Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Letter From Julie Powell

Day... The Last You'll Ever Hear From L/J&J.

Even though the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project technically ended weeks ago, I've tried to milk every last second out of my 15 minutes of fame by extending this "celebration" period a.k.a. recapping my glorious final viewing party in Denver for all three of you readers who've stuck around. But this is it. The final final post.

It's been a pretty weird year for me to say the least. The first strange thing to happen to me was that the actual Julie Powell left a comment on my first post. And then she went away for awhile... understandably so... After all, this pretty much became primarily a Julie Powell Hate Club. But as much as I hate the she-devil (or rather, the portrayal of said she-devil in Julie & Julia), I respect her accomplishments.

So anyway, the awesome people at Denver Off-Center managed to contact the real Julie Powell to ask her about my blog and she was nice enough to give a thoughtful response. And since her year's work was pretty much the genesis of mine, I thought it'd probably be most fitting that she would get to postmortem The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project, once and for all.

Without further ado, the real Julie Powell:


Lawrence Dai's project was brought to my attention - not by him, I might add - within the first week of its inception.  I read along for awhile, impressed by Lawrence's attention to detail (many of his early entries mirror my own nearly forgotten ones to the point of eeriness), his dedication, and most of all his sense of the meta and the random.

I will admit, after reading for awhile, I got a little soul-sick, just putting myself in Dai's shoes.  I myself have watched "Julie & Julia" 7 1/2 times, and if I ever had to watch it again, at least for another decade or so, I will probably just go ahead and stab my eyes out.  I mean, maybe "The Third Man" could withstand such abuse.  Maybe "Rashoman."  Maybe "Serenity."  But this sweet Nora Ephron movie, made from my fluffy little book?  No one could survive this.

"Surely," I thought, "SURELY he will cave on this, he will give up and get on with his life."  I hoped so, for his sake.  But he didn't.  After a while I read it only once a week, or once or twice a month.  He made a lot of funny points, a lot of sort of painfully right-on ones, and quite a few I disagreed with but found intriguing.  But still.  It hurt me.  Not because of his incredibly fair criticisms of the movie, but because witnessing sado-masochism in such an intimate and daily manner takes a lot out of a person.  Gradually I dropped out entirely, perhaps hoping that if I wasn't reading, it wasn't happening.  So imagine my shock when I heard a week ago, that not only was Lawrence Dai still watching, still blogging, but that he was at the home stretch and doing fine!  That, my friends, is strength.  It's also insanity.  But mostly it's strength.

The whole "My-year-of-whatever" trope has become the tritest cliche of blogs and blogs-to-books in the last few years, but I've always thought that what blogs really do best is chronicle obsession, and the more obscure the better.  Lawrence's dedication, his daily session of flagellation-by-rom-com, moves his project to some place beyond the usual spate of snide one-joke internet gimmicks into something else.  I am not sure what that place is, and I'm not entirely sure I want to, but it is a deep and sticky place and nutty place.  Like pie!

Chin-chin, Lawrence!  May all your dreams come true and your J&J DVD languish in some dusty corner, forever and always!

~Julie Powell


***

Listen, I know I was going to gracefully bow out and let Julie Powell have the last words, but I have to interject. ONLY 7 1/2 TIMES?!!? POOR YOU, JULIE POWELL. POOR YOU. 

Seriously though, it's very cool that Julie Powell sent that letter. And she was super complimentary and supporting of the whole thing... I think...

Anyway, though this is my official goodbye to Lawrence/Julie & Julia, I won't be leaving the blogosphere entirely. In fact, you'll soon be able to find some Lawrence Dai-generated content at typesofbabies.tumblr.com. Follow me if you wish. I know, I know--a tumblr, what? Have I sold out? Yeah, probably. And Types of Babies? What is that all about? You'll see. Soon enough. Probably sometime in January.

But hey. This thing. Julie & Julia. 365 days. 365 viewings. We did it, guys. It's been fucking real.

Mad Respect.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Time I Met Amy Adams' Mom

Day... Does It Really Matter Anymore?

So as you all may know by now, the biggest surprise of the final Julie & Julia viewing party was that Amy Adams' mom, a Denver native, saw the event announcement in The Denver Post and decided to come see what all the hubub was about. Which put me in a rather... awkward position to say the least--seeing as most of my material is basically just me SHITTING on Amy Adams' performance as Julie Powell.

"Hi Mrs. Adams! Pleasure to meet you! Your daughter is the worst person in the world!"

Basically, whenever I said something bad about Amy Adams, I was pretty much saying it directly to her mother's face, which seemed to play well with most of the audience. Mrs. Adams? Not so much.

