Tuesday, August 25, 2009

stagger lee

The internet makes it possible to re-connect to a long vanished past in many surprising ways. We can now access maps, photos, documents, film, and virtual cemeteries. A small and growing group of alumni from design school began posting notes and a few photos in a facebook group, and now the archive has grown to include all kinds of ephemera from the intervening years. We are spread across thousands of miles, and took wildly different paths. The postings have become more and more creative and are as unlike the dry university sponsored page as can be imagined.

There are also music and cultural connections that are meaningless to those who never lived in our little slice of the south. Another southerner posted a recent "status update" about going dancing - western swing dancing - and I posted a wikipedia link to the official state dances. Of course I commented that the Shag is the official dance of two states. Her response to the video was that it looked like "Riverdance gets drunk at a fraternity party!"

"Shag:The Movie" - starring Annabeth Gish, Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda shows the southern beach culture and dance. For those in UK countries, it is not what you might think! A road trip movie... check it out.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What would Julia do?

Cover of "My Life in France"Cover of My Life in France

I discovered even before my recent marriage that my husband was an excellent chef. I did not realize the significance of the first meal he cooked for me, though.

That meal was a tour de force featuring sole meuniere and a souffle. I discovered that his batterie de cuisine was extensive, and that he had mastered eggs, butter and puff pastry. His well worn and appropriately spotted cookbook collection included the entire works of - Julia Child.

After marriage my walk partner loaned me a book she was sure my husband would appreciate. It was the Julia Child memoir "My Life in France". The Pasadena connection was only one degree of separation - as his step mother had visited Julia and Paul Child when they lived in Paris.

I read the book also - and thought about it quite a bit. My turn to select the book for the Bolgia Book Club was approaching, and I dithered for two months. What book to choose? History (Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson on the current list), adventure ("Down the Great Unknown" about John Wesley Powell's trip down the Colorado River), something new ("The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao") - or something dear to both our hearts?

Around here the term WWJD now refers to "What Would Julia Do?" -- so the answer was simple after all.

It is coincidental that the new movie "Julie & Julia" opens this week as the book club reads "My Life in France"... or is it? The first meal in France that awakened the senses of Julia Child was a luncheon featuring sole meuniere...

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