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Our Great Gatsby

Our Great Gatsby

The modern Hollywood blockbusting director  Baz Luhrmann makes a movie out of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great American novel, The Great Gatsby.

It’s only asking for polarized reviews: Book purists condemn modern shameless Hollywood’s “bastardization” of their classic, while high school babies fresh from their first taste of the story coo at the 3D fireworks and embed the movie’s all-star cast into their impressionable memories as substitutes for characters of their own imaginations.

Being neither of the two, I accepted the movie in fair warning of Luhrmann as the director, and in appreciation of Fitzgerald’s storytelling.

Considering Luhrmann’s previous works Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge alone, I expected the over-the-top, border-Broadway, people-pleasing costumes, set design, theatrics, casting, and direction. His rendition is a gorgeous work of art, skimping only very little detail from the author’s story and using every technique characteristic to his particular style to encapsulate the very definition of modern.
In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Luhrmann himself defends the movie as something like his gift to our generation. That such a timeless story could be transplanted in any human era. And that Gatsby’s hope is a universal human condition. In his modern production, Luhrmann resurrects the relevance of Fitzgerald’s past social criticisms on his society as readily mirrored onto our society.

Despite the use of noticeably more modern styles throughout the movie–from the clothes and the dancing to the cars and the drinking–the movie style (short of its full 3D glory, even I can’t embrace all of Hollywood’s bullshit) was not necessarily incongruous to the book. Luhrmann’s choice in depicting Fitzgeralds’ literary imagery to almost hyperbolic proportions results in fantastic scenes I thought were appropriately ridiculous.

In one scene, Gatsby Leo’s entrance and introduction to us the audience is paired with the subtlety of explosive fireworks, marking the moment as emphatically unforgettable. The parallel moment in the book follows:

“He smiled understandingly–much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it… It faced–or seemed to face–the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on *you* with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”

The scene was ridiculous, yet the emphasis was appropriate.

And to consider the whole movie like a scene like that, you can discard it, or you can take it for what it’s worth: an example of shameless aesthetic, yet an homage to Fitzgerald’s story, but most importantly a movie created in the likeness of our time.

And so I’m taking this movie as Luhrmann so gorgeously made it: the gift of a bookmark to our generation in the history of The Great Gatsby.


I have a plane ticket to Stockholm.

This is becoming more real and stuff, switching over to soon, I guess.

Words, words words!

Mother Lode Picnic

Mother Lode Picnic

Eating and laughing by the Mother Lode boulder at Nut Tree Boulders in Vacaville, CA

picnic atop The Mother Lode

picnic atop the Mother Lode!

aHey, there’s Ula’s “nom” face! Also, Kevin’s bicep… hahahaha


Hi, today I made my own broth, using frozen vegetable scraps that I’ve slowly collected in a couple of months in a gallon ziplock bag. I also threw in some turkey bone, skin, and gristle from a recent dinner. It turned out tasty. Except I didn’t take photos of any of the process. Nor did I time the simmering of the stuffs in the pot or record any measurements to be able to tell anyone how to replicate it. The resulting broth is currently chillin’ in the fridge in one of those pretty Santa Cruz lemonade glass bottles though.

But I guess this is a little useless.

I just thought it was worth it to note. Maybe I should make a blog about things like this?
But maybe not, because it’s a little unpredictable when I’ll get excited about something similar to this again enough to make a consistent blog about it, and that I rarely get my head organized enough to write about anything in particular, so this blog should suffice.

Sleep would be a good idea now.

And convention wins after all.

I was trying so hard to question society’s standards for a relationship, that in my arrogant challenge, I was painfully set in my place.

Now I’m left with the loneliness of challenging society. But it’s more of another type of loneliness. I’ve just realized the pain of losing a lover. Why am I so damn proud! 😦

I can salvage this experience in the fact that my tendency to question convention reveals that I seek to understand the foundation of a convention, particularly that of romantic relationships in this case. But for all this knowledge, what did I have to pay? 😦

Who wins? I just feel so defeated. I’ll just be sad forever now…

I entered not knowing what I wanted. I now know what it is I could have, and that I now lack it. Do I want it?

…I’m ruined.

“How do people do this?? —this… ‘living’ thing?? …everyday?!!” —lol.

***All these words sound a lot more melodramatic than I usually am. Right now all I can do is be painfully amused. At myself. At my failure. At my arrogance.

Everything seems meaningless anyway!

Swimmin’ in a river. Making four pizzas, drinking margaritas, drinking $1 PBRs, drinking shiraz, eating burritos, drinking shit whites, drinking drinking, smoking natsherms, climbing ROCKS, walking a slack line, going places, eating foods there, buying shit, working for monies, making friend thingies, making facebook friends, taking pictures, texting people, having barbeques, swimming in pools, knowing trivia, seeing old friends, spending money, earning money, emailing, facebooking, visiting, calling, walking, breathing.

Escapism vs. Aspirations

Is there a clear difference?

Everything seems pretty overrated recently.
Life, people, myself—everything.

I wonder if this will pass (soon).

Maybe I just need to get out of here.
I’d like a new context, please.