Monday, January 18, 2010

The Hollywood Square

I think it stems from a very long (imaginary) love affair Hollywood and I have had with each other since I was 5. In a house devoid of all male presence- (except for Leo, but he is a dog- and our two cats, who are also male, but clearly gay and would support my ventures...) I was free last night to do something I don't get to do that often. Watch TV by myself. All by myself. Whatever I wanted- with no arguments, no rolling of the eyes, no interruptions to change a diaper, the station, or fix dinner. I was free to watch the Golden Globes and oooh and ahhh at the glamorous lives of my Hollywood female counter-parts (imaginary...see?) as they graciously accepted their awards for whatever role they were nominated for. ( Which, by the way, is there any other group of people outside of Hollywood that feels the need to honor themselves more? On the flip side, would I be as intent on viewing the National Plummers Awards- and the golden plunger goes to...? I digress.) I have on more than one occasion delivered my acceptance speech to a bed-full of stuffed animals, a bathroom mirror, a grid-locked highway of motionless traffic, (oh yes- it has continued into my adult life.) And I believe that this is the heart of my affair- it is pretend- it is one of those things that takes us from our daily lives and just like a Hollywood movie puts us into someone elses fantastic cineamatic one. I think Drew looks dreamy. (Who would dress me I wonder? Again, I digress.)

Awarded for a role she had to beg for. Playing "Little Edie" in Grey Gardens opposite her "Big Edie" mother Jessica Lange, the Bouvier-Beale girls showed that regardless of how very little you have, you can still be and feel glamorous. (And a little wacky.)

It also showed an amazing relationship (okay, maybe not entirely healthy-but come on, who's is?) between a mother and daughter.

After the GG's I further indulged myself and watched Julie & Julia, a movie I have wanted to see since it came out in the theater. (We rarely go to the movies- we let them come to us. Ah the economy....)

From reading here, you know I love to cook. So that really was the reason that I wanted to see the movie- I have heard from more than one source that Meryl Streep is the movie and that it should just be called Julia- and part of me really got that- I wanted to be transported back to post war Paris and not post 9/11 New York- to see the recipes being made, not duplicated- to see the joy of Julia's everyday life unfold, not the tedium of Julie's. But for me, and forgive me a moment for being self-indulging, I completely identified with Julie as well. I have laid on my kitchen floor and cried like a child (or maybe it was more like swearing like a truck driver-yes, that is it) after ruining Ezra's birthday cake at 2:30 am the day before his party- and burning the inside of my oven with overly-oozy cake batter. My veins have coursed with joy at my first Thanksgiving turkey. I have had dinner parties for family and friends and held my breath until the first bite has been consumed, waiting for a sign that it is indeed edible, maybe even good.
And although it was only a year long experiment, Julie Powell put her life out there- to whomever might be reading. She used her blog, much like I feel I do- as a sounding board, a creative medium, a psychiatrist, a friend. All the while, sharing her (our) triumphs and woes. (Incidentally, we started our blogs on the exact same day- just seven years apart- I don't know that that means anything, I'm just saying....)

While with Julia though, we got food- really good food- when everything here in the US came from a can or a box, she was creating bits & bites of homemade magic. When women's place was in the family kitchen- not the Michelin rated one, she was carving a new niche for us to be in. Julia was revolutionizing after the world had just been through the biggest one of all. She was making her own way for women and food and butter.

What an amazing life she and her husband Paul had. What an amazing love for each other -and for food. She found new discoveries around every corner of the everyday. Through her triumphs and determination we got so much more than recipes. I received a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking as a wedding present from a friend who is a fantastic professional chef- she wanted to give me something that has meant a lot to her professionally and personally and I must say, I have only opened it a few times. Now maybe I can see why chefs hold this book so dear. I know I will hold it a little tighter, and open it a lot more.
Now I think to myself, here are two sets of women- the Beales and Julie & Julia- real people- real life that has been imitated for the silver screen. Stories based on peoples everyday that are being made into award winning movies. To me, it just goes to show you never know what is around that corner, what happens after the bend in the road. So as I go on in my everyday, I will continue to give my acceptance speech after my showers in my beautiful terry-cloth gown. I will continue to watch the award shows and movies. I will continue to venture in the kitchen. I will continue to write to you, and report about my life-the imaginary and the real one.

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