Posts Tagged With: thoughts

A Midwestern Ex-Pat

It’s probably time I post something on my blog. As usual, I’ve been meaning to, but everything has been so crazy lately that by the time I get home and collapse on the couch, I don’t seem to have the energy to do anything but marathon Netflix.

Brief update on me: School is going well. I’m busier than I expected to be, which I silly. I guess I thought since I was only going half time it wouldn’t be that much more work. But I’m enjoying it, it’s nice to get to talk about publishing issues, and I think I am learning a lot. I’m refusing to give in to the common wisdom that when it comes to work, school, and social life you can only balance two. So for example, Halloween found me running to a meeting after work, then class, and then a really odd party in the Village. Tons of fun, but it’s quite possible I’m overdoing it. I can sleep when I’m dead, right?

With the holidays approaching, I’m really ready to go home. I think I said it before, but I’m surprised at how much I miss home. Partly I miss the ease, just day to day life in Ohio is easier, with cars and houses and normal things. And of course I miss my family. But it’s also the familiarity. Some days I feel like some sort of ex-pat. I’m still in the same country, but some days I feel so out of my league.

I never liked country music in Ohio. I thought it was a bit silly, and I could never relate to it. I listen to it more, now, and while I still can’t relate to much of it, I feel like I can better understand it now. That underlying nostalgia for the simple life, the fierce defense of the warm summer nights on a back porch with a beer or driving around in the open country with your windows down and no where particular to go. So when I’m feeling particularly out of place, or longing for home, I listen to country music. I think it’s a symptom of this weird transitory state. I’m not quite a city girl, my Midwestern roots go too deep, but I’m not really that Ohio girl I was anymore, either. I know I can always go home if I need to or want to, but I think in some ways I can’t go back. While it still does feel like everything is up in the air, like I’m still unfinished, I think a year here is long enough to change me into something new. Someone who needs the weird surprises of the city and the possibilities it offers. Someone who, despite the feelings of displacement here, would feel just as out of place in a quiet suburban life. Most of this I guess is just typical of life in your early-20’s; we’re all still cooking. But I think it’s true, that once you move away, you can’t go back to the way things were. We can never really return to Manderley.

Ok, that was supposed to be the end, but I can’t leave off on that awful, cliched, depressing note. So I’ll finish with this: I may not be able to go back, but I sure am enjoying going forward. The spontaneous late night concerts, the free events, the bizarre shows, the 24 hour biscuits (which are new, but I’m sure they will become a staple), and mostly the group of friends I have here. I may be in transition, but at least I’m not in it alone, and there’s plenty to do in the meantime.

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The Great Gatsby, now in three dimensions!

Apparently it is movie week on KnowEdits, because I’m going to talk about another film today. This time, it’s one that hasn’t come out yet: The Great Gatsby . The trailer was released at the beginning of this week, and it does look good. I’m sure Leo will do a fabulous job as the great man himself, and everyone looks the part.

I really like The Great Gatsby . It is one of about 10 books that I own in both physical and electronic book form (and 7 of those are Harry Potter books, so this is high praise from me). I even named my goldfish Gatsby in college, which in hindsight was a terrible idea, considering what happens to Gatsby in the end. Anyway, as a book lover, however, I have had to resign myself to being disappointed when it comes to my favorite books being adapted to the big screen. I will admit, The Hunger Games was good, I was pleasantly surprised (though my expectations weren’t high, so I was easy to please), and the Harry Potter films always will have a place in my heart, despite my love-hate relationship with them. I live in terror of the day when a John Green book actually makes it to the big screen, because no one will be able to do it justice.

And as for The Great Gatsby…please, tell me, how can film do that justice? Yes, the story is good, but it’s the writing that makes it such a wonder. Fitzgerald’s writing is gorgeous. “No – Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and shortwinded elations of men.” Read that sentence aloud. It. Is. BEAUTIFUL. And film can do many things, but how can it replicate that? There’s something in the prose, in the descriptions, that makes The Great Gatsby the great American novel. Yes, it’s about big American ideas, and the American dream and its ultimate failure, and it’s about money, which we all like, and all of that can be converted to film fine. But Daisy’s voice SOUNDS LIKE MONEY. And there is no way that fantastic description can be filmed. It just can’t.

That said, as a book lover and movie goer, I, like Gatsby, have “an extraordinary gift for hope” for my book-to-film adaptions. I’m definitely going to see it, and I’m excited about seeing it. I’m curious to see how the modern music works with the movie, and I’m a sucker for the art deco on the poster. But I’m not going to see it in 3D because let’s be honest, The Great Gatsby It doesn’t need anymore dimensions.

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