Monday, February 08, 2010

The Katie Project

From (my other blog) Blog-By-Bike:

My boyfriend thinks I'm just like Julie Powell. That's what I get for encouraging him to watch a romantic comedy.

Between basketball practice, team meetings and publicity events associated with the bj-league in Japan, he is fairly isolated during his downtime - namely because he doesn't speak fluent Japanese. Because of this general seclusion from direct American contact, he is easily swayed to consume any media that is produced in English.

"It was a good movie," Terrence said - something I'm sure he'd be less eager to confess if I had physically dragged him into a theater to see Julie & Julia myself.

"And Meryl Streep was adorable," he admitted - an opinion he was less reluctant to divulge since he has a widely-known affinity for cuteness (Side note: Julie never actually called Julia Child "adorable"). If you ever want to make a 6'9" heterosexual male melt, just send him a link to any "cute kitten" video on YouTube. He also thinks tall, awkward women are more appealing that short, cute women - which was another factor that made this movie an easy sell.

And then he added, "And you are just like Julie."

"What about me is just like Julie?" I asked. "Give me adjectives."

"Just like she is," he replied. "You saw the movie. I'm not going to go crazy typing it all out, but you act like she does." [I suppose I should also clarify that this entire conversation took place via AOL Instant Messenger.]

"Neurotic?" I probed.






I paused, realizing that I had not come up with one endearing adjective to describe Julie.

"Focused," he typed, "And female."

"Thanks for putting a positive spin on this," I typed back.

I'm not sure what kind of picture this paints for anyone who might be reading this blog without ever having met me - especially if one already has a mental perception of a 30-year old, half-Filipina, half-White woman, who is tall for anyone of Asian decent, with a long torso, short arms, long legs and small, exactly-the-same-size feet (an apparently abnormal trait), as determined by the pro bicycle fitter at R&A Cycles a few weeks ago. When I shared my measurements with a coworker at job #1, who is four inches shorter than me, we compared arms and mine were, indeed, even shorter than hers. I can't believe I never realized that I have short arms before, but my disproportioned measurements actually make sense. I am exactly what happens when you mix average-size White genes with much smaller Asian genes: long torso, long legs, short arms, small hands, small feet.

I suppose there are some similarities between us, which may be few to mention - since I don't know the actual Julie Powell anymore than anyone can claim by simply judging a Hollywood dramatization of someone else's life. However, we both live in New York City. We both consider moving from one New York borough to another (a span of mere miles) like changing planets - or, at a minimum, I totally related to the relocation scene at the opening of Julie & Julia.

We both like to eat (though I can name essentially everything that I know how to cook, which someone once told me - as I proudly listed them off - is not actually a good thing). We both work in cubicles - at least until her writing began to turn a profit. We both blog. Anyone, who regularly posts their thoughts on the Internet - with the hope and assumption that someone out there is going to care - is comprised of some level of narcissism. We both use hobbies as a channel for self-exploration; case in point: the blogging we both do ends up being more about ourselves than the hobbies. She has a "Donation" button on her blog The Julie/Julia Project, an avenue for others to make charitable donations to a non-charitable, self-absorbed cause.

We both enjoy writing and attempt - more often than socially accepted in literary academic circles - to make run-on sentences charming. I check my blog everyday for new comments, which - not unlike Julie in her early blogger years - also serves as a daily reminder that my mother is likely one of my only regular readers. And I relish any opinion that anyone might make an effort to share, openly accepting the occasional backlash it may incur, as I'm sure Julie has had to learn, since - through blogging - we indirectly welcome the equal advantage and risk of having people tell us what they really think. The aptitude to be simultaneously vulnerable and thick-skinned is also a characteristic that Julie and I certainly must share.

I suppose one of our likely-many differences (outside of stating my obvious lack of a dominant gene for red hair; then again, based on a few Google images, neither does she) is that she hates the subway more than I do (I still enjoy how my knowledge of it and familiarity with it make me feel like a New Yorker), and she drops the F-word in her previous and current blog more often than I would ever have the courage to use it to color my own writing - mostly because I know how much it will disappoint my parents, who will now be disappointed to learn how much I actually enjoy including it in my daily vernacular. The main advantage Julie has over me is that she began blogging random, inane thoughts before they became cliché.

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