Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Joy of Blogging: Julie & Julia

I just finished re-watching the movie "Julie & Julia" after finishing the book by Julie Powell in the last 2 days. I had bought the book for my mother last Christmas, but didn't even think about reading it myself until my persistent sister-in-law practically shoved it down my throat. I liked the movie well enough. Amy Adams may be the most adorable creature on the planet now that Meg Ryan's face has slowly been shifting like fleshy tectonic plates. And Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep. But I watched it on a four inch screen en route to Australia, so my mind wasn't really on the film. (I was imagining all the gorgeous, tall, tanned, sexy accent speaking man candies that awaited me Down Under.)

Wow, this picture is big. But aren't they just fabulous?

I do remember thinking about Julie and her blog upon this first viewing. I've always been curious as to how cooking can possibly be interesting enough to blog about. There are countless cooking blogs out there, Julie's being one of the most famous. But how exciting can it be to describe melting butter and burning stew? The answer is, not very. But after devouring Julie and Julia (the book, not the people. If I had to go cannibal, I'd probably go for Ben & Jerry first), I humbly apologize for my judgmental and narrow-minded thinking. For one thing, just because I don't give two shits about cooking, it doesn't mean there isn't a vast and varied audience who thrill over the latest kitchen appliance or method to zest a lemon. But I reached a more important realization as I raced through the pages, laughing hysterically, tearing up a bit, and relating to this 30 year old married woman obsessed with butter (not a butter fan, myself, if I can see the fat I'm consuming, I'm not interested) and Julia Child (a pop culture icon that I am familiar with, but never really glommed onto). It doesn't matter what you write about, as long as you have a passion for it and a unique voice.

The thing I loved most about Julie's book was how she captured the joy of blogging. Putting bits of your soul out into the universe and just hoping that someone will spare a few minutes to humor your narcissistic ramblings. Obsessively checking pageviews. That thrill when you get your first appreciative comment from a total stranger. The validation that you aren't completely wasting your time. Having something to look forward to even if you don't have a lot going on in your life. Maybe your job isn't as satisfying as you always dreamed it should be. Maybe you have problems with family or friends or significant others. Just knowing that you can lose yourself in a seemingly pointless yet oh-so-satisfying blog eases that frustration immensely. And reading other bloggers you've stumbled upon and developing friendships via the beloved comment section, that's just awesome.

Good on you, Julie Powell. Livin' the dream.

Like Julie Powell, I have a hard time following through. As with most bloggers, I fancy myself a writer. But I rarely finish things if I start them at all. I have such ADD that I can only focus long enough to spit out a couple paragraphs about Stan, karaoke, or my running toilet. At least Julie stuck with a running theme and did it for an entire year. Now she has a book published, another one on the way, and a movie roughly based on her life with the most adorable creature playing herself. It's the dream. I was stoked that I just made it over the $10 mark on my ads (meaning hopefully I'll get a check and take myself out to Subway like I promised myself I would). I like that I write about different things every time. Keeps the bit from getting stale (one hopes). It just means that Amy Adams will never play me in a movie based on my life. If anyone plays me it would probably be Phyllis from the Office.

This is more my destiny.

So the long-winded point I've been trying to make is that even if you don't care about cooking or Julia Child, read this book, then watch the movie. I personally find cooking boring, time-consuming, tedious, too much work when you can just zap a frozen burrito, and causes an excess of dishes, my least favorite chore. Like baseball, if it's not any fun to do, how can it be fun to watch and/or read about? But Julie has such an effervescent yet down-to-earth voice. I can just hear her breaking down over a ruined roast chicken, or chattering excitedly about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one of the few interests we actually share). I now plan on tracking down her blog and seeing if it's just as good as the book. Blogging gave her a sense of purpose, a "regimen" as she calls it. An exercise in writing, and in sharing your passions with the world. Or the few people kind enough to stop by. So this has given me renewed inspiration, especially since it was hard to keep up my work out while lounging about at home in front of the fire, playing with cute babies. Bonus.


  1. I loved the movie. My mom used to watch Julia Child when I was a kid. I've always been a bit interested in cooking and watching her get drunk and make stuff was always entertaining.

  2. I may have to find a few of her shows online if I can find them. I do like cooking shows sometimes. Food porn is always nice. I'm just too lazy to actually cook. Julia is quite the character.

  3. I'm totally guilty of starting my blog cause of Julie & Julia, which of course ended up as a general blog, haha... and then yesterday, I realized that I couldn't cook compared to this beautiful hapa man I was assisting in the kitchen :(