Yeah, yeah ... I know I haven't exactly been diligent about posting. These last few weeks have been kinda dry (in terms of wine, anyway).
But I did get out to see a movie. I know, A MOVIE! A NIGHT OUT! Dear Grammy was in town and graciously offered to mind The Doodle while Hubby and I enjoyed an evening to ourselves.
Dinner was at The Grand, an Italian joint down in the Byward Market. Ottawa's got its share of mediocre Italian places, so I was skeptical about this one - what made it different than all the rest? The borderline sports-bar atmosphere didn't impress me much, but the food certainly did. Fresh bruschetta spiked with fragrant basil on crisp crostini, followed by a reasonable portion of gnocchi bathed in a rosemary-infused rosé sauce (for me) and spaghetti with meatballs (for him). I skipped the wine, but Hubby had a glass of the Gabbiano Chianti, which was surprisingly fruit-forward (Robert Parker probably loved it).
Then we went and saw Julie & Julia (Hubby's recommendation, no less!). Clever writing, nice little bit of rom-com without being too syrupy, and plenty of spectacular dishes and culinary adventures. Awesome performances from Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci as they reenacted Julia and Paul Child's life together during the domestic goddess's breakout into cookbook stardom.
It was the premise of the film--self-conscious wannabe writer starting a blog about her passion--that was particularly inspiring to me. I found myself relating to Julie's familiar joys and trials of blogging: having "fans" and dealing with not-so-pleasant comments, keeping the content fresh, forever wondering if anyone out there was actually reading this stuff.
There was plenty of self-doubt, triumphant success and laughs as her dogged persistence and humour kept her going through all 365 days of recipes. She endured the pressure that comes from fitting this project in with full-time work, family responsibilities and marriage. It all worked out in the end, of course (I should think so, what with her blog being turned into a movie and all).
It is a struggle to make something out of a passion without a) resorting to half-assed results or b) alienating one's nearest and dearest. Oh, and doing it all while getting a mere five hours of sleep (or less) a night. GOOD TIMES.
Through it all, there is the Pillar. The VP of Common Sense. The husband. Both Julie's Eric and Julia's Paul were there, through thick and thin, a font of support for their far-less-than-perfect wives who were trying to make something out of the passion that drove them. They put up with more crap than most weaker men could endure and still came back. They injected wild passion and soul-stirring devotion into the day-to-day routine. And they looked smokin' hot while they did it. Definitely familiar subject matter.
At the end, I threw my arms around Hubby's neck, kissed him and said, "Thank you for everything. I love you so much ... even though you're not a saint."