The Deadline is July 31st

I’m writing this blog post on my phone with a bluetooth keyboard and the WordPress app for Android that I’ve never tried before. So far, pretty good. My LG G6 seems more responsive that the old iPad I tried using before. Unfortunately the screen is significantly smaller on my phone, but I will manage.

So I’m continuing to work on that music-generating software that I hope to turn into a business. My deadline is July 31st of this year (2019). By the end of July, the app must be presentable, either to advertise it and open it to limited paid beta-testing, or to seek interest from investors. (Or both, I guess.) That gives me about 5.5 months to build the first version of the app. If the app cannot be completed by that date, it will have to go onto the back-burner. Because money. Can’t afford to spend the entire year tinkering with it if it will need a significant more amount of work to be presentable.

At the moment, I’m working on the “music / MIDI note editor” part of the app. It will be a browser-based web app (at least the first version of it), and I’m programming the editor in JavaScript using the WebGL library three.js and jQuery for the GUI. (I’ve seen developers argue that jQuery is outdated, but for prototyping I think it will work fine.) The midi editor will be a lot like the “MIDI animator” I programmed with jMonkey engine; I’m using a lot of my code from there, translating it from Java to JavaScript. Check out my twitch channel if you’re curious to see some of this [often boring] programming process.

Hoping to get the editor part done by the end of next week, March 1st. Then I’ve got to start thinking about how to get the browser to play sounds. MIDI synths from one’s operating system are no longer supported by most browsers, so it may be a matter of using JavaScript and a bunch of little MP3 sounds, or utilizing the WebMIDI API (which I don’t know much about yet). We’ll see. 162 days left!

Movies I watched in March 2012

Here are all the movies I watched in the month of March.  Well, some are actually from February, but I didn’t do a post for the films of February, so they’ll just have to be included here.  I don’t actually watch a movie every single day.  I wish.  (A star (*) denotes movies I re-watched.)



This 1960 French film is often touted as a very influential film.  I’ll agree that it was ahead of its time, because it was like a bad YouTube video.  It tells the tale of a young man who kills a cop, and the rest is pretty much filler.  I just didn’t get it.  And the jarring cuts are annoying, as even in these YouTube days, they draw way too much attention to themselves.  Maybe with the lack of an interesting story, that’s OK?


The Bad and the Beautiful

This 1952 film starring Kirk Douglas tells the tale of a film producer who alienates his best friends in the pursuit of his craft.  While it may not be entirely accurate in its depiction of Hollywood’s inside (not that I would know), it makes some interesting points on the creative philosophy of the business.  Fun movie.  (I don’t know why the poster makes it look like a romance.)


The Secret World of Arrietty

This came out in Japan in 2010, I think, but it just came to US theaters last month (though I prefer subs to dubs).  It’s based on those “Borrower” books that American audiences should already be familiar with from other adaptations.  This was a wonderful film, full of a simple honesty and reflectiveness that is lacking in so many of today’s fast-paced bing-bang-boom-zip let’s-be-funny-with-randomness animation.  Great movie.


Beauty and the Beast 3D

The first film I ever remember seeing in theaters was either Disney’s Beauty and the Beast or An American Tail: Fievel Goes West when I was five or six years old.  They both came out in November 1991, so which one I saw first, I don’t know.  Theaters were so big back then.  Anyway, I didn’t want to miss the chance to see the film again in 3D.  The result?  Meh.  The backgrounds looked awesome in 3D.  The characters themselves looked a bit wonky.  But I guess I was prepared for that after seeing The Lion King 3D.  Still fun to see it in theaters once again.


The Last Emperor

This 1987 film tells the tale of . . . that guy.  I forget his name now.  You know, that last emperor of China.  Except he never really had much power; he was a figure constantly being used by other forces as a symbol.  Not a very fun life.  An interesting movie; educational, at least, if one can be forgiven for not remembering Chinese names very well.


The Grand Illusion

This 1937 French film from director Jean Renoir tells the story of a prisoner escaping from prison during World War I.  It was quite a good movie, even if its depictions of war probably now seem dated after the horrors of World War II.  Great camera work as well.


The Children Are Watching Us

Here’s another great tragic tale from Italian director Vittorio de Sica.  Along with Shoeshine and Bicycle Theives, I think de Sica has a little trilogy of tragic masterpieces.  This 1947 film tells the story of a couple’s marriage falling apart from the point of view of their child, who perhaps doesn’t quite understand everything, but can piece together enough to understand the tragedy of the situation.  Tragic but great film.


12 Angry Men

This popular 1957 film was boring.  I just don’t get why it’s so popular.  A bunch of people sit around a table and talk for a while.  I guess what they say should be deemed philosophically important and we can pat ourselves on the back for understanding how wrong prejudice is, but storytelling-wise it makes for a boring film.  They could’ve portrayed the same themes much more dynamically.


