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Armchair Adventures: Julie and Julia

May 4th, 2010 by bsmith | Filed under Mondays are for Dreaming, Uncategorized.

I will confess yesterday was the classic terrible, horrible, no good ,very bad day.  I decided to take the tests for both my classes on the same night.  So I spent most of the day studying and reading, only to find when I got to class, that the key points I thought I knew so well had just flown from my brain and the 20 point question was on something that I didn’t quite understand from last semester.

I didn’t feel like I was a stellar mom either.  My littest guy had multiple tantrums, I made the mistake of asking his preschool director for parenting advice.  She gave me an answer that made sense for any ordinary kid, but my gut tells me that it won’t make sense for this particular kid, so I ended up still confused and angry that I had revealed my parental incompetence.

When I got home I turned to Netflix to find something to escape my troubles, usually a fruitless endeavor.  Then I came upon it…Julie and Julia.  I had heard a little bit about the movie, starred Meryl Streep and Amy Adams,  directed by Nora Ephron, what did I have to lose?  What hadn’t clicked for me is this is a movie about blogging and travel.

 A few minutes into the movie the Ah Ha moments started coming fast and furious.  Both characters spoke to me.  I appreciated Julie’s vunerability, her attempt to learn how to focus (also my quest), and her insecurity as she wondered if anyone was listening to what she was writing…well are you? 

Like Julia Child, I am learning more about where my passion lies and how I can pursue it.  I was inspired by the fearlessness with which Julia Child approached her life and her career.  I think that my approach is characterized by timidness and that’s something I need to try harder to overcome.  I’m heading to a blogger Mom’s Night Out on Thursday, and I’ve been desperately trying to find a friend or neighbor to go with some so I don’t have to approach that crowd alone.  Hopefully Julia’s spirit will embolden me to just march in, start introducing myself, and  passing out business cards. 

 Jared, my littlest guy told me this morning, “Mom, I’m so glad you’re a blogger so you don’t have to go to work.”  Funny how the little person in my life can remind me of my ultimate goal, carve a place for myself as a writer and a business person so I can be there at 2:30 when the kids come home from school and spend the summer days at the beach or at LEGOLAND.

The other thing that was wonderful about this movie is that it reveals to us how Julia Child fell in love with France.  This woman’s passion for the food and people of France has inspired me to dream of dining in Paris and taking in the Louvre.  A few years ago I read an article about a  bicycling  tour  through Provence.  Well, I would need to learn how to ride a bicycle…but wouldn’t the adventure be worth it?

It was a very powerful experience watching a movie about a person falling in love with a country, and it reminded me of how my visits to Latin America have transformed me as well.  Perhaps in my journey of self exploration it’s time to get back to that.  I’m wondering if food would be a way to reconnect.  Perhaps its time to learn how to make crispy Venezuelan arepas and Argentinan empanadas de choclo.   I would love to learn to make those gorgeous pastas  a la Roquefort.  Don’t get me started on the ice cream…we may be in Buenos Aires this December and the ice cream store is the first place I will be heading with my kids.  I have never tasted ice cream like that anywhere else in the world.

I may go on to read the book or I may not.  I did a little online research and the real Julie Powell is very different from her idealized movie counterpart.  Just as Julie enjoys the myth of  Julia Child, but is challenged by the real life person, I prefer to hang out with the idealized blogger and chef for a while before exploring the grittier side of her rise to fame.  I do, however think I’ll pick up a copy of My Life in France and enjoy Julia Child’s french adventures.

If you are interested in joining me on this armchair adventure here are some suggestions:

My Life in France (Movie Tie-In Edition) (Random House Movie Tie-In Books)

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen

Julie & Julia

Although it’s not Monday, I am including this post in The Mother of All Trips  Mondays Are For Dreaming blog roundup.  I hope it inspires other travelers and bloggers to do some dreaming of their own!

Happy Trails,


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