Anyway, I got the chance to talk to her after the event, where I profusely apologized for the two hour-long hate-fest of her daughter that I put her through. It was a pretty weird interview and she just seemed to be generally confused as to why I would ever do what I did (the fact that I was still wearing the wig and pearls probably didn't help. See for yourself.



So that was probably the pinnacle of surreality throughout the night (not that there weren't many, many competing moments). And afterwards, I asked the question I knew I had to ask--if she had told her daughter about where she was at the moment. And guess what? She'd texted her earlier that evening! Mrs. Adams said she hadn't heard back from Amy (or she just didn't want to say), but it didn't really matter at that point. Because...

AMY ADAMS IS AWARE OF MY EXISTENCE!!!

I guess I can cross that goal off the list. What a weird... thing. The one downside of this whole meeting Amy Adams' mom ordeal is that I guess this will make it much harder for me to murder Amy Adams now. You know, since the family knows I'm out there, silently lurking in the alleyways. But hey, you never know until you try!

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Non-Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "
You had me at hello."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Final Viewing Party Recap

Day... Doesn't Really Matter.

Here it is! A recap of the culmination of my yearlong struggle against Julie & Julia.

THE FINAL VIEWING PARTY! 

As most of you faithful readers know, I was flown out to Denver to watch Julie & Julia for the 365th time by an experimental interactive theater group named Off-Center @ the Jones. I didn't really know how many people would show up or why anyone would want to essentially watch me watch Julie & Julia, but hey, I wasn't going to argue with a free plane ticket (plus a generous appearance fee). Long story, short I didn't know what to expect at all really. And well, the last thing I would have probably expected was...

Over 100 people showed up! They paid $10 a piece! To watch me watch a shitty movie!
Audience members recreated my blog posts! What?!?
And of course, I finally boned a duck.

Here are the highlights (and the lowlights) of the big party that Denver Off-Center & the Jones threw for me two weeks ago. It was quite the wild ride. And by that I mean, It was unequivocally the weirdest evening of my life.



How to summarize my experience? Well, the first thing that happened was the announcement that Amy Adams' mom was in attendance. After that, all bets were off.

It was pretty much anything goes from there--we churned butter, we chopped onions, we made jokes about Not Mark Ruffalo. It was insane. I mean, watch the video, see for yourself. There were sharks, there were vaginas, there were live tweets--Hell, there was even a video message from real life Random Actor Tuesday, Megan Byrne.



Oh, and did I mention? AMY ADAMS' MOM WAS THERE. YOU KNOW, AS IN THE MOTHER OF THE ACTRESS WHO PLAYS JULIE POWELL, MY SWORN ARCHENEMY. I HAD TO SIT THERE AND RAG ON AMY ADAMS IN FRONT OF HER MOM. IT WAS AWKWARD.

But more on that tomorrow. Let me just say that this final viewing of Julie & Julia was, without a doubt, the most enjoyable viewing out of the 365 and probably the most fun anyone's ever had watching this 2-hour long piece of shit movie.

I cannot thank Charlie M. and Emily T., the curators of Off-Center, enough for giving me this opportunity to come to Denver and feel like an absolute king for a day or two. You guys really couldn't have made this final viewing party any better and I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for making it all happen. You guys picked a weird cause (in me), but I'm eternally grateful that you did. The whole Denver experience made it all somewhat worth the pain (the emphasis on somewhat). Thanks again, guys.

Check back later for:

  • My exclusive interview with AMY ADAMS' MOM!!!
  • A letter from Julie Powell!!
  • Other things!

And... soon enough, I will announce my post-L/J&J FOLLOW-UP BLOGGING PROJECT. What movie will I watch next every day for a year? (Hint: No movie. I'm never doing that again.)

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Non-Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "
One does not simply walk into Mordor."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Trailer Park

Day... Who Cares?

The dilemma? How does one go about introducing the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project to an audience completely unfamiliar with the likes of Cheese Guy and Not Mark Ruffalo? The solution? Put together a sweet-ass dramatic trailer along with awesome movie guy-sounding voiceover.



The good people at Denver Off-Center really know how to inflate a guy's ego. Man, I am full of myself. I mean, I was always full of myself--but now, more than ever. HEY EVERYBODY, LOOK AT ME!

Tomorrow: The highlights from the event itself!
Later: My interview with Amy Adams' Mom!
And after that: Julie Powell's final response to L/J&J

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Non-Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "
Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Look Ma, I'm on TV!

Day... Whatever.

Okay, so I know I said I'd slowly wean you guys off the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project by spending the next few days updating you all of my illicit activities in Denver... but then... I had other stuff to do. Or something... you know... final exams to study for... a Bon Iver show to see... a lot of masturbating to catch up on... you know what? I don't have to explain myself to you.

