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 appétit.

90 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I have to say that a aspect of my lifestyle is truly going to be losing without this weblog.google

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  2. Woooow, I'm happy for you that its over!

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  3. oh my goodness I almost cried reading this

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  4. I'll miss this, Lawrence. Please keep writing, and please keep sharing your hilarity with the world. We're better off with your dumb jokes and half-brained ideas, no matter how silly it all seems. Thanks for everything.

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  5. No information/pics/summaries of the final viewing party? :( And even though you hate it, I feel like you should thank the movie and its makers--because without it you wouldn't have the blog or the internet fame.

    Still, good final post! Tomorrow may be your happiest day ever!

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  6. I'm hoping you'll have another blog because your sense of humor amuses me.

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  7. Congrats! I can't believe you did it, I've enjoyed following you on your journey!

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  8. zach s. from boulderNovember 30, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    I'm so sad, and I never got to be your nemesis.

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  9. I'm gonna miss your wit, but I'm happy for you. I couldn't stand this movie. Well, I couldn't stand half this movie, and I think you know which half!

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  10. Magnificently welldone! Enjoy your party today!!!

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  11. Thanks for adding a touch of whimsy/absurdity to my day during this past year. I will miss reading this!

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  12. This was seriously amazing. I'm going to miss your posts. Too bad you had to go insane to please the demands of many many readers. Looking forward to future projects.
    Happy Therapy!

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  13. Congratulations on a job well done.

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  14. Congratulations on completing this amazing journey!

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  15. I put the movie on to go to sleep to in your honor last night. I don't think I stayed up past Julie and Eric moving into their Queens apartment. I actually LOVE the movie. Possibly because it has NYC and food in it, 2 of my favorite things.

    Congratulations and good luck on your next endeavor Lawrence!

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  16. I will never be able to watch this movie again without thinking of your posts and laughing to myself. Specifically, I loved the post with the GIF you made of Julie hitting the plastic bag out of her way! Hilarious! Congratulations for making it to the end, and you better let us know what your next blog is soon so we can get our daily fix of Dai!

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  17. Very nice last post, very nice! But, what will your readers do now?!?

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  18. Oh, I'm sad that it's over! Great job and I wish you well in your future (and in future therapy.)

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  19. I admit, I'm impressed.

    www.tesskonter.blogspot.com

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  20. I followed your blog from day one and it's been fun! Best of luck to you Lawrence.

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  21. Congrats. For several months this has been the 1st thing I've read each morning...gonna miss it. :)

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  22. Congratulations Lawrence! I've also followed you since the beginning and have loved every minute of it. Tomorrow will be a sad day when I open your blog to no new entry.

    Best of luck to you in whatever next adventures you embark upon!! Jen

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  23. Thanks Lawrence for a fun year. Keep us posted as to what you'll be up to next!

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  24. Congratulations!! I will miss your blog.

    FYI, I read your blog every day for a year having never seen Julie & Julia...

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  25. I'll be sad not to have this blog to read everyday anymore. Every time my friends suggest watching Julie & Julia, I'll be thinking of you. Thanks for a hilarious year, I've had a blast reading your thoughts :)

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  26. Congratulations! It's been a lot of fun for those of us who didn't have to actually watch this movie every day. I look forward to seeing what your next project will be!

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  27. I almost shed a tear. I'm so sad that this is over. I've been following you since day 2 or 3 and it's now apart of my DAI-ly routine. What will I read while drinking coffee and pretending to actually work?! :(

    Congratulations on making it through and I will miss your posts. Please start a new blog so I can continue to stalk, er... follow you! :)

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  28. Thank you man. This blog has kept me constantly amused for an entire year. Hopefully the PTSD isn't too awful.

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  29. Noooooo! I am so sad it is over. I will miss your blogging. Keep posting!!!

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  30. Congrats on what must have been an extremely tedious task! You made it man! You effin' made it!

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  31. Yay! It's finally over!!! congrats on completing the year, i'm glad you got something out of it. (I've been reading your blog since the beginning, i'm not sure how i found you)and i think i'm going to actually miss you! :( good luck with whatever you do. :)

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  32. I will miss your blog. You're a great writer, and I've been following your blog since Day 8. Please keep blogging :)

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  33. Thanks for a fun and tasty year, Lawrence. I dedicate my next batch of potage parmentier to you.

