Monday, December 06, 2010





I'm so full of it.


You see, I plan to resume being a public personal story teller.


Oh what a difference a mere nine months makes.


I was mortified by telling the frog story (see last post.)  I stopped telling it.  Mulan was glad, she didn't like that I was telling that story.  That story threw me a curve ball about telling personal stories.


Then Mulan decided she DID like the story.  She came to a couple of my shows, she wanted me to tell the story.


I thought:  I have to protect her from me.  She doesn't realize that it's potentially embarrassing.  But oh, it was fun to tell that story.


Then a bunch of time went by.  Mulan grew up more.  We talked about it from time to time.


I was asked to write the story out for a publication.  I dithered and dathered.


Much discussion was had about the difference between a video of a story and a written story.  Our theory (meandered to while driving with my husband and my brother -in-law, Joel) was that no one really reads, and so the written story would not be read by anyone that might cause embarrassment to Mulan.  What could be embarrassing was the video, which was already up on the TED website.  It's out there.  I can't take it back.  It's done.


Plus Mulan liked it.


Very confusing.  


So I couldn't decide if I should write the story.  I wanted to do it.  I didn't want to do it.  No, I really wanted to do it.  But maybe it wasn't right to do it.  Plus I already made a big announcement that I wouldn't.  Not that anyone is closely following my mercurial agonizing over what to do.  Except me.  Or maybe you, if you happen to be reading this.  ARGH!!!!!


So I decided to do it.  Only the title of this thing is not just that frog story but several other parenting stories.  All the other stories seem very clear to me.  They are really about me, not about Mulan.  My blunders.  The only borderline case is the frog story.   But the really embarrassing way to tell it for Mulan (potentially) is already in existence.  So I would only be adding to this by reiterating it, in writing.  The least embarrassing way.  


So, I'm doing it.  I'm writing it,  I'm almost done with it.  Therefore, I am full of it.  (see above)


Plus, after last March, I really did start focusing on my scripts and my book.  Not writing a lot of blog entries really did help me focus on long term projects.


But this thing happened:  my book became really personal.


It's going to take a long time to finish - two years at least, for reasons that - if it really does get finished and if anyone sees it and simultaneously is reading this, will be understandable.  Oh dear, I'm speaking very murkily.  The point is, I guess I am a public personal story teller.  Even though I really have - obviously - mixed feelings about it.


In the meantime, Jill and I had a blast doing our shows during the summer. We went to Colorado, Montana, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.  We really had fun and the audience seemed to like it.  It was so win-win.


Jill encouraged me to do a few shows in the Northwest. Since we'd done a show in Denver, Jill's home town, she said she wanted to see Spokane.  (I love her so much for wanting to see Spokane!)  


So we booked a few shows in mid-March in Spokane, Portland and Seattle.  Then we booked a New Year's Eve show in Evanston.  Dave, our bass player and dear friend, is going to fly out too and we will have fun and a happy, laughing New Year's Eve.  I'm looking forward to it.


Even though, on some level, Jill and I are still thinking this is the end of it - or maybe not.  Or I can't even say, because every time I take a stand I have to take it back. Like I'm doing right now.


Lord in heaven.


So, that is that.


But this is my new idea.  A monthly blog posting.  Why?  Because I read other people's blog postings and I am always interested in what they are reading, watching, and listening to.




I thought I would simply post:


The books I read during the month
The movies I saw during the month
The audio books I listened to
The treadmill music-playlist of the month




Anyway...  Here goes:


November 2010


Books read:


1.)  Freedom (Franzen)  My review: Eh.


2.) Ms. Hemple Diaries (Bynum)  My review: pretty damn good.


3.) Life (Richards)  I'm currently halfway through "Life"  and oh my god, I am now obsessed with Keith Richards. I keep putting down the book and googling various people.  Last night I was focused on his girlfriend Linda Keith basically discovering Jimi Hendrix.  That's not the whole story of course, but it's still a thrilling anecdote that I cannot stop picking at on the internet.


Movies I saw:


We have a home theater in the basement and I watch movies there. It makes all the difference.  


1.) Design For Living (Lubitch)


2.) Peter Ibbetson (Hathaway)


3.) Read My Lips (Audiard)


4.) Auberge Espagnole L' (Klapisch)


5.) Red Shoes (Pressberger, Powell)


6.) Agora (Amenabar)  Watched this twice - fantastic!  


