The_Lego_Movie_posterYesterday, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and I didn’t even have to plan it.

Seeing two movies in one day just worked out without much maneuvering.

I have been trying to get to see the movie 12 Years a Slave for weeks. But I live in a certain part of New Jersey that tends to favor RoboCop, which you can find playing at the four major theaters close by, over important movies confronting our country’s history of racism and slavery, which is playing at exactly one theater, twice daily.

And one of those times is after 9 p.m. and I can promise you I could never go to a movie that started that late – I’d be asleep in my popcorn by the end of the trailers.

I have to be honest: Initially I didn’t even really want to see 12 Years a Slave. I had read and heard about the brutality depicted in the movie and just didn’t know if I could deal with it.

So when my friend, Susan, and I decided to sneak away to see it in the middle of yesterday afternoon, we kind of joked on the ride to the movie theater that it was going to be like eating our vegetables for society. A veritable Brussels sprout of a movie.

So it turns out, boo hoo for fucking us. As another friend had noted when we ran into each other in the CVS parking lot in town last week and I told her my reluctance to see the movie, she answered, “It’s a movie everyone should be required to see.”

And she was right.

It was often hard to watch and totally intense the entire two hours and 14 minutes – really, not one glimmer of any levity other when it briefly shows the main character’s home life prior to being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

This is no Roots. No slaves are getting married and jumping over brooms.

They are beaten and raped and treated like animals.

Susan and I walked out of the theater a bit stunned when it was over with another couple – a husband and wife – who had met us there.

“Remind me never to join you girls for a movie again,” joked the husband to the three of us ladies standing kind of dazed in the theater lobby.

“I’m going to go home and drink a bottle of wine after that,” said Susan, and I had wished I could join her, but I had other plans.

In order to swing the mid-day Saturday afternoon movie, I had arranged for my little guy to hang out with friends and then meet up with them at another movie theater down the highway to see the The Lego Movie 3-D. 

If there ever was an antidote for the slavery experience, it’s Will Ferrell playing an evil Lego.

Will Ferrell as Lord Business.

Will Ferrell as Lord Business.

The movie is very cute, especially if your kids – like mine – spent hours and hours of their childhood building Lego creations and have bins and bins of the little plastic pieces still sitting in your basement, just in case someone gets the urge to build a spaceship.

But even though I am really good at just sitting and doing nothing for hours on end, I felt a little antsy by the end of the movie. And seeing two movies back-to-back kind of took away from each of them.

You couldn’t really digest what just happened. Or at least that’s how I operate. I’m a muller.

So there is was, a dream-come-true day filled with slavery and Legos (oh, and I did find lots of wine in the end).

Wondering what else was going on here last week? Let me help.

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600px-Hello_my_name_is_sticker.svgMrs. X

When I was in the end stages of my divorce a few years ago and struggling with whether I shouldreclaim my maiden name, my college roommate advised against it.

“What are your kids’ friends going to call you?” she asked, and went on to explain how her high school boyfriend’s mom was always Mrs. Whatever, even though she and her husband had been divorced for ages.

“You’ll always be Mrs. X,” she said. (READ MORE … )

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photo-9Are You a Goodreader?

In my semi-​​retirement, when I am not eating or thinking about eating or making lists of things I’d like to be eating, I find I am catching up on things I was never able to get around to while I had a job.

Things I just didn’t have the time to do. (READ MORE … )

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photo-10Flat Abs! Great Sex! And Other Lies We’re Sold

My 11-​​year-​​old son looked at me not long ago while we were sitting in our kitchen and said,“Mom, you should get flat abs.”

He had just been looking at the recent issue of Women’s Health sitting on the counter that I had picked up in theory for its recipes but in reality because of the picture of Heidi Klum on its cover and the FLAT ABS NOW! that screamed alongside her and her bared and toned tummy. (READ MORE … )

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