Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just Being Myself

I've had enough of trying to make my blog look and sound like other people's blogs. That never works, when will I ever learn?

So, I'm just writing what I want, how I want. Get it?

Until I slip back into old habits and start stealing glances at others again, comparing myself to them and, invariably, finding myself wanting, and trying to be just like them again. Oh, it's so junior high!

The Viking and I went and saw Julie & Julia last night. Or is it Julia & Julie? Julie & Julia rolls off the tongue easier so I'm going to assume that's the right one. No, I am not going to Google it, as usual.

I casually mentioned, after seeing a commercial for the movie while loafing on the couch with The Viking one night this week (and, can I interrupt myself to ask, "Is there anything better than loafing on the couch in front of the tv with the husband of your youth with whom you are still very much in love after 15 years shackled together?" And, of course, the answer is: Maybe a few things, but not much), so I mentioned in front of my fellow couch-loafer that I would like to see it. The movie. About Julia Child.

Two days later, I get a text message from self-same couch-loafer: me, you, julie & julia, friday night, your mom has [Man-Cub] (punctuation and capitalization mine; The Viking, unlike me, does not adhere to proper grammar and punctuation in text messages). Aw, what a sweet guy. But, don't think him too much a martyr, he actually liked the movie, though there are several friends to whom he would probably not admit it.

I have been thinking about checking out Julia Child's work for a while now. I've recently learned to cook and, though I never would have thought it possible, have been secretly wondering if I might be ready to take that next heady step and embark on the journey of learning to Master The Art of French Cooking. I never said anything to anyone, not even my cooking buddy, Lobelia (who, it may be stated here and now is a vastly better and more talented cook than I will ever be), but it's true just the same. So when I saw the ad for the movie, and that Meryl Streep was in it and, by all accounts, brilliantly portraying Julia herself, well, I was there.

Of course, after seeing the movie, I have an unbearably urgent need to go buy the book. Julia Child's book, not Julie Powell's book (the former is a necessary classic, the latter is full of profanity and Republican-bashing and there is no need, or room, for that in my home.) I wanted to go right out immediately and get it last night. But we had other pressing matters to attend to. Like finding a place that serves Boeuf Bourguignon, Floating Island and Raspberry Bavarian Cream in South Jersey at 10:30 on a Friday night. Let me tell you, we live in a culinary wasteland. The only places open at 10:30 on a Friday night are Fridays, Friendly's, Applebees and dance clubs (I don't even know the names of any, I'm so old and farty). Well, as Applebee's certainly wasn't going to cut it, we had to settle for one of the area's institutions, a diner that is more like a family restaurant that's been around for over 40 years, always serves great food and is reputed to be the only place that keeps an immaculate kitchen in the entire area. Have to say, while not being sublime French food, the French Onion soup, Cinnamon Rolls and fresh Side Salad were simple and fresh and good and did just the trick.

I found the movie to be inspiring. I hate saying (or even thinking) that about anything that comes out of Hollywood, but it's true. I would have liked the whole movie to be about Julia Child, but the modern parts were certainly tolerable and marginally amusing. I had not known that Mrs. Child began her cooking career so "late" in life. She was 37. I am right now 37. She, according to the movie, did not really know how to properly chop onions or boil eggs. I, actually, do know how to do those things reasonably well, though I'm sure if someone showed me how to do it properly there would be room for improvement. She was a rather ordinary woman (though with a diplomat husband because of whom she was forced, forced to live in Paris), a housewife who decided to learn French cooking because she loved it so much and wanted to delight her husband's sophisticated palate. Incidentally, how is it that The Feminists are not howling about this movie? Well, she didn't have children, so that probably appeases them. She wasn't happy about that, but it's probably easy to miss or choose to ignore that part. And she manage to make a ton of money (though she did it with her husband's last name. As did Martha Stewart. But I digress).

Anyway, while I recognize I have some limitations that Mrs. Child did not (namely a much tighter food budget, limited access to really great ingredients here in this culinary wasteland, two somewhat picky children--though I hardly think Mrs. Child would have counted them a limitation so I need to just knock that off--and, I confess, a rather high level of personal ignorance in regards to the finer things in life), surprisingly, I feel that if she could do it, so can I.

I can't believe I just said that. That is so unlike me!

In other, unrelated news, yesterday, Man-Cub and I went out with Daria and rediscovered the wonders of the free county library! We each took out two books and I took out two movies and I can't wait to cuddle up with them!

Now I just have to decide which to choose first!

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