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?