On Julie and Julia,, The Movie, II

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hello again, everyone.

I am back, with the second installment of my call to you all:

Go to see the movie, Julie and Julia !

Two days ago, I posted a Summary of Talking Points,
because just my initial writing out of the Talking Points
spanned several pages.

Now here is only a part of the full outline of the Talking Points.

I simply do not want to swamp you with the full outpouring of words that this outline has turned into :-)

TALKING POINTS (Partial Outline)

*The movie is a Hoot – it got me to belly laugh, loudly!
Not once, but a number of times
(probably every ten minutes).
Which is great achievements!
Normally, you can barely get me
to smile at a very funny moment or line in a movie.

*The movie is about JOY -
no , no,
the movie is the Experience Of Joy.

Many kinds of joy, too.
The joy of cooking, most specifically.

But also the joy of eating.
The joy of hosting eating parties.

The joy of triumphing over nasty,
competitive fellow cooking
school students.
The joy of facing hurdles of all kinds,
and coming up roses –
no matter how long it takes to do it.

Let me stop now...

*The movie celebrates The importance of
Perseverance and Patience
in the struggle for success.

Many people see success as resulting from talent.

Or from Luck.
Or from Selling Oneself/Marketing Oneself

Few people appreciate – as this movie does –
the Pivotal Power of Patience +
Perseverence in overcoming
obstacles, large as they may be,
and winning the final prize: success.

Julia Child, an
Unknown Expat in Europe, spent eight(8)
long years trying to write AND get published a book –
of French Cooking recipes aimed at Americans readers.

She did so at a time when this was a novelty,
with no perceptible readership or market for it.

Julia persisted, and persevered patiently.
Julia also kept her joy + her funny responses alive
through it all.

Julie Powell,
seemingly very different kettle of fish - but not really.

An unknown with an unpublished novel,
working as a lowly secretary,
who decided to spend a year writing a blog –

A blog whose secondary title reveals her own comic gift :
“Nobody here but us servantless American cooks...”
[See http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/]

Julie Powell, a 'nobody' according to the movie
reviewers, who started a blog about spending
365 days
learning to cook - from scratch -
all of 524 French Cooking recipes
in Julia Child’s book.

Julie, accused by one reviewer of finding 'a Gimmick.'

Who in fact took on a huge challenge: to cook her
way through Julia Child’s book,
learning to cook along the way.

Julie who wrote daily about all of it –
the trials and errors,
the failures and the glitches,
and the successes, too..
Julie, who like Julia did it –
risked investing time and effort
and money and heart -
when there was no visible market or prospect
for an audience at the time.

Both of them DID IT – they got to the finish line.

They managed to do it with patience
and perseverance –
and a large dollop of humor,

AND the whole-hearted support of
their loving husbands -
they made it to the end goal.

As Faulkner my GREAT teacher would say, sonorously:
they Prevailed.

With an Exclamation Mark:
They Prevailed!

Not a small feat, in either case.

So, my readers, for those of you who have come to
this second installment,
and its Partial Talking Points outline:

RUN to see the movie.

And then see where the inspiration(s) take you.

If you need to see how they may show up,
read or reread the first installment, below this one.

Have a great belly laugh, everyone!


Copyright C 2009 Dinnah G. Pladott, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

On Julie and Julia - The Movie,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Alert: This is the First of several posts on this topic.

I have not blogged for a long time - almost exactly two years - due to health challenges (not terminal, thank God).

But the Movie Julie and Julia has sent my juices flowing, and here I am with a little message for you all out there:

Go to see the movie JULIE AND JULIA. As soon as you can.

You will laugh. You may cry. You will be entertained.

You will have fun. You could be provoked.

And you may possibly be inspired. To something unexpected.

And/Or :

You may be energized enough to look up Julia Child’s 1967-edition classic book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

And/Or you may alternatively pick up Julie Powell’s book, My Year of Cooking.

Hopefully, you will find some time to peek at Julie’s original blog:

The Julie/Julia Project (http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/)

Or you may do all of the above.

Which of course is Not what the mass of movie reviewers have been saying, in their many condescending, dismissing, patronizing and fault-finding summations.

I read many of these before I saw the movie. I checked some of them afterwards.

In my view, they are blind and deaf here.

Possibly with a big BLIND spot when it comes to the matters the movie deals with.

So why do I find Julie and Julia so praise-worthy ?

Because I have been thinking about the movie for the last three weeks, I suspect I may as long-winded in writing about it as my BIG Teacher, William Faulkner.

