So, this is the closest I got to my Anne of Green Gables fantasies on our cruise to Canada (other pictures here). We were in Nova Scotia, not quite to Prince Edward Island. So close, yet so far!
The past two months have been transitional for me, as I started a new job at Little Lights Urban Ministries. It’s a great organization that works with kids in public housing in DC. The big thing that has been consuming my time is a fundraising banquet and silent auction coming up later in October. (You should attend!) Hopefully I will not auction off my soul before it’s all over, and through all the stinking details we’ll remember that “it’s for the kids!” –as a coworker in one of my old internships used to say. He was making fun of liberals though.
So that explains the bloggy hiatus, and twitter too. (Ha!)
That’s not all that’s been going on though– I’ve started my Rosetta Stone Spanish lessons! This is a huge victory. I can now say, “El perro esta comiendo” (the dog is eating) with complete confidence if I happen upon two people at a campsite while I’m on a hike, and they ask me what the dog is doing. (This is a real Rosetta Stone example!)
Also, we started watching Mad Men. Also, we got rid of cable! It’s almost as big as the time Eliza Joy got her first pair of designer jeans. Or when I finally got wise and abandoned my purple huffy bike. It’s probably still sitting, rusty, on a bike rack by New Cabell Hall.
So, my summer reading was completed with Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child, with Alex Prud’homme. Mom sent them to me after we both saw the movie (albeit 14 hours away from each other– sad face!). ML and MJ (Mom and I) agree that Julia Child and her story are a lot more likeable than Julie Powell’s. In Mom’s words, “This girl’s grandmother should’ve taught her mother better!” However, without Julie Powell, her blog, and the subsequent movie, we probably wouldn’t have picked up Julia Child’s memoirs. Julia strikes me as such a positive person, but not in the annoying way you might expect. The book is peppered with her exclamations, like “Wow!” and “It was a triumph!” Of course, Meryl Streep is fantastic, per usual, as Julia in the movie.
Both Julie P. and Julia C. become more aware of themselves through their experiences, as they take on a project or a goal that each one assigned to herself. That’s something to be admired. It’s inspired my friend Megan to put her money where her mouth is, so to speak, as a self-proclaimed Jane Austen fanatic who actually needs to read all the books. (I haven’t done that either, Megs!)
I don’t have a particular project to take on as a result of immersing myself in Julia Child-world, except to be a better cook. And that seems especially daunting after reading about all the French dishes Julia mastered. Plus it makes me think of all the projects I’ve left undone. . . However, I love that at 40-something years old, Julia Child was exploring and taking on new things, and still trying to discover what she loved and was meant to do. She also emphasizes that it just takes a lot of work, and for her, lots of time and experimenting, driven by her desire to understand the ins and outs of French cooking. I’m certainly guilty of desiring instant gratification and success, so it’s an important lesson for me. Also, it may point to a key difference between Julie Powell– does success mean getting a book deal from your blog?– and Julia Child, whose success was hard-fought and will likely endure far longer.
Those are my thoughts. I can’t believe it’s October! Along with Eliz and Bernie, we’re brainstorming on how to create the best Mad Men costumes. . . heavy drinking and smoking should be involved. Happy fall!