[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBUA3cgKQdQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b] A few days ago, our wonderful neighbors, Thomas and Roberta, lent us their Netflix copy of Julie & Julia. I had mixed feelings about seeing it. I harbor a small kernel of Selfish Resentment towards the Intrepid Julie Powell. I know I shouldn’t; I know it’s wrong. I know it is Small-Minded and Petty of me. But, a wee, small voice in my head still whispers, “Why her? Why not me?” Rude. My soul is sometimes ugly and bumpy, like a big toad. Not to take anything away from toads, mind you. I’m sure they’re nicer than I am, without pesky forebrains to make them mean. At any rate, the movie stared at me for several days. Not only did it stare, it spoke to me. “You know you want to. It’s Meryl, after all. And Julia. There wouldn’t have been a Julie without Julia. Come on; all the kids are doin’ it. It’ll make you feel good.”
Finally, the red envelope wore me down, and The Beloved and I cozied up on the futon upstairs with Kitten Camille to take in Julie & Julia. And it sucked me in from the opening credits. The movie, especially the Julia part, simply fizzed with joy. Meryl Streep was somehow able to drink in the Fizzy Lifting Drink that is Julia’s soul and project it into my heart. I cried in recognition of the passionate and unaffected soul of a true food lover. I alternately grinned through my tears, and cried through my smile, as Julia was brought to glorious, giddy life right before my eyes.
I don’t want to take anything away from the Julie part of the movie. We both empathized with Powell as she fought her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. We were dismayed for her when she failed and thrilled for her in her triumphs. And still just a little bit bitter. So maybe I wept, just a little, in self pity when the offers started rolling in.
I know that I am absolutely not disciplined enough to set a one year deadline for cooking over 500 recipes, so huge kudos go out to JP for setting–and meeting–such a challenging goal, all while the life was slowly being sucked out of her by her, well, life-sucking job. As much as my Toad Soul is able, I am happy for her success. In my bright, sane, fully-realized-human-being moments, I can say, “If it can happen to her, I can make it happen for myself. I’ll just make an Oprah-style Vision Board and get on with it.” I even cried when she made the pilgrimage to the Smithsonian to see Her Kitchen. Julia’s Kitchen is a holy place. That scene also reminded me a bit of one of my Absolutely Favorite Movies Ever: 84 Charing Cross Road. (If you haven’t seen it, you simply must. I think you’ll understand the connection immediately).
If you’ve seen Julie & Julia, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on it. If you’ve been on the fence, I advise you to jump down firmly on the side of See It. It is a delight.
And that concludes the Sublime portion of our evening. Let’s get on with the Ridiculous, Shall We?
After I stopped weeping and The Beloved felt that he could stop patting me, we decided it was time to read for awhile before going to sleep. We wandered down the stairs and noticed a rather Unpleasant Smell. Immediately, we began looking in the Usual Places. No dice. Until The Beloved wandered into our bathroom, in which we have a Temporary Litter Box set up during this cold, cold weather.
Now, the kids generally do their business outside, but we do have several litter boxes in the garage, should they feel the need for Man-made Shelter while eliminating. Plus, there’s the One in our bathroom. That one is deep. I mean to say, it has high sides. We purchased this model because Kitten Camille went through a The Tub is My Potty phase. We figured that, if we could get a box that was tub-like, she’d use that. Hence the high sides. High sides are great if you’ve glued the box down to the floor. If you haven’t, it’s not. Kitten Wally likes to stand on the edge of the box. Kitten Wally is getting Rather Large, so he accidentally tipped over the box. And can I just state for the record: The horror–the horror.
So, there I am in my cute black tank top and green flannel pants (with Christmas ornaments all over them–Keeping Toasty knows no season) and sweeping up Crazy Cat Crystals and Other Items off the floor at 12:30 am. All the rugs went in the wash, and then the Mopping and the Spraying of Lysol commenced. It was quite the production, let me tell you. Crazy Cat Crystals were popping under my Birkies, the kittens were all very curious as to the cause of this strange flurry of nocturnal activity, and The Beloved was banishing the Tub Box to the garage. In short, the Household was in an Uproar.
It just goes to show you that it is best to Master the Toad whenever possible. I’m pretty sure that The Universe, which frequently indulges its perverse sense of humor, was giving me the Smackdown for being less-than-100% thrilled for Julie Powell. So now, chastened, I would like to say to Ms. Powell, “Hearty Congratulations on your success. You have earned all good things through hard work, dedication, perseverance and unwavering devotion to your muse.”
And now, I am off to make my Vision Board.