I’ve been reading lately – wait for it – things other than magazines. They are called books. They are neat.
I borrowed one from a friend, Julie and Julia, about a woman in a dead-end job who has a sort of mid-life crisis and decides to cook every single recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the course of a year. It’s a fun, quick read, full of wit and (obscenity-laced – my favorite kind) wisdom. What amazed me, though, is how this woman – not much older than I am – managed to gain such a wide following on her blog as she was doing the project. I mean, literally she starts a blog and the next day has 14 readers. Before long she has fifty, and they all comment all the time and have fights with each other and even send her food in the mail.
I hope you are all sufficiently ashamed of yourselves.
No, but really, did she just tap into some bizarre current below the zeitgeist, a tribe of blog-savvy French food lovers who were looking for a leader? I mean, not to be catty, but the blog is pretty plain. What does she know that I don't (other than how to cook)? This woman got a book deal, national TV appearances, and now gets to write … in her pajamas … for a living. If envy had a name right now it would be Una.
What am I doing wrong? Is it that I don’t have a gimmick? Am I too self-involved (don’t answer that)? Am I not cute and charming? That dude who read the whole encyclopedia and wrote about it got a book deal, too. Come to think of it, so did that guy who ate McDonald’s for every meal. So I guess the question isn’t really whether I need a quirky project. The question is: what will it be? Should I stand in every line at Port Authority on Thanksgiving weekend? Should I wear only hemp clothing for a whole year? Should I do every knitting project known to man?