7.) City Island (De Fellita)


8.) Adventures of Milo and Otis (Hata)


9.) Men In War (Mann)


10.) Music Man (Da Costa)


11.) Russian Dolls (Klapisch)


12.) Sea Inside (Amenabar)


13.) Kids Are All Right (Cholodenko)


14.) Somewhere (Coppola)


15.) Iron Giant (Bird)


16.) Kirkou and the Sorceress (Ocelot)


17.) To Sir, With Love (Clavell)


18.) Funny Girl (Wyler)




Audio Books listened to:


(I listen while walking the dog)


1.) At Home (Bryson)


2.) Cleopatra (Schiff)  - I'm halfway through with that one.




Treadmill play list


I do the treadmill about four times a week for an hour.  I change my playlist monthly.  I think you can tell I am exactly 51 years old by this playlist.  November was:


1.) Psycho Killer (Talking Heads)
2.) In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel)
3.) Fuck You (Cee Lo Green)
4.) Devil's Haircut (Beck)
5.) Shiny Happy People (R.E.M.)
6.) Nightswimming (R.E.M.)
7.) Radio Song (R.E.M.)
8.) I'll Be Back (Beatles)
9.) Blackbird (Beatles)
10.) Black Horse & the Cherry Tree (KT Tunstall)
11.) The Sunny Side of the Street (Pogues)
12.) Light You Up (Shawn Mullins)
13.) Take Me to the River (Talking Heads)
14.) Slippery People (Talking Heads)
15.) Paint It Black (Rolling Stones)
16.) God's Child (David Byrne & Selena) 

82 comments:

epe said...

Glad you're back. :)

Meredith said...

Ditto! I have you on my feed reader and its been a lonely place as of late. Imagine my delight when you popped up!

Best wishes this holiday!

Lanie Painie said...

Yesterday I was on Amazon checking my wish list yesterday and noticed that a few of your titles had increased in price a bit (no big deal) and I thought . . hmm. .. . .Julia must be up to something! She's got something new coming out!


I'm so happy you're back! :-)

Leo said...

Yay, you're back! I imagined you would be, eventually. Once a storyteller, always a storyteller.

On that note, something occurred to me while reading your post: I found it a very interesting read, that is, until you started listing the books, movies and music. Not that that information isn't interesting, it's just that the most interesting part of what you have to say is, well, your stories... (see above).

Just something to keep in mind as you redevelop the blog.

In any case, it's great to have you back and I look forward to next month (or sooner??).

Kizz said...

It's very good to "hear" you again. I've been thinking of you lately as holiday things pop up and an atheist ad campaign gets a lot of media scrutiny air time in my area.

Did you like City Island? I went to see it in the theatre almost by accident and wound up truly charmed by it.

Glenn Peters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael McVey said...

Glad you're back and writing. It'll flow again. Love your playlist - well, it's mine basically. :-)

Marissa said...

Hurray!! You've touched so many lives, my own included, that I can't help but be overjoyed that you're coming back again. :)

John Lacey said...

I'm glad you're telling your personal stories again.

mimimc said...

You're so real.

I was happy to see your post today.

A Strange Boy said...

I'm so glad to see you're back!

Hugo said...

happy to see you back!

rampling said...

Ohhhh, I'm so VERY glad to see you've decided get back into personal storytelling!!! Your ability to see the humorous side of life's 'challenges' is both inspiring and entertaining to so many. I've really missed your performing (and, I'll admit, I miss your being in the Los Angeles area) -- my sister and I would go to EVERY Jill & Julia performance that we could manage (we just made a special trip to see you two last month in San Diego -- fabulous), and I think I'm in double digits for the number of times I've seen you perform Letting Go of God. I continue cherish the Cat Buddha you gave away (and signed for me) when you moved away from LA, and it sits in a place of honor atop my TV. :)

Please, please, please keep performing your personal stories! And I hope you stay connected with Jill Sobule too, since I was a big fan of BOTH of you long before the two of you got together. I still boggle at the awesomeness and serendipity of your inspired mix of talents!

Reading your blog entry is like getting my birthday gift early. :)

Star said...

I was so sad; you said goodbye just when I had found your blog. You'll find a way to balance public and private that's right for you, your family and friends. So glad you're back.

Barrington Smith-Seetachitt said...

A couple years ago, a friend of mine said, “I just interviewed Julia Sweeney for a show. She has a blog, I bet you would like it.” He was right.

A few months ago, I culled my google-reader subscriptions, tossing out defunct blogs. But I got to yours, and I thought, “I’ll leave for a little while longer, just in case.”

And today, as I scrolled down the list on my reader, your name was bolded, with a little (1) next to it. I felt a little twinge of happy-excitement—could it be? I clicked on the link and grew happier as I read. I think your monthly list post sounds fine, but I have secret (well, not now) hope that just lists will start to feel limiting, and that you might feel compelled to expound on certain books and what they made you think about, and then maybe you’ll just have to mention a random thing that happened on the way to the bookstore, and then…

forkboy said...