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  34. Congratulations - you made it - to the end and never missing a day, a moment and so creative in all the ways you did watch this movie. Was looking for something entertaining blog wise and I found it!! Hope that you do a final final post with the part recap.

    MO

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  35. Congratulations! Now time to go through and record a directors commentary on each of your blog posts every day for the next year...? Think of the little people Lawrence :D

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  36. Congrats Lawrence! I must say I haven't been following this blog much, but I admire you for your persistence in writing each day to accomplish this feat. You kept producing work - for an entire year, and that's hard stuff, but you've done it. Good job!

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  37. Congratulations. I feel the need to cry, pathetic as that may seem.

    I've been following your blog since almost the very beginning. I can't remember when exactly I began following your journey (though I really wish I could), but I believe it was within the first month or two. It only now occurs to me how many hours of Julie&Julia that translates to, you know? Like, for me it's just like "Oh, I think I started a month or so in" and for you it's like "Oh, you started after I'd already sat through 30 or 60 hours of Julia&Julia." I've read every single post of the entire blog, save for maybe a "Feedback Friday" here and there, and I have to say that a part of my life is truly going to be missing without this blog ;_;

    What you did was awesome, and I can't tell you how naively jealous I am of your success and fame. You've made a name for yourself. You've affected the lives of hundreds of individuals whom you've never met and will never meet. Your name will live on after you die. I cannot stress how jealous of you I am that you came up with this idea first.

    Anyway I have to do homework like for serious but I'm SO proud and jealous of you and I wish you the best in the future. May you milk this blog for every last drop of anything it's worth.

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  38. I'm proud of you Larry D!

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  39. I'm hurt that the nearly constant sense of inspiration I know I instill in you didn't garner me a thank you.
    That aside, congrats.

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  40. We love you Lawrence!!!

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  41. Congrats, Lawrence.
    Please post pics, movies, etc., from the party and do keep us updated. It's been a fun year (well, for your readers at least).

    Best,
    KJK

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  42. Congrats on finishing you silly son of gun!

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  43. P.S. I just donated a few bucks... I think all of your readers should... as a late "thank you" or early Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus present, to make sure the blog is funded into the future, or just so you can buy another movie now.

    Get to donating, loyal readers!

    KJK

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  44. Dear Lawrence,
    I have been reading your blog every day during lunch since Day 3, so your ritual has kind of become my ritual. Thanks for the daily entertainment for the last year. I will miss it (even if you won't)! Cheers! :)

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  45. BS THAT I DIDNT GET SHOUTOUT i spread this to at least 12 institutions of higher education. that being said, congrats dood. youza champ
    -laily

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  46. Thanks for entertaining me for a year, and congratulations on finishing. I'll miss this blog, fer sure.

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  47. Texas forever, man.

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  48. How do you measure a year? Never thought to do it this way xD Thanks for all the laughs. It really helped. Congratulations!

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  49. Congratulations on a job well done, Lawrence! I am very proud of you!

    BLC

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  50. Congrats and thanks to us your loyal readers, who have also stuck it out and read your blog for 365 days!

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  51. This morning, the duck, the huge bag of onions, the leftover berets, the beer bottles, the confetti . . . all of it was picked up and thrown away. But you, Lawremce Dai, will forever remain a part of Off-Center's history and a constant humbling reminder that "we are people who latch onto stupid ideas."

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  52. Sorry for spelling your name wrong :) -Enily

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  53. Delightful idea, brilliantly executed. A genuine treat every day, thank you.

    Now: To read this entire blog every day for a year and write about my thoughts on it. Blogception....

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  54. *Applauds*

    Way to stick the landing.

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  55. Congrats. I completely admire your follow-through on this... I half expected you to stop posting after three months:) I enjoyed making you a part of my daily routine. Please keep writing!

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  56. I've been following you daily since the beginning, and I have to say that this is awesome. Good job on finishing. Good job on not breaking down in public whenever you hear certain Julie and Julia trigger words. Good job on being snarky, sarcastic, witty, and an incredibly funny person.
    ...
    Julia

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  57. It's over - I cry. Thank you for keeping me well entertained, now what am I going to do with myself?!