You know, William Faulkner – the Great American Novelist who has taught many 20th Century writers how to craft modern fiction.

Who never saw a polysyllabic word he did not like.

Faulkner, the writer who wrote such long sensuous sentences, one of his sentences could run to two and three pages…

And Faulkner who makes you – entices you – to read it to the end , such sound-rich, image-rich, thought-filled sentences they were and are.

So I think I shall begin with the main points – Not in order of importance. Then circle back and elaborate on each.

Having written several pages on these main points, I now whittle them down to the bare bones of Main Points Summary, for this first installment of my discussion.

Make it easy for you, right ?

So here goes. Keep coming back for the following installments, too. With comments.


*The movie is a Hoot

*The movie is about JOY - no , no, the movie is the Experience Of Joy.

Many kinds of joy, too.

*The movie celebrate The importance of Perseverance and Patience in the struggle for success.

*The movie quietly dramatizes The Art of Teaching.

Or, Teaching as Inspiration. Or the Joy of Teaching.

*The movie also explores the question : Are Artist Born (via talent) or Made (by commitment?)

*The Movie modestly underscores an unexpected point: Little Things, So-Called, can and DO change lives

*The movie is excellently done.


To conclude this installment, here is a quote from Julie’s Homage to Julia upon Julia’s death in 2004:

"Who changes their life under the influence of a saint?

Okay – don’t answer that. But the point is –
Julia was so impressive, so instructive, so exhilarating, because she
was a woman, not a goddess. Julia didn’t create armies of drones,
mindlessly equating her name with taste and muttering “It’s a Good
Thing” under their minty breath. Instead she created feisty, buttery,
adventurous cooks
, always diving in to the next possible disaster,
because goddammit, if Julia did it, so could we. "
(Emphasis mine)

Final note to you, my own readers.

If you want to take a look at a seriously perceptive essay on Julia Child’s contribution, on the movie ‘Julie and Julia’, and on the disappearing art of cooking in the US, read Michael Pollan, “Julia's Children: Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch" in the New York Times Magazine, August 2, 2009.

Copyright C 2009 Dinnah G. Pladott, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Kafkaesque Situation - How Do I Defuse it ?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Calling on All Experts in On Line Publishing - How Do I Defuse a Kafkaeque Situation ? 8.13.08

I am going public with a message I posted , a few days ago, on the 'How To - Blogger Help Group'.

I have not received any response to this cry for help.

Since - as you see below - I have been the recipient of what seems a very threatening Anti Sapm message, supposedly from GOOGLE, aimed at me and my Maximize Success blog, I am asking you out there who have expertise in this topic, for advice:

How do I defuse and Heal the situation ?

Here is my post on the Help Group:

- - - - - -
Hi All 8.9.08

I have received a threatening, anti-spam message concerning my blog, Maximize Success, which I have not been able to act on or to respond to in any
meaningful manner.

I need help in either taking the 'request review'
action the message demands.
Or in preventing the deletion of my blog,
which the message threatens.
On July 31 I received an email, whose heart is the following threat
and criciticsm:

"Your blog at: http://maximizesuccess.blogspot.com/ has been
identified as a potential spam blog.
To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at http://www.blogger.com/unlock-blog.g?lockedBlogID=5178140403426579732

Your blog will be deleted within 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and
you'll be unable to publish posts during this time.
After we receive your request, we'll review your blog and unlock it within two business
If this blog doesn't belong to you, you don't have to do
anything, and any other blogs you may have won't be affected."


The email purported to come from Google and from Blogger, but gave no
return address:

"show details Jul 31 (9 days ago)

from Blogger <no-reply@google.com>

to coachdinnah@gmail.com

date Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 11:09 PM

subject http://maximizesuccess.blogspot.com/ - ACTION REQUIRED
mailed-by google.com

signed-by google.com

hide details Jul 31 (9 days ago) "

I assumed that the message did indeed originate in Blogger, and tried
to click on the links identified.

NONE of them led me to any form that 'requests review.'

So I was unable repeatedly to generate REQUESTING a REVIEW.

Then I tried to find a Google and a Blogger HELP dept., to get relief
from .

I emailed 'info @" ;Support@; 'Customer SErvice @; Service @;

I received no reply from any of them, with the exception of a form
email sending me to the HELP ONLINE section of blogger.

I do not want my blog to be deleted.

I also want to protest the absurd claim that my blog is spamming,
given that I only publish my blog once every two or three months, at


I find myself in a Kafkaeque situation.
Some impersonal and unknown source accuses me of wrong doing; and threatens me with punishment.