I watched Julie & Julia 365 every day for a year and blogged about it. I've earned this blogging vacation. But now that I'm on winter break, I figure now's as good a time as any to tell you about the time I was on TV for watching movies.

Doomed to be forever known as "Lawrence Dai, Julie & Julia Blogger"

So as many of you know, I was flown out to Denver for the final viewing party. And as a part of that press junket, (I know! A press junket! What? I still don't know what a "junket" is!) I was briefly interviewed on FOX Denver's morning show Everyday! (an oddly fitting name for a show, given my... accomplishment)


My part starts about 5:15 into this video. It was pretty fucking surreal being interviewed on live television. I won't lie--I was pretty worried that they were gonna ask me about Amy Adams and I'd just start swearing prolifically. But I think I ended up doing okay... see for yourself.


Also, here's the cooking segment they did after my interview. Chris Parente, the host, borrowed my Juila Child wig and pearls and did his own little JC impression, but I think I could give him a run for his money.

Anyway, that's all for now--I also appeared on a Denver CBS affiliate and a PBS entertainment show, but those aren't on the internet yet--watch them if you want, but I won't be offended if you've got better things to do. Just thought it'd be cool to share WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH BY WATCHING THE SAME MOVIE EVERY DAY. Check back tomorrow for:
  • The opening trailer to my party!
  • Highlights of the party itself!
  • An exclusive interview with AMY ADAMS' MOM!!!
  • A response from the REAL Julie Powell!!
  • Other things!

And... by the end of the week, I plan on announcing my FOLLOW-UP BLOGGING PROJECT to the world. L/J&J was just a warm-up for this shit, people. So stick around.

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Non-Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "
Yer a wizard, Harry!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

Day... ?

Today, I went outside. I breathed fresh air. I looked at the trees. I didn't watch Julie & Julia for the first time in a year. It was pretty weird. Oh, wait--did I say weird? What I mean to say was, THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD.


But alas, I find myself back here blogging. One can never stray too far from what made one... well, whatever it is one--I--am. But enough about that. Let's tie up some loose ends, shall we? The L/J&J Project has been "officially" over since Tuesday, but I thought you guys might've liked to see how my last viewing of Julie & Julia went. As most of you know, I was flown out to Denver by the Off-Center Theater and they threw me a big bash to go out on.

Little did I know that it was going to involve fan clubs, red carpets, limos and swanky apartments... and that was only on the EVE of my FINAL VIEWING DAY!!



Arriving at the airport and seeing all those people with their L/J&J T-shirts, posters, buttons--that was definitely a top 10 moment in my life (Strangely enough, the other 9 also happened over the course of the next day or so).

I've got a lot of weird and random content concerning my trip to Denver waiting in the blogging pipeline, so I figured I'd stagger the updates over the course of this next week or so. You know, to slowly wean you guys off your Lawrence Dai addiction (A-dai-ction?).

So be sure to check back soon for more fun-filled updates, including but not limited to:
  • Media appearances!
  • The actual final viewing party!
  • An exclusive interview with AMY ADAMS' MOM!!!
  • A response from the REAL Julie Powell!!!
And you thought you were all rid of me...

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Non-Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "
I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 365 - The End

Day 365. 

So here we are. The final day of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project.

I've been waiting to post this screenshot for a long time.

On Sunday, August 11th, 2002, New Yorker Julie Powell began blogging her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She did this because she loved her husband, she loved food, and she loved the sound of her own voice. And in the process she found joy (while the rest of us found her to be insufferable).

I didn’t understand this for a long time, but I do now. Julie & Julia taught me that. But here’s what Julie & Julia really taught me. It taught me discipline. It taught me to never give up. It taught me that even the stupidest of ideas could find a home on the Internet.



Exactly one year ago, I was just another unremarkable snot-nosed college kid, sleepwalking his way through class, spending most of his time wallowing in his own self-pity. But then I discovered Julie & Julia. And then I re-discovered it. 364 times. It’s strange how these things work out—I mean, I’d been looking for a new creative outlet ever since high school, and the fact that it manifested itself in a trivial blog about a mediocre cooking movie never ceases to amuse me (or rather, it never ceases to amuse my friends, who all take great enjoyment from my misery).

But at least I got to be on TV!

As I reflect upon this past year, I have found it increasingly difficult to pinpoint what today’s final viewing really means.

I mean, sure—I have finished my blog about a movie about a book about a blog about a book, but I can only get so much mileage out of the meta-ness of it all. They’ve called me the “nadir of stunt journalism,” which is pretty apt, even if I wouldn’t consider anything I do to be “journalism” at all. Perhaps something can be said about the blog’s relatively small success and the overall nature of the Internet—after all, both the J&J Project and the L/J&J Project wouldn’t exist without it. But, I don’t know—I will try to resist the urge to make some sort of grandiose statement about the nature of my… rather unique and bizarre accomplishment.

