thriller set in the world of drug trafficking evokes the high stakes and high risks of the drug trade”--a synopsis of the new movie “Sicario”? Actually this is the first line of the 2000 movie “Traffic” but describes both movies. <BR> <BR> I had heard good word of mouth about “Sicario” and with 7 new movies opening today I put a question as which one to see on the film buffs facebook pag... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 20:58:06 EST "ONCE"--BROADWAY TOUR REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> In the 1970s the Broadway hopeful had to know how to dance sing and act while in the late 1990s a new talent was added in that they had to know how to play an instrument. In the touring production of “Once”, that opened at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday evening, another dimension was added which was of precise movement in tandem with the rest of the players and what they all w... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 10:44:21 EST I AM FINALLY USING IT!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I always have the good excuse of “I’m old. I forget dates!” and no one can argue with me. I honestly don’t remember when Chuck and Terry (Were they together when I was 16? Hey, I’m old!!) or was it just Chuck, on the advise of Gino (Now why do I remember that?) that he (they?) gave me a George Foreman Grill for my birthday? (No that wasn’t the reason I started giving out “What... Wed, 7 Oct 2015 06:32:53 EST BROADWAY COMES TO FT. LAUDERDALE & MIAMI & I'LL BE THERE! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (PHOTO FROM "ONCE" BY JOAN MARCUS) <BR> <BR> Our Fort Lauderdale and Miami Broadway touring season officially opens tomorrow evening at the Broadway Performing Arts Center in the former with the production of the 8 Tony awards winning, including Best Musical, “ONCE” and I will be there! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Some of the shows coming are: “Kinky Boots”, “Cabaret”, “Dirty Danci... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 13:27:41 EST 70 YEARS AGO IN 'DA' BRONX <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Christine stopped by and left a bag on my kitchen door. It consisted of the New York Times yearly Sunday “The New Season” which is in 3 sections with the first dealing with theatre, the second with film and the third with TV, Art and pop. I will read each section slowly devouring each word, especially about the theatre. As I was looking at the front pages of each section my m... Sun, 4 Oct 2015 13:29:12 EST "THE MARTIAN"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In “The Martian”, botanist astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is presumed dead after a sandstorm on Mars forces the mission to be cancelled and the crew must return to earth, without him or his body. Being alive but wounded he quickly takes care of himself and makes an inventory of what he has food wise and what he has to do to stay alive until the next space mission arrives on... Fri, 2 Oct 2015 21:17:15 EST SEPTEMBER 2015 RESUME IN PICTURES & WORDS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> “Living well is the best revenge” and I do my best to live well under the circumstances! <BR> <BR> September was a good month even though the rainy season, late arriving, hit with a bang for a few days. It has now settled down to the usual heavy rain in the morning, clear in the afternoon and, maybe rain in the afternoon . <BR> <BR> I love going to the movies and eating out and ... Thu, 1 Oct 2015 11:58:01 EST AN ADDENDUM TO MY "STONEWALL" REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Memory can play many tricks on you which is one of the reasons I am glad I kept diaries (and still do). <BR> <BR> I don’t know when it started but I started to think that the Saturday night of the Stonewall riot Bernie and I had been at a play on Broadway and when we got home I heard about it on the news and the next day read a blurb about it in the paper. At the time we lived on 33... Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:54:28 EST "STONEWALL" A MOVIE REVIEW--A MUST SEE MOVIE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> While “Stonewall” is not an ‘award winning’ film it is certainly a MUST SEE film for an audience of young LGBT people and people who have heard of Stonewall, don’t know what it is, and knows very little, if anything, about what was a major point of reference in the fight for equal rights and for older LGBT folks who might need a refresher course in their history and who helpe... Tue, 29 Sep 2015 18:46:30 EST "A CHORUS LINE"--SEPTEMBER 29, 1983 A DAY TO REMEMBER <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> THE FINALE OF “A CHORUS LINE” THAT AFTERNOON SEPTEMBER 29, 1983 (if you look quick Bob and I are in the orchestra--stage right--as the camera pans from the mezzanine!) CLICK ON YOUTUBE ICON LOWER RIGHT <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR><BR>PYI <BR> <BR> Thirty two years ago I stood with that audience applauding until my hands were swollen and yel... Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:42:26 EST "THYE INTERNET"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Anne Hathaway glows in “The Intern” whether she is leading 200+ employees of a company she founded or getting drunk and throwing up into a dumpster or crying when she has been betrayed or any of the many emotions she experiences in this 2 hour movie. On the other hand it is time Robert De Niro gave up broad comedies as he is only repeating every movement and mugging face he has made sinc... Fri, 25 Sep 2015 19:03:20 EST END OF SUMMER 2015 FORT LAUDERDALE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Summer 2015 started on June 21 at 12:38 PM and here it is ending on September 23 at 04:21 AM and even though it has been a long time since I was in school it still feels as if the summer ‘vacation’ wasn’t long enough!! Autumn is here and our temperatures will fall down to only a high of 86 degrees!! <BR> <BR> In any case I took a few pictures to keep the memories of what I saw and the... Wed, 23 Sep 2015 09:08:15 EST RAINY DAY, RAINY SEASON IN SOUTH FLORIDA <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The rainy ‘season’ in South Florida usually starts mid-May, late June but this year (global warming?) it didn't hit until this past week and it hit hard. Some areas got 3 inches of rain another area had a tornado and even with a light drizzle the property at Gateway doesn’t take to rain easily and when it pours watch out! <BR> <BR> Most of the land in this section of Florida is/was bu... Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:00:04 EST "BLACK MASS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Johnny Depp, the actor, is back! In “Black Mass”, whether fixing a friend with an icy stare from his blue eyes, to the pure joy he shows giving his young son ‘life’ lessons while silently quieting his girlfriend or choking another woman with his bear hands to strangling an informer with a rope, this is Depp becoming the psychopath James ‘Whitey’ Bulgar, not a caricature or using ... Fri, 18 Sep 2015 19:44:34 EST PETER PAN DINER--A RESTAURANT REVIEW (FOR THE RECORD I LOST 20 POUNDS EATING HERE--THIS WAS A MAINTENANCE MEAL) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In 1979 I arrived back in South Florida at the same time the Peter Pan Diner opened and here we both are 36 years later still going strong. <BR> <BR> Though near the railroad tracks Peter Pan is more a restaurant than the definition of the diner being in the shape of a railroad dining car. It is basically 3 diff... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 11:05:49 EST CHUCK: THE ARTIST AT GATEWAY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> There is so much talent among our community residents and it shows up in many ways whether it be in growing a garden, nursing a plant, painting pictures, modeling various forms out of wood and even at pot luck dinners! <BR> <BR> I have already posted slideshows of Irene and Bill’s gardens and some of John’s artwork. This slide show is an example of just some of Chuck’s work. Whe... Mon, 14 Sep 2015 13:02:08 EST I DID SOMETHING STUPID! YES! ME! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (YES, THIS IS A RESTAURANT REVIEW BUT KEEP ON READING!) <BR> <BR> I really don’t like being hard on a brand new restaurant that isn’t even finished but from what I experienced I don’t think I will go back. <BR> <BR> The shopping plaza that the new Buenos Aires Café has opened in has recently been renovated and this particular storefront is a little hard to find especially since they... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 22:57:04 EST "GRANDMA"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “Grandma” is a movie for every woman, grandmother, mother, daughter, any man who has been involved with the aforementioned, and definitely any fan of Lily Tomlin. She has been a force of nature from her early days in “Laugh-In” from 1970-1973 to winning a Grammy for her comedy album in 1972 to an Oscar nomination for her film debut in 1974 in “Nashville” and winning a Tony Award... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:07:29 EST "MISTRESS AMERICA"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> Have you ever sat through a movie asking yourself, “Why am I watching this?” Has an 86 minute movie seemed like 6 hours without any of the embellishments of being an epic film? I know the answer to the first question as I always hope the movie will redeem itself before it is over. “Mistress America” doesn’t do that! <BR> <BR> With a screenplay by Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig that seem... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 11:38:35 EST JOHN, THE ARTIST, AMONG OTHER THINGS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In talking about Bill’s garden I briefly mentioned the artwork, the wood carvings, the birdhouse, that John contributed to the garden. Though it may be hard to see there is a lot of detail in his work. Did you notice the actual bird house is in the shape of a bird’s head? With the exception of the first piece which is in his apartment, and that someone recently bought, John’s work can ... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 11:58:32 EST "LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE"--MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In “Learning To Drive” Wendi (Patricia Clarkson) is a successful writer and book critic who we meet as her husband (Jake Weber) is leaving for another woman. Darwan (Ben Kingsley) is a driving instructor who is an American citizen after looking for political asylum having been a prisoner in India. In addition he is working a second job as a taxi driver and is about to embark in an arrang... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 19:12:40 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 4 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (WILD PARROTS) <BR> <BR> There is no doubting that August in Fort Lauderdale is HOT! HOT! HOT! And let’s not forget the humidity but I love it all. I especially love walking around and just enjoying all that is around me whichever way I turn. <BR> <BR> 1 & 2 Some residents make gardens out of the property in front of their apartments while others make patios and this is just two of them-... Wed, 2 Sep 2015 10:20:19 EST 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