And I have no means or avenue of defending my self and asserting my innocence.

Help me, please. I need help in resolving this ASAP.


Dinnah Pladott"
---------- ---------- -----------

I repeat the same heartfelt call to all you who are now reading this online:

Help me, Please.
Help me defuse and heal this Kafkaeque situation.
Help me keep my blog from being deleted arbitrarily and anonymously.

HELP !!!

Dinnah Pladott

Copyright © 2007 Dinnah G. Pladott, Ph.D., All Rights Preserved


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Celebrating Our Differences to Enhance Collaboration + Teamwork, Pt. I

Friday, February 15, 2008



I have been disheartened and saddened by what has been happening during the last few months in the primary elections campaigns. This is going to be the first in several posts on this issue, and its implications to our capacity, as a nation, to build collaboration and teamwork, or to accomplish our declared goals.


Negative advertising, libelous attacks on candidates – we have seen them all in previous years (anyone remembers the scurrilous attacks on John Kerry ?).

What is really troubling me this year is the fact that we are viewing a double momentous watershed: the simultaneous candidacy of a white woman and of an Afro American man for the job or President of the United States. A huge Break-Through is happening.

Yet what could be a time of festivity is turning into a blood letting, on both sides. What could be a cause for celebration is turning into a fight that will leave both of these extraordinary candidates diminished, no matter who wins.

It could have been a landmark election, in which two ‘minority’ candidates are running for the presidency. Instead, it is fast becoming the year when the very consolidation of the democratic party seems increasingly less probable – and that at time when it is most needed.

In total disregard for real needs - of the party, of the nation - a dramatic rift is taking place within the democratic party.

This is a year where it looks possible that the Republican Party can lose the presidency. A year when coming together in collaboration and teamwork are more needed than ever among democrats of different hues. But instead, wounds are inflicted by the followers of both of the groundbreaking candidates. In the name of ‘My View are Better than Yours’, the common ground is forgotten. Worse, the prospect for eventual partnership once a candidate is selected is being shredded as we speak.


Sadly, the fault – the acrimonious nature of the race – is equally divided among the adversaries. The so-called ‘old’ and ‘new’ guards, the Caucasian women and the Afro Americans, the idealistic and the pragmatists, the younger voters and the middle-aged ones, have all have cast the other side as ‘demonic’ and ‘the enemy of the people.’ They all violated their official principles. No one’s hands are clean.

ACHIEVEMENT of GOALS - How, What's Necessary, What Aides its Completion ?

I will direct my attention away from the spectacle of this blood-thirsty election process, and speak of the practical value of diversity and differences in an arena I am an expert on: accomplishing goals most effectively, and building collaborative alliances and teams.

I have several underlying questions here:

Are we as a nation willing to truly stop casting those different than us – whoever they are - as ‘diabolical’ in order to freely attack and damage them?

Are we as a nation ready to give up the Lone Ranger mythology, and truly appreciate the power and productive effect of building alliances and teams?

Are we as a nation willing to sincerely and fully relinquish prejudices and bias, in order to collaborate and team up with others, across gender, race, ethnic origin, creed, or age?

Are we as a nation willing to access, and benefit from, the immense advantage that comes when we build such teams and partnerships, and include, rather than exclude, members with diverse viewpoints, backgrounds, race, cultures, education levels ?


My aim in this series of posts is to bring all of us from the level of abstract ideology and catchy slogans, back to some basic pragmatic questions:

*What is the best way to determine how to act, in pursuing a highly cherished goal ?

*What can we do to discover the most effective means to expedite the Goal Achievement process?

*What role do Collaboration and Teamwork play in such a process?

*How do we weigh the needs of short-term objectives against the requirements of long-term goal(s)?

More specifically, how do we balance the desire to win a battle against the need to be victorious in ending the war?

*What price do we pay when we divorce ‘winning’, or ‘accomplishing our objective,’ from the manner in which we achieve that ‘win’ ?

*Do ethical principles, such as loyalty or trust, have any pragmatic value in accomplishing any goals? Do they play a practical role in the building of alliances and teamwork?

*How do we prioritize our use of assets, strategies and techniques, so that we accomplish our long term objectives as well as stay true to our declared values?

A discussion of these points will follow in the next few post.

May all of us find the way to bridge and heal the growing divide, so that we as a nation may win.



Copyright © 2008 Dinnah G. Pladott, Ph.D., All Rights Preserved


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