The only thing I know for sure is that by the end of today, I’ll have seen the 2009 film Julie & Julia 365 times.


So what does that mean? Well first of all, it’s nice to be indisputably the best at a very specific task. I mean, I think it’s pretty safe to say that no one else on this world has seen the movie Julie & Julia as much as I have. It might not be glamorous, but how many other people can say that? None. None other people.

And aside from all of that, The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project has given me some structure in my life, as strange as it sounds. Like Julie Powell says in the movie, “It's a regimen… It gives you something you have to do every day, one day at a time.” And being forced to write something funny/amusing about the same movie every day has definitely maed me a more better writer-person.

And finally, I like to think that by doing this stupid, stupid thing, I have made some people happier. I have grown fond of my daily readers and I hope they’ve found my antics to be amusing this past year. I do it all for you guys. Really.

And so, here we are.


Some thanks are in order. Thanks Mom, Dad, Lance and Maria for supporting my crazy half-brained schemes no matter now crazy they got—I know it must be hard to be related to me sometimes—so thanks, for everything.

Thanks to Jeannette M. for constantly pushing me to better myself and get up off my ass and do something for a change. You and I both know the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project wouldn’t exist without you.

Thanks to Jack D. for being a constant sounding board throughout the entire year. Friends and supporters come and go, but I can always count on you to terrorize my comments sections with your fictional characters i.e. Rodger Spence and Garrett Popcorn.

Thanks to Brandon D. for believing in the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project before anyone else did, and for sharing it with the rest of the world.

Thanks to Erin K. for her excellent videographing abilities and undying support.

Thanks to Kaitlin S., Annie C., and Jonathan L for never hesitating to help me out whenever I needed a favor for a post. Whether it was an elaborate scene recreation or a simple borrowing of lipstick and pearls, you guys were always there for me.

Thanks to Joseph P., and Green C., for agreeing to live with me, even though you knew about “my little problem.”

Thanks to Alex M., Eli. G., Jonathan A., John G. and Sam W. for cheering me up when I was feeling down. And for being secretly resentful of my HUGE BLOGGING SUCCESS. Not.

Thanks to Sophie K. and her wonderful family for inviting me to their beautiful home for dinner.

Thanks to Scott R. and Heat Advertising for making the mistake of hiring some guy over the Internet that they didn’t know. All those pens I stole from your offices have really come in handy

Thanks to Theo O. for renewing my passion for blogging and for his Beautiful Swear Words

Thanks to Audrey L. for keeping me going throughout the summer. And for making sure I never missed a deadline.

Thanks to Amy R. for just being generally awesome.

Thanks to Charlie M., Emily T. and everyone else at Off-Center for throwing me this ridiculous event and for creating a final viewing experience that has surpassed my wildest dreams expectations.

And finally, THANK YOU, the loyal readers of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project. I think fondly upon you all during the many years of therapy that are sure to come.


***


And that was it, really. A college student at Northwestern University risked his grades, his mental health and his high score on karaokeparty.com to watch the 2009 culinary-drama Julie & Julia 365 times—a movie that changed the lives of thousands of desperate American bloggers looking to land book deals—all in one year. The same year he turned twenty. It was the hardest, bravest, stupidest, best thing a coward like him ever did, and he wouldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of you all, the faithful readers. As someone once said, “You are the butter to my bread, the breath to my life.”

The project has come to a close. We're back exactly where we started, my Julie & Julia DVD, me, the duck I boned, slightly worse for wear, sitting in The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, eating, watching, blogging.
 
So thanks, everybody. And guess what?
 
Bon app├ętit.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 364 - Lawrence & Julie & Julia: A Year in Review

Day 364.

I can't believe it. Today is the penultimate day of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project, which means...

I ONLY HAVE TO WATCH JULIE & JULIA ONE 
MORE TIME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

What once appeared to be a seemingly insurmountable challenge is now well within reach. And luckily for me, the super nice people at Denver Off-Center have promised me that my final viewing of Julie & Julia is going to be the best ever. But let's not get too ahead of ourselves here. I have always taken the L/J&J Project a day at a time, which has gotten me to where I am today--at the precipice of true insanity.

I arrived at the Denver airport this evening, having gotten my 364th viewing of Julie & Julia out of the way that morning. Little did I know what was to greet me at the airport...

I have a fucking fan club! What?!
And they made me buttons!
My face was touched!
And of course, when in Denver, one must Tebow.
They got me a limo!
With an LED ceiling!
This is it. This is when I peaked as a human being.

