Quickbooks. Also, Julie Powell and I would not be friends

Friday, January 22, 2010
Andy’s computer gave up the ghost last week. He went to turn it on and instead of getting his desktop, he got a black screen with an error message. The computer was older and not without a few issues so the passing didn’t come as a shock. Now he has a brand-new laptop with a 17” screen and I have a new external hard drive because the thought of computers just crapping out has always filled me with a bone-tingling shiver of fear. (I backup really important documents on a flash drive, but now I have room for all of my pictures and music as well.)

In addition to the new computer and hard drive, Andy also purchased the 2010 edition of Quickbooks. That may be jumping the gun a bit, we’re a ways away from needing to do our own accounting for a small business. But are we? Am I?

When I really think about it, I have a hard time justifying not having a small freelance writing business. As long as I’m not initially dependent on the business for income, why not start it up? Start up and operating costs are extremely low for a writing business, especially since I already have a reliable computer and now, accounting software. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I could do this, even in a small town, as long as I keep my services broad: from articles to marketing material to editing and proofreading. I’m three years out from college and finally figuring out how I want to form my life around my degree.

But you have to realize that it took me six months to decide to start a blog. Also, I don’t really know how to start a small business.

Now for something completely different: a month or so ago Andy and I got Julie and Julia on Netflix. I’d been anticipating watching it ever since I read about it in my mom’s Fine Cooking last summer. I loved it. It was cute and sincere and sweet. Over Christmas, my mother picked up a copy of Julie Powell’s memoir Julie and Julia which is based off of the blog she kept the year she cooked through Julia Child’s entire Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Turns out I like Amy Adams playing Julie Powell a lot more than I like Julie Powell as herself.

I don’t mean to harp on a real living person, but since she started the blog and she published the book, she kind of put herself out there for it. As a writer myself, perhaps it will be my privilege one day to have someone harp on me. The issue is that where the movie was charming and delicate, the book is crude and bawdy. While I longed for a more thorough discussion of the Julie/Julia project, what I’ve gotten is pages and pages of discussion about her unsatisfactory sex life and her shitty temp job with a liberal sprinkling of the f-word throughout. Nor does Powell seem to take a great amount of joy out of her cooking project. Granted, I just finished the aspic chapter and aspic in the 21st century is just destined to be gross, I think. Still, I don’t trust someone who has a penchant for vodka tonics (ick!) or thinks HBO has a series called Sex in the City.

Basically, as a recent college graduate and a sometimes suppressed writer who finds herself temping in large cities and who holds a fondness for all kitchen activities except for dishes, I thought I would identify with Julie Powell, but I really don’t, not one iota. Surely part of the book’s flaws must stem from the tricky business of turning the rambling tomes of her blog into a published volume. Should “Of Woods and Words” ever face such a fate, remind me of this post. (Haha.) That’s not to say I’m not impressed by Powell’ accomplishments or that I’m not going to finish the book. While Powell and I aren’t destined to be best friends, her journey is an interesting one, not without amusing bits and more than anything, it gives the rest of us hope.

1 comment:

  1. If you don't like the "Julie Powell" in her first book, stay as far away as you can from the second.

    Google "Cleaving" and "Julie Powell" and "Damian" (in one google search) and you'll see why.

    She treats Eric abominably.


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