Augh! And to think that just last week I almost.... ALMOST... deleted you from my RSS feed.

"Why not? She's gone and just after I discover her. Bitch." I thought.

But something in my head clicked and I left it alone. As I might have heard more than once in my lifetime, "Saints be praised!"

Seacrest out.

cathycan said...

I'm so glad I checked back! I had just discovered your blog and loved it, then...you called it quits, sorta.
Anyway, I'm glad your back at it.
Thanks for the playlist, I share your taste in music. Can you answer this for me, since I don't speak French, what exactly IS he saying?
Psycho Killers, kess kess see...
I know, that's what google is for, but just thought I'd ask.

Christine Bakke said...

Yay! Like others here, I had just found you, and then you were gone and I was sad. Well, let me clarify - I was sad for me, but very touched by what a good mom you are.

Anyway, I just randomly checked back (no feeder here) and was so excited!

My partner and I watched "Letting Go of God" last week for the first time (we'd watched portions of it online a year or so ago). It was so great to hear of your journey and it resonated so, so deeply with us.

And I'm glad you think Chopra is full of shit. That's how I feel about lots of things but it feels so unpopular to say it...Thanks for doing what you do!!

Oh, and I've been following your work throughout the years - loved "God said HA!"

Yay for you!

OK, I'm officially an annoying, adoring fan now. I'll sign off.

Jeff G said...

I'm glad your back but you weren't going to get away that easily!

I've got "Letting Go" and "Family Way" on both DVD and Audible. I've got Uncabaret. I have enough Julia Sweeney that I can just replay one thing or another and not have to hear any one thing all that often.

So take that!

Oh wait a minute, your back. Don't take that! I'll take it. Please come back to NYC soon.

Valdir Jorge said...

I'll just add to the chorus and say thank you, thank you, thank you for coming back.

Julia says "I plan to resume being a public personal story teller." and the angels of the Lord sing of joy... ;-)

Jane said...

I'm also glad you're back after just finding you! Thanks for the heads up on Agora... watched it last night..loved it. I noticed they made Hypatia's death more palatable though.

TimmyB said...

Yipee! Welcome back. Like the poster above I was thrilled to see the little "(1)" next to your blog. And like Marissa said, you have totally touched my life and inspired me.

Thanks for coming back to the blog and being a storyteller. "Letting Go" is a masterpiece of personal narrative, and I listen to it often. Can't wait to see what's in store.

Carla Barbera said...

Something drove me to your blog today. I just had to check it and see if you had changed your mind.

And you did!

YAY!

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Anonymous said...

I knew you would get tired of just hanging out in Illinois. Welcome back, my friend. It's a miracle, if you're into that sort of thing. :)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog so much and was sad to see you stop (even though I completely understood your reasons). After a heart-stopping laptop hard drive failure and subsequent painful replace and re-image, I was going through my favorites list weeding stuff out and came to the link here. Ah Julia! Maybe I'd read a few old posts for old times sake. I was delighted to find that you have returned to posting. I felt like I'd just recieved a little reward for my difficult week. Hurray!!

Ashley said...

Hi, just made a new website & wanted to put it out there :) Hope you take a look at it. Thank you.

http://www.justaskmeanything.blogspot.com/

L.T. Alan said...

Great news! Can't wait for some new material. If I'm going to do something for an hour or two. Mow the lawn, yard work, long drive, I get out my mp3 player and listen to , "Letting go of god", or "God said Ha"!, or "In a Family Way". Some people try to be funny, and aren't. People who are truley funny are so because that's the way they think. I love your thoughts!

Success said...

Nice to see that you have returned. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're back.

tara said...

I found your blog one month after you decided to not blog anymore. Shoot. I am glad you are back. And a book...lovely. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to join the chorus welcoming you back. The lists were interesting but pretty-please, your reaction to Keith Richards' autobiography sure made me wish there were thumbnails like that for at least the more notable movies of the month. And hey, a shout-out for any idiot box faves wouldn't be all bad to include. I still have Charlie Rose's hour with Christopher Hitchens on my DVR--check it out online if you haven't seen it. Thanks!

And cathycan, David Byrne's singing 'Qu'est-ce que c'est', French for 'what is it?' or 'what's that?' in Psycho Killer by Talking Heads. For help with the other French phrases in the song, good ol' Wikipedia does a handy translation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho_Killer

lisa fulmer said...

happy happy joy joy! I savor every word you utter and/or write! btw...I also miss Les Élucubrations de Monsieur Smartypants...you and your BIL (my friend Joel) are such gifted storytellers! (and he was the first to tell me I abuse the exclamation point!)