But I won't spoil all the surprises just yet--for tomorrow is the REAL big show.


Yes, ladies and gents--tomorrow, November 29th, 2011, will mark what may possibly be the most pointless accomplishment known to mankind. Let's just take go back in time for a moment and remember all the good times we've shared. In the past year, I have:
Remember, if you're in the Denver area Tuesday night, come out to celebrate with us at Denver Off-Center! It's gonna be a real hootenanny.

And don't forget--we'll be live-tweeting the whole thing at @denverOFFcenter and @wilesm17 (and occasionally @LarryJulieJulia) with the hash tag #LJJ. Plus, there'll be multiple people videotaping the whole thing, so be sure to check back later for the final uploaded footage. (And yes, that means more L/J&J even after the year is done!)


I can't believe it's almost over...

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Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "So here we are. One day to go and one recipe."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 363 - The Face That Launched 365 Viewings

Day 363.

It's about time I came clean--like all successful blogs, The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project was originally a misguided attempt to impress a girl. Incredibly misguided, really. I mean, like, what? How could me watching Julie & Julia every day for a year possibly get a girl to like me?

I don't know. I was in a dark place back then. I'm in a dark place now, actually. Darker, arguably. Actually no--definitively darker. But I digress. Though I've jokingly touched on it before, now it's finally time to reveal why I started the L/J&J Project, or rather, the face that launched 365 viewings of Julie & Julia.

No one would ever do this for me.

Flashback to last year: A naive 19-year-old Lawrence Dai sits alone atop his twin-XL size bed in his college single. It's 8:00 am. He's visibly tired. It had been a long night, the longest of nights. He had just turned in his final paper for a film analysis class and movies were on the mind. Movies, movies, movies. Lawrence had always enjoyed movies ever since he could remember--from Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather to Francis Ford Coppola's Jack--he liked 'em all. And he especially liked playing movies as he fell asleep, the actors' dialogue helping to drown out his own depressing thoughts of loneliness and despair.

But on this morn, as he deliriously scrolled through his Netflix instant queue, he happened upon a rather unique title--Julie & Julia. Maybe it was chance, maybe it was fate, but at that precise moment, he thought to himself, "Okay, why not? Seems inoffensive enough. It's got Meryl Streep and I don't really care if I fall asleep during it. I guess I'm watching Julie & Julia." Little did he know, with one simple click of the play button, Lawrence's life was about to change forever.

Someday I hope to look up to someone sharing my bed.

The movie began to play, and though he had intended to go to sleep, Lawrence tossed and turned in bed, his eyes never leaving the computer monitor. What was going on? Is there going to be a conflict anytime soon? What purpose does Amy Adams' character serve? Who does that husband character remind you of? Why do they keep cutting back to this blogger lady? Is half of this movie really about a blogger blogging about the other half... what?!? WHY DOES THIS FILM EXIST?!?

Thoughts of dissonance rang in Lawrence's mind. He couldn't take it anymore--he had to tell someone about it. But he couldn't just tell anyone he was watching Julie & Julia at 8:00 am on a Monday morning. He had to phrase it as a joke. "That's it!" he thought to himself. "A joke text! All my friends love it when I send them joke texts!"

They don't.

And he knew just the friend--or rather, someone he wished was more than a friend--a girl, nay, a woman, who would undoubtedly appreciate his wry sense of humor and wit. He furiously thumbed away on his cellphone keyboard, crafting the perfect, somewhat flirtatious, series of joke texts:
Me: Hey, have you ever seen Julie & Julia?
Her: yea
Me: Wouldn't it be funny if I watched the movie Julie & Julia every day for a year and then blogged about it?
Her: nike
Me: What?
Her: JUST DO IT
Me: Maybe I WILL.
So much undeniable chemistry, right? I mean, c'mon--you can't make this shit up. It was love. Undeniable, honest, real love and nothing less.

As true a love as love could be.

And thus, the L/J&J Project was born. I was tired. I was sex-deprived. I was eager to prove this girl wrong--to show her that I was fully capable of action, of emotion. They always say that men fear commitment--well, if this wasn't going to show her I could commit to something, then nothing would. I was going to win her heart by actually following through on a hare-brained scheme of mine. I was going to impress her by watching Julie & Julia every day for 365 days.

I know this sounds kooky and fairly irrational, but what is love if not kooky and irrational? That's what life is all about, isn't it? The grand theatrical gestures of romance? The pledge to do something so crazy, so insane--that a deep passionate, burning love could be the only possible explanation behind it all?

Yes. It was love and it was real. And unfortunately, it was unrequited. 

But that didn't change a thing. After bearing the sting of rejection, I turned back to Julie & Julia, the only thing I'd known, the only thing I had, the only constant in my life. And I gradually recovered.

