Monday, April 16, 2007

the no-neck monster didn't get me

I've just been doing not much very blog-worthy. Sitting around eating cheetos and writing in my pajamas is fun, but it's not terribly interesting.

Got a birthday and an anniversary coming up this week, which would be fine except that everyone in my life is having fucking babies. My sister-in-law, who's already got two daughters, is now pregnant with twins. "Sally" is pregnant, and she's only been married like five months. Good lord. You'd think it was a goddamned biological imperative. I've been fighting off the ennui by reading a lot of apocalyptic comic books and listing all the men in the world who need to have their heads smashed in, a la Pan's Labyrinth. (So far, my husband is still on the fast-diminishing list of men who get to keep their faces.)

Oh, and so I'm going to be here this Sunday at 2pm. The Philadelphia Book Festival has arranged what I think is going to be a pretty seriously nifty panel, moderated by Jennifer Weiner, with Elizabeth Gilbert, a wonderful writer who pretty much singled-handedly gave me my career (well, Amanda Hesser helped too - and hey, look! I just used the word "career" to apply to myself. Chilling.) and Darcey Steinke, whose memoir "Easter Everywhere" I have embarrassingly not read, but will be getting to today. Anyway, it should be fun. I hear it might even have stopped raining. Though I'll believe that when I see it.


Blogger Christy said...

I finished your book this morning and will be at the Book Festival this weekend. I'm looking forward to the panel. Jennifer Weiner is a riot. I've seen her at a few readings and signings.

I'm looking forward to it!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Emily Farris said...

I have one for your list. But you already knew that. I just wanted to comment on your blog.

8:21 AM  
Blogger coffeewoman said...

(putting note on calendar)
Out of all the years I lived in Philly, I never made it to the Cook-n-Book. Of course, that means I will now have to show up since it's no longer a hop on SEPTA, but a roadtrip via the "Surekill" Expressway. ;) I'm looking forward to it!

BTW, if you love good food and beer, check out Monk's in Rittenhouse Square - it's like that commercial - "Velcome to ze Hus uv Beer" - they have hundreds of different kinds.

2:29 PM  
Blogger control_engine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When are you coming to the "OC" in California to do a reading?

7:31 AM  
Blogger M. Morgan said...

Oh I really want to go! My brother's birthday is today and we might be having our family dinner that day!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Nancy and Milton's Blog said...

Hi, I stayed up half the night finishing off your book. It has been released this year here in Australia. I put a review of it on my blog if you'd like to take a look.. I just loved it and thankyou for writing a great book. I will be checking into your blog with interest.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Nancy and Milton's Blog said...

Hi, I stayed up half the night finishing off your book. It has been released this year here in Australia. I put a review of it on my blog if you'd like to take a look.. I just loved it and thankyou for writing a great book. I will be checking into your blog with interest. I was using my brain when I logged in before, I used the our family's private blog, hence you couldn't access mine. I do dumb shit alot like this:) Anyway, my blog address is regards, Jo.

12:40 AM  
Blogger sunflowermum said...

Hi, Sorry I have stuffed up this comment business so much. I haven't posted one to blogger before and it is much more complicated than I am used to. Then I had to open a Google account of my own instead of using my parent's one (ie Milton and Nancy), so you have 3 comments from me in one day! Having read your book yesterday, all in one go, I figure you are the kind of person to forgive such signs of eccentricity! I hope that you do contact me through my Australian blog. I would like to know what you think of it. I get about 100-120 hits a day, and it constantly amazes me that so many people are interested in what I have to say.
Ta, Jo

1:20 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

I just found your blog, after just readidng your book - even though I'd heard of it a long time ago. I love your foul mouth and irreverence. It only figures you would be from Austin.

Just wanted to say 'hi!' from the hill country.


4:16 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

enjoyed your book.

and i totally get the joss whedon thing. i've been in mourning since they cancelled Angel.

Can't stop the signal. :-)

12:17 PM  
Blogger Ladybird said...

I loved your book, kept me up all night laughing. Made me want to blog my own self - so, not having a project I decided to write about joy and delight and absurdity, three of my very favorite things. Here is the link:

Thanks for the inspiration and for the helpless laughter - Lisa

ps I totally would have commented on your Firefly t-shirt - no power in the 'verse could have stopped me!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

Thanks for answering my question about the Julia/ Paul scenes at the Philadelphia Book Festival yesterday. It was a really thoughtful answer.

The panel was really great. You were funny and real- which I SO appreciated.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I just started your book and am loving it. I love the idea of it and also how you recreate some of Julia Child's own experiences. I think it will inspire me to be more creative in the kitchen, too.

