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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Julie & Julie & Julia

Last night, The Boy came home with a DVD (why do we call them videos anymore or is that just me?) -- it was Julie & Julia. You know, the movie based on the story of NY blogger Julie Powell, who wrote a blog about her year of cooking through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. (Actually, he also brought home a boxed set of DVDs of the entire history of WWII, but at 9:45pm, that seemed a little too intense to get into before bedtime.)

So I'm assuming that all of you have seen Julie & Julia and I'm the latecomer here. I read the book early on in my blogging life and proclaimed it "cute." I really wasn't in any sort of hurry to see the film (obviously) as I'd read the book, despite the adoration of Meryl Streep.

Anyway, watching the movie was something of a very humorous revelation. Yes, Meryl Streep was wonderful. Yes, Stanley Tucci was adorable and sexy. Yes, it made me pine for Paris and all foods cooked in butter.

The humorous revelation actually came from The Boy and his increasingly regular outbursts at the screen: "That's OUR life up there!" "What did they do, put a spy camera in our house?" Or he'd just shoot me a charming look composed of equal parts smugness, martyrdom and incredulity. ("Are you going to write this in the blog?!")

It's not that I would compare myself to Julie Powell at all, aside from the fact that we both blog and yes, our first names are the same. (And the somewhat occasional yet maniacal attachment to our blogs as a representation of ourselves to an imagined audience.) But now watching this movie through The Boy's eyes, almost three years after my foray into blogging, it was a somewhat revealing portrait. I'm guessing that many other bloggers felt the same way seeing this film.

It did make me reflect and take inventory of the color and shape my life has taken since I started blogging. As this blog, tangobaby, was my first and still my "real" blog even though other passions and projects have moved to the forefront, the majority of the lessons learned and connections made have come from here. In the crucible of boring office jobs, a yearning for creative outlet and an unsure self-worth... how many of us fall into blogging? As a combined escape from the mundane or outlet for our desires, the numbers of us out there must be staggering.

I guess I just haven't given much thought to how the practice of blogging as a cultural phenomenon has been portrayed in our society. Although there are many bloggers out there, there are still even many more people who've never read one or heard of one. The Boy made a comment about the future trend of movies will now be based on the lives of bloggers, but boy howdy, I'd much rather watch one of those blogging inspired movies than one based on yet another comic book character.

In retrospect, I can't think of a reason not to blog given where I've come from as a result. This blog in particular may take on different levels of importance depending on what other creative pursuits land in my lap, but I can't help feeling that the essence of tangobaby is at the core of a lot of it.


Adam December 10, 2009 at 8:49 AM  


I am right there with you! I have that very same movie in the Netflix list right now.

The book I read was a suggestion from a friend of mine who reads my blog and realized that the message within the book might ring true to me.

I rang, and it inspired me to finish my passion project. As of right now I am stalled, waiting for the time to send all of this into an editor again and hope to god that it doesn't come back all torn up!

We are all passionate about different things, but it all comes down to the same thing. We are all bloggers with a story to tell.

Louis Duke December 10, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

This is such a great post! I have really been missing your writing. Don't get me wrong, I love your photography, and am all for photo blogs. But when you write, it is like a conversation in my head, I can hear a voice speaking. Your writing flows in a way that most bloggers should envy you.

RNSANE December 10, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

I am probably one of the last ones who hasn't seen the movie! I have to get it this week!

Blogging has saved my life since Mayor Newsom's drastic cuts to DPH eliminated my forensic nursing position of 21 years. I ended up retiring since, at 64, with a mobility disability, there wasn't much left for this ancient nurse. I am amazed at how much time one can spend at this but I have met so many wonderful people and I love it.

Zach VanDeHey December 10, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

This is a little weird that it's your life up there on the screen just in a different form. I watched the movie for the first time last night as well and had a little connection with the way she connected with her blog and what it truly feels like to have people comment on your blog (people that you don't even know and probably never will).

Anyway, good luck to you in the future and happy blogging.

dutchbaby December 10, 2009 at 10:04 AM  

My daughter and I watched this movie in the theater when it first came out. We both loved the movie, especially the Paris parts. Like Louis Duke, I miss your beautiful conversational prose. I'm so happy to get a glimpse of it again.