Because I fell in love with my readers. And myself.

I grew to love my blogging voice and persona as much as I had once loved her. And everything was well again. I found other loves--Meryl Streep, the smell of butter, the feeling of watching the end credits roll. And I met new girls too, all of them completely blown away by my internet fame and dashing good looks. She and I kept in touch--occasionally exchanging flirtatious texts and dick pics--but we inevitably grew apart. She's been an avid reader and supporter of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project since Day 1 and I have her to thank for all of my riches and spoils--both monetary and sexual.

To paraphrase this movie I once saw, "It turned out to be Jeannette. It turned out to be Jeannette all along."

Thanks, friend.

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Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "It's okay. I wasn't in love with him."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 362 - Blog Posts I Will Never Write

Day 362.

There are officially only 3 days left of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project and I'm realizing that even though I've had almost an entire year to wax lyrical on Julie & Julia, I will never have the time I need to truly plumb the depths of this dense film.


And seeing as I'm pretty much out of time, I thought I'd share some of my left-over blog post ideas with you all--things that have been sitting in a word doc collecting dust--remnants of a time where I used to be excited about doing this thing... a time where I was still a whole man, and not the empty shell I am today.

And yes, I realize that a lot of these ideas would've been better than "Julie & Julia Re-Imagined as Deaf-Mutes," but hey, what do you want me to do? Watching a 2-hour movie every day takes time and energy. 2 hours of time and 9 hours of energy to be exact. Anyways, feel free to use these ideas for your own Julie & Julia blogs:

  • Talk about how watching Julie & Julia every day has affected my perception of French people e.g. "None of them are wearing berets and horizontally striped black and white shirts!"
  • Write a song about Julie & Julia, play/sing it, rake in royalties 
  • Choreograph an interpretive Julie & Julia-themed dance, remake Black Swan with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, but only record the cunnilingus scene
  • Paint a portrait of Julie & Julia, then superimpose myself into the painting
  • Julie & Julia in a post-modern context (I was going to do this one, but I never figured out what I actually meant when I came up with the idea)
  • Begin a fashion line inspired by Julie/Julia, call it "Butter"
  • Sew an embroidered/cross-stitching about Julie & Julia 
  • Totally bogus inaccuracies and bloopers in Julie & Julia (this probably could have been funny. oh well)
  • Sculpt some sort of ceramic pottery that has to do with Julie & Julia, done in the style of Ghost, with me as Demi and Stanley Tucci as Swayze

 

  • Invent my own recipe with the worst/best items used in Julie & Julia (I probably actually should have done this one)
  • Go to work dressed like Julie and/or Julia
  • Spend a day dressed like Julie/Julia
  • Do other famous movies if they were about blogs – if The Godfather was filmed as a dual-narrative about an old mafia family killing people and a modern-day blogger killing people in honor of Don Corleone.
  • Julie & Julia: A case for women staying in the kitchen (back when I wanted to alienate my entire readership)
  • Dialogue type things where it's Amy Adams' character from other movies placed into Julie & Julia (this also could have been funny, but would've required me to watch other Amy Adams movies... too much Amy Adams)
  • Talk about how Linda Emond, the actress who plays Simca, is one of the few people to have been in all four original Law & Order franchise shows (Law & Order, L&O: SVU, L&O: Criminal Intent, and L&O: Trial by Jury)
  • Do a lesbian reading/interpretation of Julie & Julia, film a lesbian porn based on said reading/interpretation, jack off to own reading/interpretation
  • Start making hats
  • Start playing bridge
  • Visit Julia Child's grave, place butter on it as a tribute a la Julie
  • Churn my own butter to place on Julia Child's grave
  • Dig Julie Powell's grave
  • Pre-emptively pee on the grave I've dug for Julie Powell
  • Live-stream my final viewing, which concludes with me shooting myself in the head

Damn. These are all pretty good ideas for posts. I probably should have worked harder and found the time do these. Fuck that, though. Someone else can take up my mantle. I'm out of this J&J game. For good. I guess I can still do that last one...
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Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "He spent three days being grilled in a windowless room with a foot-high stack of papers ominously sitting on the table."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 361 - Fan Club Friday

Day 361.

So apparently, I have a fan club now. Which is pretty fucking cool. And weird. But mostly cool. Anyways, the president of the L/J&J Project's "fan club" made a cool little video about it. Check it out.



Wouldja look at that! I'm a cardboard cut-out! And I didn't even realize it until this morning! I'm flattered, Mara. I really am. I've always wanted to be a cardboard cut-out, but I never realized this childhood dream of mine until just now. So thank you. Thank you so much. I guess I can cross that off my bucket list now (Side-note to self: New blog idea--I have to check off everything on my "bucket list," but the only thing on the list is watching the movie "The Bucket List." Every post is about how I haven't gotten around to watching it yet. It ends when I die. Or when I watch "The Bucket List." Whichever comes first).