"Guppy" Honaker said...

Hi Julia, I had to "weigh in" on this post. I love your blogs - and I feel that a story I can read versus one I can watch (video) is always preferred. When I read my mind can take over the effects, background, sounds and smells. Vidoes doesn't allow one to contribute such details (at least not to the same degree). Happy New Year!

- David

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JUN said...

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bill said...

you were missed!

laura said...

I'm glad you'll be blogging, again, as I've started thinking of you as a sort of Erma Bombeck for my generation (love her).

It's also great to read another person be so honest about life decisions and waffling! I feel much less guilty now.

Good luck. I'm looking forward to reading.

Peggy said...

Great post, wonderful to see you back, and I loved your lists (the only book or movie we have in common is Bryson's book...). I look forward to more posts!

Poor Ophelia said...

I absolutely love the song Black Horse & the Cherry Tree. I went to Ted and watched your frog talk. It was totally meant to be twittered. A perfect story, I wouldn't feel guilty. This year I've been blessed to be a foster mother to an eleven year old girl. We frequently have random other foster children around who ask me why I don't have kids of my own. My answer "Well, I can't have a baby... but it special to have you in my life." Finding that balance between privacy and witty can be done. Even as a foster parent, we can talk about some experiences, but we use discretion, fake names and no photos. Kids (do) Say the Darndest Things.

Stever said...

Where can I find Julia's story about the evangelical marketing plan that mimics Mary Kay cosmetics?

Anonymous said...

"Not that anyone is closely following my mercurial agonizing over what to do. Except me. Or maybe you..." I think you are the best Julia.

Amber said...

I'm very glad you are back since I had JUST discovered you right when you left. So not fair to me.

You make me laugh with your part of me this and part of me that. I'm a parts person myself so I completely get it.

It would be interesting to see your opinion of the books and movies you've seen.

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TomT said...

Oh, I'm so glad you're back! It's weird because I don't know you personally but consider you an ally. I love your mind.

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Sheldon said...

Shermer was right. I had dinner with him only a week or so after your last announcement, and he said you'd be back. Okay, so you're back in only a limited capacity...but you're back. And we're glad to hear from ya.

XOXO

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All About Tennis said...

Really nice playlist thanks for sharing

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Anonymous said...

MY PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED~ !

Lol. Welcome back Julia! :)

lucy said...

1. Very glad you are back to posting.
2. Exceedingly glad you are coming out here to the west coast! I have my tickets...can't wait to see you in Portland. Or, uh, Portlandia, as some choose to call it. The dream of the '90's. See you in March!

Bill said...

So, how about a post, a podcast, a drawing, a photo, a video - something!

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artybecca said...

I discovered your blog the day you decided to stop writing it. :(
I was just now cleaning out my blog list and un-following any that appeared to be dead. What a nice surprise to see you're back!
Hows about a rating system on the movies and books...ugh, eww, eek, eh, hmm, ah-ha, ooh, etc.?

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very nice intresting post ..thanks for sharing it

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I, too, was given the advice, "Don't answer a question they haven't asked." We were watching That's So Raven once, and my oldest, who was about 7 at the time, asked, "Mommy, what's a period?" I paused, because being a Disney show, didn't think menstruation would come up as a subject. "What do you mean?"

"You know, first period, second period, third period..."

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I'd found your blog last year right before you quit posting :-( After that, I read through all the old entries so hadn't been back in a while. Tonight I was feeling very bummed about politics so wanted find something totally different to read. I thought of your blog and thought of maybe rereading it from the beginning. What a happy surprise to come here and find new posts from you!

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Tim (tdss12@gmail.com) said...

Julia, I bought your "Letting Go of God" recording last week, and laughed (and thought) so much that I've pretty much purchased every performance available in the last week. Of course my complete religious education as a child was my father telling me we were planted here by space aliens who were going to come back and harvest us for food so I learned a lot from your show. (My Dad also said Santa Claus was a cannibal that came down the chimney to eat children, so I guess that's sort of non-denominational in a way?)

Anyway, as the disco song says "More, More, More". No pressure. I remember running past you in Bloomsday in the mid 90s dressed as Pat...that was you, right? Do you remember seeing me? I was the one in the running shorts. (I was born in Spokane, too.) It was very special for me because I thought that was such a fun character.

Anyway, lifelong fan now. Looking forward to more of your shows.

Thanks,
Tim

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