I Am Groot

True Confession: I love the Marvel movies. Unless you think me immature, no, I wouldn’t marry them. I’ve been married to my favorite engineer for going on 48 years, so clearly, he ranks above Marvel.

My grandchildren like the franchise, and I love anything that brings me on to the same plane as them. I have one grandchild who stands head and shoulders over the rest in her love for Marvel – Ella, it’s her picture from 12 years ago that is on my blog header. She is my go-to for all questions Marvel, and I must admit she is more than a little obsessed. I love that about her! As a former collector of various useless things, I get her obsession and try to live vicariously through it whenever possible.

Marvel mixes action, adventure, and sci-fi with enough humor to lighten the load of explosions and annihilations. As you may have guessed, they had me at humor. At the top of my list of humor-adding characters is Thor, Antman, Drax, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Rocket, and Groot. The last four star in Guardians of the Galaxy 3, which was released to theaters last week.

I perused the internet to see if there would be any promotions going on at the theaters during opening week. The best I could come up with was a commemorative ticket available only on Sunday, May 7. We made on-line purchases for our tickets for that day, showed up at the theater, showed them our digital ticket, and they gave us a paper one. How is that for a weird turn of events?

I never would have expected to see any of the actors from the movie at our local Altamonte Springs theater, but there he was, poking out of a brick pillar – Groot! This is the first celebrity with whom I’ve ever had my picture taken. I’m glad I was dressed appropriately. I must say I blushed a little when he said, “I am Groot!” He’s quite the charmer.

I’ll give the movie 5 stars. Plus, I love the music from Guardians. My toe is constantly tapping out the tunes from Peter’s awesome mixes. You can’t sit still in your seat – it’s that good. I was sad to see the end of the franchise, but one never knows when the Guardians will show up in a universe as crazy as Marvel.

Meanwhile, Groot continues to make me smile. He graces my Christmas tree every year and hangs around my house with little plants popping out of his head. Sometimes when I don’t know what to say to Bob about a subject, I just say, “I am Groot.” That seems to cover it.

Firsts and Lasts (and a movie review to boot)

This week Bob and I ventured back to the local AMC theater. This was our first movie in over a year, (thank you, COVID.) Frankly, I have not missed going to the movies, but Bob really has. That is why I conceded to go to a movie called Chaos Walking starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. It also featured David Oyelowo, whom I loved in A United Kingdom. (You should watch that one.)

This was the best choice available for us; but as we watched it, I felt like we chose the runt of the litter. Yes, it was a movie and was pretty clean, but it was Sci-Fi, which would be okay in a lot of movies, but I lost track of the sci-fi-edness of it fairly early on.

What was it that I hated about this movie? As I’ve thought about it, my dislike of this film has grown since we saw it on Monday night. That night I thought it was just “meh.” I gave it a C-. By Tuesday I dropped that to a D+, and now I’m having to wonder why I was so generous in the first place.

To quote IMDb, this movie is “A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.”

I should have read that before going, but I focused on Daisy, whom I liked in Star Wars, and Tom was a good Spiderman, so I was open to giving it a try. One positive note, I will never again struggle with what dystopian means.

I asked Bob later – what made us want to see a movie about an imagined world full of fear where you can hear the noise in each other’s heads? Don’t we get enough of that on the news and social media?

He did agree, but I know deep down in my heart that it was worth it to him to sit and eat popcorn with me in a darkened theater while safely distant from the other four people who plopped down eleven bucks for the same experience.

SPOILER ALERT: By the second act of the movie, surprise, women were found not too far away. They were running the show in their community because you couldn’t hear what the women were thinking. Selective communication was a big plus. The men’s thoughts were shouted from them in an annoying din. They separated the living areas by gender because the ladies couldn’t stand the noise. I get that – I felt the same way from my seat in the theater.

This was the only thing suitable to talk about after the movie. The “noise” had gotten on my last nerve. Sometimes I can barely stand the noise in my own head much less watch and hear the noise of every male in this movie. I surmised that maybe the women’s thoughts weren’t heard because as a gender we can have more of an emotional base. I don’t know; and whatever the reason if they even had one, they never told us. They didn’t even hint at it. Worse still, we didn’t care.

You’ve been warned.

That was my first for the week. I likely won’t return to the theater until the next James Bond movie debuts.

I also had a last this week, which ties to my age, and that age also means I get to sign up for Medicare this year. I thought it was a reason to celebrate, and I suggested that to my gyn after completing my yearly exam, but she had a full afternoon ahead of her. Aren’t we supposed to celebrate the little things? Yes, we are! Can you guess what was my cause for celebration and why I thought this was the fitting way to celebrate? (Hint, I don’t think it’s lady-like to mention this in mixed company or on a format that would make my sons roll their eyes and say, “really, Mom!”) Cheers!

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Sunday Night at Home with a Movie

Today I’m taking my inspiration from my good friend Debi Walter and her wonderful blog The Romantic Vineyard. I’m not referring to Debi as my good blogging friend or Facebook friend. We literally have been friends for 40 years, and she is every bit as wonderful in day-to-day life as she is on her blog. Actually, she is more so.

In case you’re not familiar with The Romantic Vineyard, check it out here. It provides “a rich harvest of ideas to help your marriage grow.” It says so right at the top of the banner.

Debi and I are as alike as we are dissimilar. She writes a romance blog. I write a humor blog. Clearly that’s one way we’re similar. Okay, we both write. I’ll leave it at that.

When I read her Five Friday Favorites – At Home Meal and Movie Dates, I was inspired. I told Debi that I was wondering what I would serve for my home meal and movie date.  What would go with some of my favorite comedies? She told me to go for it, so here you are.