But all digressions aside, you've probably heard of my big final viewing party in Denver that's coming up this Tuesday. I'm pretty excited about it. Denver OFF-Center is pretty excited about it. You all should be excited about it.



I mean, LOOK AT THIS! Look at how unhinged the people at the event will be! Imagine how unhinged I'll be! THERE WILL BE NO HINGES AT THIS PARTY!

Anyways, I'm going to take this last chance and URGE everyone to buy their tickets soon (they are $10 in advance, $14 at the door) if they have any interest in coming. You can buy tickets and join the fan club at http://www.denverOFFcenter.org/ljj

And check out the facebook event page while you're at it! http://www.facebook.com/events/235635273167261/

If you absolutely can't make it due to "long travelling distances" and "total lameness," we'll be live-tweeting the whole thing at @denverOFFcenter and @wilesm17 with the hash tag #LJJ. Plus, there'll be multiple people videotaping the whole thing, so be sure to check back later for the final uploaded footage. (And yes, that means more L/J&J even after the year is done!)

Anyways, I'm super amped for this final screening of Julie & Julia. Mostly because it will be the last time I ever watch that horrible, horrible movie, but also because the organizers of the event have promised many surprises in store. I'm secretly hoping Amy Adams will be there (she did grow up in Denver) so I can stab her on sight.

SHE GONN' DIE.

Hooray for premeditated murder!

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Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "I just want to savor this moment."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 360 - Thanksgiving

Day 360.

It's fitting that the last holiday being celebrated here at the L/J&J Project is Thanksgiving, a time to spend with family and reflect upon the past year's events. This annual celebration of the harvest, the Native American genocide and the Green Bay Packers being 11-0 is very special time for me--a time to give thanks.

Thanks, Pikachu!
I, for one, am thankful for the fact that there are only five viewings of Julie & Julia left. I am also thankful for the Dai family Thanksgiving tradition of eating Peking Roast Duck for dinner instead of dry 'ol turkey. Which also means of course, you're going to get some scene reenactments from Julie & Julia, quite possibly the last ones ever.


Just like Julie, I knew that by the end of this blog, I would have to bone a duck. But unlike Julie, I didn't really make a big deal out of it. Mostly because my mom did it for me. Hooray for moms!


And come to think of it, even if I wanted to bone this duck, I don't even know what that would entail. I mean, in the photo I'm just pretending to slit this duck. Is that "boning?" Am I putting more bones into the duck? That doesn't make much sense to me. Doesn't she mean "de-boning" the duck? I think most ducks are cooked with the bones inside them--I can't imagine anyone successfully carving a boneless, shapeless duck sack.


Anyways, our duck looked much better than Julie's, in my personal opinion. And it sure tasted better than the Cheez-its I usually eat during this scene.

But that being said, I felt a little guilty afterwards about not boning the duck--after all, the whole point of this blog was so I could summon the courage to bone a duck. So here it is: Me boning a duck.


Okay, so I didn't really have sex with a duck. But I did fuck the shit out of the duck carcass after I had eaten all the meat off it. My parents just refused to take photos of me sexually violating our Thanksgiving dinner. But trust me, it was the best Thanksgiving ever.

Time for a trytophan-induced, post-duck-coital nap. Have a great rest of Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "So thanks, everybody."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 359 - Director's Commentary Commentary (pt. 12)

Day 359.

Twelve 10-minute sections. 120+ minutes of a senile Nora Ephron rambling on about God knows what. We're finally here. The final installment of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project's director's commentary commentary. Collect the whole set! Parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven here.

***

Nora Ephron's Director's Commentary in bold.  
My Director's Commentary Commentary in italics.


This is an actress named Erin Dilly that I’m just crazy about, who plays Judith Jones. And she in fact, is the person who read this cookbook and the first thing she chose to make was… this famous boeuf bourguignon that I still don’t know how to pronounce, even at the end of this movie.

Is it really my responsibility to inform EVERYONE of the correct pronunciation of "boeuf bourguignon?"


And knew when she tasted it that she had to publish the cookbook… even if the title was wrong.

Julia's proposed title for "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" was originally "French Recipes for American Cooks." Which wasn't technically wrong or anything... it was just like, a bad title. Thank God for Judith Jones and her foodgasm faces.


You can see this pegboard at the Smithsonian and this kitchen… this kitchen that Julia finally got to build—a kitchen that was her size. That she wouldn't be leaning over counters.

Yo, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, your architect called--yeah, it looks like he's going to be busy for the next few days designing a kitchen for HUGE FUCKING FREAKS.