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  58. I've read this everyday since day 10 - my days will feel so empty without being able to come here and read your hilarious thoughts. As stupid as it sounds, I feel like I'm losing a friend. Congratulations, man.

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  59. Wow. I always figured someone from Rockwell would blow up and make a name for themselves, but I never figured one would be this internet famous this soon.

    Congrats Lawrence. May you milk this for all its worth -- after 730 hours of Amy Adams you deserve any and everything that comes your way.

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  60. Hopefully, you'll keep the blog going a few more days (without watching the movie) so we can get an update on how you are transitioning to a post-Julie&Julia life...

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  61. omg I'm gonna miss this sooo much!! :(

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  62. Congrats man! So are you going to write a book about a blog about a movie about a book about a blog about a book? hahaha I hope so, it always made me laugh.

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  63. You did it, Congrats!! Am really gonna miss this blog. Made me happy...Incidentally, you DON'T have to watch Julie & Julia today (on my birthday!!). My small way to say thanks for the many, many laughs. Hope you keep blogging. You're a true original. :D

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  64. Your blog began a couple of weeks after my daughter was born and I found the blog while staying up with her til dawn while my husband slept soundly. You kept me entertained during countless middle of the night feedings and when I wondered what I had gotten myself into, I'd read your blog and think, "at least I don't have to watch that crappy movie everyday" and I'd totally feel better. My daughter is now 1 and now your blog is complete and I'm sad that part of my life is over. I'm pregnant again so please come up with something as torturous as the LJJ project so I can once again be entertained at those late night feedings. Thanks for the laughs and congratulations!

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  65. now that the full, 365 day limit has been reached, it's time to archive this blog in printed form. yes, a book about a blog about a movie about a blog about a book.

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  66. Congrats! I started reading 6 days in, and just kept reading to see if you'd make it after all. Congrats!

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  67. I especially enjoyed the ones where you tried to cook/bake... Kudos for finishing!

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  68. Thanks for the laughs, Lawrence. I'll be watching for whatever you do next!

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  69. i'd like to hear about the day you don't have to watch the movie for the first time in a year. is it sweet, sweet freedom??

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  70. congrats!! I read every single post, and they were always very entertaining. good luck in life!

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  71. woohooo,you did it!

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  72. CONGRATULATIONS!! way to go lawrence :) good luck with your future endeavors!

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  73. Strangely, I'm kind of sad now.

    I'm amazed and awed that you managed to watch that movie every day for a year. That is a special kind of torture and shows a lot of gumption and strength of character.

    Please update here if you start any other wacky blogs- I'll miss you in my blogroll! Good luck in the future!

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  74. this post was beautiful. i hope no-one tries to usurp your post now.

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  75. Your blog started almost the same day my husband deployed for a year, so it's been a countdown of sorts for me as well; I soooo appreciated the guaranteed chuckle every day, Lawrence. I'm keeping your blog in my bookmarks, otherwise it will look empty without it. I'm sure you'll be up to another stunt in no time, your dedication to this idiocy is impressive!

    Side note, I was going through a friend's pile of books they were getting rid of and came across a copy of Julie & Julia. I literally shuddered; so I guess it's safe to say that you have permanently formed an impression on something that I had none on before-wow.

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  76. Thanks for a hilarious blog Lawrence!

    It has been fascinating and sickeningly satisfying to observe you unwind and then recoil back to sanity over the past 12 months.

    You inspired me to view Julie & Julia once and it's a film I wouldn't inflict on anyone a second time - never mind another 364 viewings.

    You are AWESOME! x

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  77. I have loved this journey and am truly proud of your efforts. Well done!
    Cynthia - who also sometimes posted as "anonymous"

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  78. congrats. this has been one giant leap for mankind.

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  79. Im so proud and jealous of you. All the best for the future you crazy bastard! xx

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  80. I just found your blog while looking for a quote from the movie for my blog which is NOT at all about cooking or the movie. I'm sure you have the quote I'm looking for somewhere buried in your head. Everyday for 365 day? Wow!
    Best of luck to you!

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  81. i LOve this movie! and the story is SO interesant! congratulations! <3

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