First, the disclaimer, Debi is a wonderful cook and she loves cooking. It is one of the ways she shows love. I view cooking as something that I have done more than enough, but I am willing to cook – if I have to. I’m even a pretty decent cook, but the thrill is gone. One of the ways people can show me that they love me is to cook for me. I’ll just put that out there in case anyone needs an idea. Already you can see why Debi and I have a well-suited friendship.

Favorite Comedies (not exhaustive, of course)

Movie #1 – RED with Bruce Willis – All this movie needs is a glass of red wine. That’s how I read the cover.

Movie #2 – Groundhog Day – This takes a little more planning. The night before, make a double batch of whatever you’re cooking and save enough to serve during the movie.

Movie #3 – The Help – I know this one is not a comedy, but it has its moments. It made Debi’s list, too. All you really need here is a big batch of chocolate cream pie served at just the right moment.

Movie #4 – Back to the Future – hamburgers, fries, and a Tab or something else without sugar in it.

Movie #5 – The Big Year – wings

Movie #6 – Fever Pitch – I try to watch this on Opening Day of Baseball Season. Hot dogs and beer with sides of peanuts and Cracker Jacks is perfect.

Movie #7 – The Court Jester – Perhaps my all-time favorite comedy. It doesn’t matter what drink you offer as long as it’s not served in the Chalice with the Palace. Try the Vessel with the Pestle instead, but be careful you don’t break it and have to use the Flagon with the Dragon.


Do you have any movie pairings you can add to the list? What are some of your favorite comedies?


This is Post #28 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post every day in April.


Dumb and Dumber Pre-View

Think about the last 20 years of your life.  What has happened?  How have you changed?  Do you remember where you were 20 years ago?

Because we were responsible parents, Bob and I were sitting in a movie theater watching Dumb and Dumber.

Twenty years ago Bob and I had four kids at home, ages 15, 13, 10 and 7.  We were in the throes of parenting.  Our oldest two had broken into the teen years.  Everything was shifting.  We were going from navigating our children through Disney movies to a pop culture which we weren’t comfortable with and which we didn’t want influencing them.

IMG_2554-0Before the kids could go to a movie, Bob and I would go see it and give it a thumbs-up or down.  This was a pain sometimes.  We didn’t particularly want to see Dumb and Dumber, but we were told, “Everyone was going to see it.”  Our oldest assured us that he could handle it (my least favorite phrase ever).

So we slinked into a Friday afternoon matinée hoping no one would see us.  We grabbed our popcorn and diet coke and braced ourselves to watch a stupid movie.

Now, I am good for an easy laugh.  I write a humor blog for goodness sakes.  But I was not prepared for this movie.  Bob and I laughed so hard we almost fell out of our seats.

Our kids were waiting at home for the results.  We came home and told them, “This was one of the funniest movies we have ever seen.  We laughed until diet coke nearly squirted out of our noses.  You would love this movie, but you can’t go see it.  It’s crude and inappropriate in so many places.  We’re sorry.”

There went our Popular Parent award.

Now our kids are all grown.  Full disclosure – we own this movie (though we won’t let our grandchildren watch it.)  So can you guess what we’re doing this weekend?  That’s right, going to see Dumb and Dumber To.  It’s not to preview it for our children; we want to see what old age is like for Harry and Lloyd.  We need to answer the dramatic question – Did poor little Billy get scarred for life by holding a dead bird which had its head taped on?  And will we ever know what became of that little home-wrecker Fraida Felcher?  Mostly, we want a good laugh with a little story wrapped around it.

Our youngest son Scott has offered to go see this first and make sure it is suitable for us.  We assured him we can handle it.




I saw the movie Noah and can’t pass up the opportunity to review it. You may be thinking – what kind of movie review can I give that would be consistent with my blog, Life on the Lighter Side? So, I have come up with a list of all the “light” moments of the movie.

Here it is:

1. Uh, let me think. There must be one somewhere.

2. No, nothing light about that.

3. Sigh…  I don’t recall any light moments.

This is not a light subject. The story is about God being grieved with the corruption and violence on the earth and His plan to use Noah to build an ark to preserve mankind and animals.  Judgment.  Redemption.

The film is based on scripture, but it is fictionalized, of course. Without a doubt, creative license is used. There are no first-hand accounts of how the ark was assembled. By now (spoiler alert) you probably know about the “rock people” that helped Noah. These creatures didn’t bother me at all. They made me think of the scripture from Luke 19. After Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the crowd was joyfully praising God in loud voices. Some Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke his disciples. Here’s Jesus’ reply from Luke 19:40, “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

I know it’s a stretch, but I couldn’t help but think that if stones would cry out praises to God, God could make them into creatures to build an ark with Noah. God is all-powerful and creative, after all. Of course, He also could have sent angels to help or He could have spoken pieces of the ark into place.  He could have given Noah the strength of ten Noahs, plus one.  He has so many options!

The part I really didn’t like about the movie was the depiction of Noah’s and God’s relationship. I wanted to see more that reflected this. Genesis 6 tells us that Noah walked with God and that makes me say, “Wow!” I do appreciate the difficulty of capturing that on film, especially by people who admittedly don’t walk with God. Of course, movie producers and directors have their own level of power, and I don’t expect any scriptural accuracy at all, but the lack in this area ruined the movie for me. Okay, ruin may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean (or do you?).

In closing, I need to tell you that Bob and I went with another couple from church to see the film.  We had differing views of it.  Bob thought the movie was terrible.  I thought it was okay if you took away the fact that it was supposed to be about Noah and pretended it was an action flick about some guy building a boat to avoid a flood. Our friend liked it and even applauded at the end.  That said, I guess you shouldn’t pre-judge what your reaction will be.

Here’s one of my favorite “theologians” telling the story of God calling Noah to build the ark.  Enjoy!