6:32 PM  
Blogger ensie said...

Holy shit. I love Y. If you're into the apocalyptic-ish comics and want something even weirder, check out Girls.


5:12 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hi Julie,
I am new to your blog (was actually interested in yours after reading about you on Jennifer Weiner's blog) and just wanted to comment on your angst about childbearing.
I am 33 and still single, but nevertheless harrassed by all of my married and child-ful friends to want to have children. I don't know if you want children or not, but I certainly don't (please, before anyone harangues me, I love kids but don't want my own), and no one seems to understand.
I love the comment about it being "a biological imperative." Just wanted to say so.

11:10 AM  
Blogger David Hinske said...

Hey Julie - It's been a while, just checking in. Sounds like things are going well for you. My lovely and talented bride are moving permanently from Memphis to Taos by year end. Holler at me if you two want to come out - the guesthouse is available.

12:49 PM  
Blogger tina said...

Glad the no-neck monster didn't get you, I was wondering about that. Much better to be wooed by Cheetos, as well as understandable. Smushy or crunchy---- now that is the question that separates the women from the girls!!!!

2:05 PM  
Blogger Fuhrig said...

Regarding your late April review of the Twinkie book in the Washington Post:

If you really don't understand the relationship between Roundup herbicide and Roundup Ready soybeans, then you're grossly unqualified to review such a book. The book itself sounds kind of silly, but your lack of understand about where food comes from is what disturbs me. I've heard so many Birkenstock hippie wannabes blather about Roundup Ready technology, it's sickening. Let me educate you and anybody ready this.

Roundup is a broad spectrum herbicide. It kills pretty much anything green. Unlike other herbicides designed to be applied to kill a specific category of weeds (ie, broadleaves) it doesn't linger in the soil. It kills anything green and within literally a few days it bonds with clay molecules in the soil, which break it down chemically into innocuous components. Oh, gosh, it kills everything green! That sounds horrible. It must be an environmental holocaust! No, actually Roundup has done more for the environment than anything I can think of in the last 15 years. Roundup Ready "technology" is simply a plant gene that conveys 100 percent immunity to Roundup herbicide. By far its most effective and successful use has been in soybeans. Now, a farmer can plant his soybeans and spray roundup on the field several weeks later when the crop has sprouted several inches. The Roundup herbicide drips off the soybeans like water but kills all the competing weeds, which would otherwise compete for sunlight, water and nutrients and later gum up harvesting equipment and contaminate the crop with weed seeds. Usually that's the only application needed, but at most a farmer will make one more Roundup application if weeds are especially bad. As a result, no lingering herbicides are used, eliminating herbicide runoff. You also eliminate several extra passes per season that would be needed if traditional herbicides are used, and you eliminate so-called tilling, which for you East Coast urban foodies means running the farm tractor equivalent of a garden hoe through the field. This can be used to some extent instead of herbicide, but requires numerous passes during the growing season. Roundup has sharply reduced the energy input for soybeans, saving farmers lots of money on fuel and reducing carbon output (insert climate-change sermon here). Further, by driving the tractor over a field twice a season -- once to plant, usually only once to apply Roundup on Roundup Read soybeans -- the problem of soil compaction is sharply reduced. This has had a dramatic effect on soil erosion in American agriculture, because water runs off slower from less compacted soil. Reducing erosion has with it further reduced contamination of surface waters with nitrogen or other nutrients, either from fertilizer or naturally occurring, from pesticides, and from plain old stream-choking silt.

Hooray for genetic engineering and Roundup Ready "technology." Boo for ignorant people who think their food comes from Ma and Pa Kettle.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Julie Powell said...

Thanks for the informative comment. I will say very little in my own defense except these small points:

1) I would never argue that Roundup has not made farming more efficient and possibly even safer, in some respects, environmentally. I simply think that something made on such a massive scale by such a gargantuan corporation with so little oversight ought to at least be examined. The Twinkie book never has the least ambition to do anything other that echo the corporate party line on all these products, which is unnerving for a supposedly investigative book.

2) An unfortunate edit of the review cut my comparison of the book to Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma." The supposition that Monsanto is evil is actually his, not mine. Though I will say I'm sympathetic to that view. (There's a line in the review about difference of opinions that now doesn't make much sense, since they cut out the Pollan references.)

All that said, you're absolutely right, I'm no expert on industrial agriculture.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

WOW! fuhrig is a really angry person.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Donny B said...

Hi Julie,

i love your book and am eagerly awaiting the next one...?

Also, I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert after reading Eat, Pray, Love and am curious: how did she give you your career?

7:22 PM  
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