And of course, this was a time when news really did come in the mail. And when it was really important, it came special delivery.

Our modern-day equivalent: The important message "!" marker in emails notifying you of a meeting in the conference room. Sometimes, I miss the good 'ol days. You know, except for that whole "slavery" thing.


And this is also a direct quote from the letter that Judith Jones wrote… Julia.

GIGGLEZ LULLZZZZ, Nora Ephron totally forgot Julia Child's name here. And who said brain aneurysms couldn't be funny?


When I first heard that Julia Child hadn’t liked Julie Powell’s blog, I thought it must have been that, that it couldn’t possibly be true.. or she must not have read the blog… she was about to be 90 and maybe she doesn’t have a computer or maybe she doesn’t really… or maybe she just heard about it and hadn’t read it. But the truth was she didn’t like it. 

When I first heard that Julia Child hadn't liked Julia Powell's blog, I thought "WELL THAT MAKES TWO OF US!" Seriously though, why would she like it? It's completely derivative. And nothing that derivative is worth reading. Unless its really, really, really derivative--then that's okay.


I think she was wrong and I think she would have eventually changed her mind, which she certainly did about many things because she wasn’t right about everything. She was sort of wrong about organic food and… realized about 10 years later that she was on the wrong side of that one. Ummm… but she didn’t like Julie Powell—she thought she was being ripped off by her… that Julie wasn’t a serious cook which was so ludicrously beside the point.

Who is Nora Ephron to say that Julia Child wasn't right about everything?!? Shame on you, Nora. J. Child is essentially perfect. Organic food is crap and Julie isn't a serious cook which is totally right on the point. Just because you "directed" a bloated, crappy movie on the woman, doesn't mean you have a right to speak for her.

 
I mean, most of the people who used Julia Child’s cookbook, starting with me, were not serious cooks—we’re just people who like to cook. And umm, and you don’t have to be... one of the things I think Julia was about is that you didn’t have to be a serious cook… to learn to cook from her cookbook and to find the joy that she found... in cooking.

I actually agree with Nora here. Good points, all around. She must have stolen this from Ratatouille or something. +1.


Although obviously on a smaller scale because as much as I love food, food is not all I do. Umm, so I feel certain that eventually Julia would’ve come around. I know she would’ve. My Julia would’ve.

You had me and then you lost me. Julia would not have come around because in real life she didn't come around. She died still thinking that Julie Powell was ripping her off. That is a fact. I know you're all into the "idea" of Julia Child and how everyone has "their own Julia Child," but the ACTUAL Julia Child wasn't into the J&J Project. It's as simple as that. But, that being said, I know for a fact that the real Julia Child would have been huge fan of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project.


And of course this is really the only scene that Amy and Meryl were in together, even though Meryl was on the television set. I guess this is as close as this movie gets to an automobile chase. 

Oh man, Nora is really feeling the fatigue here. First of all, nothing about this sequence resembles an automobile chase in any way. Second of all, "automobile" chase? Really?!? I get that she's old and shit, but c'mon! That wasn't even a phrase back when it would have conceivably been a phrase.


Doesn’t that look fabulous? It isn’t really delicious at all, but it looks great. It sort of tastes like a meatloaf, with, with a kind of thick crust around it, but my own feeling about duck is… why stuff the duck, why not just eat it?

Oh man, I fucking love duck. I can't wait for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Roast Peking Duck on Thanksgiving is a Dai family tradition. And trust me, I will be boning it myself.


This is one of the loveliest nights of shooting we had—it was about 85 degrees on a rooftop in Queens. And those famous, power chimneys, whatever they are in the background that are such a landmark in Queens. And... and Manhattan just out of reach.

Haha, power chimneys. It's amazing how clearly no one gives a shit about these director's commentaries, especially Nora.


And this is the Margaret Whiting version of “Time after Time,” which is gorgeous. Gorgeous song, great singer. And our version of the Smithsonian, which is, which almost looks exactly like the Smithsonian except that in the Smithsonian there is a glass wall between the people and the kitchen and here we have only a rope.

Here's the link to the song, if you want to hear it. Great song. Gorgeous singer. And that just about wraps it up for director's commentary commentary--yup, that stupid little rope comment is the last we ever hear from Nora on this thing. I like to think that she finally just fell asleep at the very end. Two hours is a pretty long time after all. I'd be surprised if anyone actually made it to the end of Julie & Julia without an extensive strength and conditioning program, like the one I'm on.


I thought I'd end the Director's Commentary Commentary series on a good note--a note where there isn't any director's commentary, the way Julie & Julia was meant to be watched.

It's been a fun ride.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

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Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "And call me the second you hear back."