BTW, I saw Ruth Reichl (editor of Gourmet Magazine) speak at the Commonwealth Club a few weeks ago. An audience member asked her about this movie. She said she hadn't seen it yet and also said that Julia Childs did not respect Julie's cooking skills. It would explain why she never bothered to meet Julie.

Miss talking about food with you. Fancy Food Show's coming in a few weeks; are you going?

smith kaich jones December 10, 2009 at 10:41 AM  

I haven't seen it yet, but now you've got me interested. Perhaps I will bypass Netflix and just rent it this weekend.

So glad to read you here a couple of days in a row. Feels like old times!


Char December 10, 2009 at 12:07 PM  

I've read both books and have seen the movie. I love Julia Child's book and her part of the movie. As for Julie Powell, I felt almost slighted by her book as she was not as kind to her blog readers as she is portrayed in the movie. She seemed rather dismissive of them at first. The movie softened her up a good bit.

I love talking to everyone on my blog - it makes me both humble and supported as I could not have gone through recent tragedies as sanely if I did not have them.

Mandy's Kidding December 10, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

I haven't seen it and haven't read the book. I had no idea about the blogging element. Now I'm curious.

The Sonia Show December 10, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

I am addicted to my blog, Julie, and the comment "Are you going to write this in the blog?!" reminds me of my life with my man David.

He wanted to go to dinner the day Michael Jackson died, but he had to wait while I blogged about it. Yes, my tens of readers are just dying to know what I think about Michael Jackson. He loves to make fun of me for it, but I really couldn't help myself.

An Open Heart December 10, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

I'm with you, I can't think of a reason not to blog....it helps me process.....


Just.Kate December 10, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

I was jazzed by that movie. I mean, it was cute, but I was so puffed up that our little sub-culture made it to the big screen.

Bloggers, unite! I am always telling myself it's silly and narcissistic, but think of the ways you can change a person's day... it's a way to connect with the world, and connection brings understanding, and understanding brings compassion.

See? We're working toward world peace. World peace, baby!

(I love you blog, Julie. I should de-lurk more often to tell you that. :))

Dina December 10, 2009 at 7:56 PM  

I'm in the minority also here... I have yet to see the movie or read the book. But then again I believe I'm the last person in the world who just watched "Frankie and Johnny" for the first time ever.

Got the package you sent this morning. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Thanks, Julie.

Autumn Twig December 11, 2009 at 4:05 AM  

Yikes! I'm a latecomer too! still haven't watched this film but I'm hearing good comments

beth December 11, 2009 at 5:46 AM  

I couldn't agree more !
we saw this movie in the theatre and I made my hubby and daughter come with me and they both kept looking at me, too....

blogging is a huge part of my life and anyone who knows me, knows this about me and appreciates it...those who wonder how I can spend as much time here as I do....on my blog, on other blogs, on the computer, writing...well, they just don't get me....

sfmike December 11, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

It's actually a much better girlie movie than I anticipated, though the blogging section seems terribly dishonest. If I was reading the movie correctly, Ms. Powell was connected enough in the publishing world that she began the blog at Salon.com which isn't exactly starting out in obscurity. And according to her latest memoir, she was having an affair with another guy during the entire year-long blogging and cooking project, making her husband suffer in virtual silence, while generally behaving like the self-absorbed, manic-depressive, attention whore that she probably is. I don't blame Julia Child for giving her the cold shoulder.

Anonymous December 13, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

now i guess i really have to watch the movie. the essence of tangobaby has always kept me coming back. i love your blog and the expression of who you are. and i still very much love our little piece of alaska there in san fransisco. : )

Yoli December 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM  

Well you know I love your blog. I am definitely watching the movie now.

shabby girl December 14, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

Right on, TB! Well said! When Hubby and I went to see it, I got all sorts of conspiritorily, blog nods from him. So funny! I still think it's a wonderful outlet that builds confidence, and offers an outlet for creativity that we might not otherwise take part in.

Anonymous December 15, 2009 at 2:14 AM  

I really want to watch this film.. if it's out on DVD over the big pond, it should hopefully be out here soon.