The other week, I was in a funk; feeling discouraged and lost. My shoulders stooped and face slumped in a frown, I was acting in a way that my husband described as “being a grumpy goat”, (you headbutt someone once while bleating and that’s the nickname they give you). Although I think it more references my inability to cause any actually damage, my bleat is no worse than my bite. Lifting this mood required some heavy artillery: “Julie and Julia“.
Following a big dramatic sigh, I make mention of the movie as being the antidote to my mean reds.
Ben scrunches his face like being offered that fifth helping at Thanksgiving dinner. “You know? I’m good on that”.
How can you be good on J&J? It’s quite possibly my favorite movie ever–top five at least. I love Nora Ephron.
I love Meryl Streep.
And I love this story. And I love how these two women find their passion in unexpected places.
When I was really working overtime on my writer’s block, I would bake. Muffins, scones, slices, cookies, and organize them in little Ziploc bags for the freezer. It can be very soothing, baking–but it doesn’t get any writing done and it makes your pants tighter. In fact since I’ve started the blog, I’m rarely in the kitchen, and I haven’t baked in months.
Now this is Ben’s turn to sigh audibly.
He’ll open the freezer, and heave a sigh of disappointment. “Remember those meat pies you made? They were good…and those cookies, I miss those”.
But I don’t have the time, the patience or the kitchen bench space.
Neither did Julie Powell, who started her food blog in a tiny kitchen in Queens.
In a year’s time she did 524 recipes, and then wrote about it. No wonder she drove her husband nuts. I’m just writing about writing and some days I can be a prickly pear. I really don’t know how she did it–not five minutes ago I accidentally pressed publish on this blog when there was barely a few lines. I then mashed buttons desperately, as if trying to turn back time(–and listen if Cher can’t pull it off I don’t have a hope in hell). I screamed at my computer like in one of those slow motion sequences you see in action movies when someone is hanging out of a helicopter and your grip on their hand is loosening. So, I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be trusted de-boning ducks and molding meat aspics. But as both Julie and Julia know, sometimes you just have to eat your mistakes. Or as Julia Child once did, if you drop food on the ground, just scoop it up and pop back in the pan, it’ll be fine. We’re all human here, put up your hand if you’ve never made a mistake.
Okay, guess who’s being a show off.
So now that I’ve slopped this blog back in the pot, I’ll try to shape it into something appetizing, or at least, edible. “Julie and Julia” is by far one of my comfort food movies, and I saw it a solid couple of times when living in Australia. I really identified with Julie as she was turning 3o, and was a sort of non-writing failing writer. She connected with Julia Child because she was a late bloomer, she didn’t become a fixture in popular culture until she was in her fifties. Her success story has a ‘its never too late’ kind of flavour, which is a real comfort to gals like Julie and myself. And within a year of writing her blog, Powell found success as a writer. Everyone wins at the end of this movie. And it always makes me cry.
Another thing about this film that I love are the husbands… some one the most supportive husbands in cinema are in this movie.
I also have an extremely supportive husband. He is the reason I am able to work on this blog daily.
When I first saw this movie, the thought of having a blog seemed so foreign, so “that’s something that someone else would do” that it’s remarkable to think that its now a part of my daily routine. But he has supported me, and loved me and made countless meals, and is a champion in the face of my occasional grumpy-goatness. It makes me realize that the poor bastard really deserves a lovely meat pie now and again.
And I will head straight out to the shop to get him one, because I’ve got more writing about writing to do.
All Images Courtesy of Google