Running on Empty

Another film from director Sidney Lumet, this 1988 film starring River Pheonix tells the story of a prodigious piano player who’s family is on the fun from the law.  When River’s character falls in love, it creates quite a difficult situation.  I thought the story and acting were great, but something about the way it was shot and edited makes it look like an old cheesy made-for-TV film.


Sunday in the Park with George

This really isn’t a film, it’s a recording of the 1985 musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, of whom I became a fan after discovering Sweeney Todd back in 2007.  I knew a lot of the songs from the musical from the album, but I didn’t know how they all fit together until I saw this recording.  Great show.  The songs Finishing the Hat and Move On awesomely describe some of the struggles of the creative process.  All artists should check out the musical.


Logan’s Run

This 1976 sci-fi film is quite cheesy by today’s standards, but there’s something rather charming about that.  If it weren’t for pointless use of nudity.  Anyway, great score by Jerry Goldsmith.



I had to rewatch this Martin Scorsese film for a third time when it came out on blu-ray.  It does not get boring; to me, it really inspires creativity.  I especially love getting to see some old Melies work in 1080p.  The movie’s not as good in 2D though.  Oh well.  Still a great movie to have on blu-ray.


The Rules of the Game

Another film from Jean Renoir, this one from 1939.  I can’t say it really has much of an effect from my cultural view.  Interesting use of rabbit-killing though.


The Lorax

A guy cuts down trees (which I don’t think would be capable of photosynthesis anyway), and runs out of trees because he’s not thinking long-term.  Problems ensue.  This 2012 animated film was interesting, I guess.


The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story

It seemed like a good time to watch this 2009 documentary after Richard Sherman passed away.  (Yes, I did know who they were before he died.)  Great and insightful documentary.


Evening Primrose

A made-for-TV musical from 1966 with songs and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  The music was great.  The story was rather bizarre.


THX 1138

I’ve been wanting to see this film from 1971 for a while since it was George Lucas’s first feature.  It tells the story of THX 1138, who decides to escape from the world of his mundane controlled dystopian life.  I must say, unlike Logan’s Run, it does not show it’s age quite so much.  Of course, part of that is because it’s been touched up; Lucas likes to touch up, you know.  But even so, the story and the way it’s told feels much more real than the other sci-fi features from that time (not that I’ve seen very many).  And I’ll resist the strong urge to make a Jar-Jar Binks joke at this time.


Paths of Glory

From 1957, this Stanley Kubrick film tells the story insane stupid war-leaders making insane stupid war decisions, and then punishing the soldiers when they don’t obey.  It does raise the age-old soldier-philosophy question: when is it right and wrong to disobey orders?  But instead of exploring that question, the film just shoots you in the face because war is bad.  Thanks a lot.  I used to think war was good, but now I understand the truth!


Au Revoir les Enfants

Warning: there be spoilers ahead.  This French 1987 film tells the story of a young student, Julien, at a Catholic boarding school in occupied France.  The school brings in a few Jewish students to hide them from the Nazis, one of them named Jean.  Julien and Jean slowly form a friendship.  And here’s the spoiler, if you’re still reading: at the end of the film, the Gestapo raids the school and captures Jean, several other Jews, and the head of the school who hid them there.  You never get to see what happens to Jean, but as the Gestapo lead him away out the gates of the school, the narrator says something like: “That was the last time I saw Jean.  He died in Auschwitz.  I never forgot that day.”  As an audience member, I didn’t need to be reminded of the horrors of Auschwitz for that to be perhaps the most tragic and depressing ending of a World War II film I’ve ever seen.  The entire film forms such a strong and realistic friendship between the characters that just seeing one of them being led away, and you know they he doesn’t realized he’s being sent to his death, and then being told he died in Auschwitz . . .


X-men: First Class

From 2011.  I was curious.  I’m not curious anymore.


Dream House

A man moves into a house with his wife and daughters and then learns it might not be real.  Is he just imagining things?  Are his wife and kids really dead?  Did he murder them?  A fun psychological thriller from 2011.


The Bridge on the River Kwai*

I bought this 1957 film on blu-ray a few months ago when it was on sale at Best Buy.  I had already seen it a few years before on DVD.  A great film, and looks great blu-ray.


Umberto D.

Another film from Vittorio de Sica, this one from 1952.  An old poor man does stuff.  I didn’t really get it.


Youth Without Youth

This is a Francis Ford Coppola film from 2007 starring Tim Roth.  A man gets struck by lightning, becomes young again, and gets the sorts of special powers I think we all wish we had.  The movie gives you a lot to philosophically think about, even while the story itself was too bizarre for me to really understand.  I mean, I understood what was happening, I just didn’t always understand the why.  But an interesting film.



From 2011.  A young man discovers his parents are not his parents after a life of not realizing they don’t even look alike.  He must then go on the run as bad people with guns chase him to try to abduct him because his real father is out there and would not want him to be abducted and oh what a complicated mess!  The rest of my family was watching it so I stuck around and watched it.  And now I have watched it.



This was also from 2011, starring Nicolas Cage.  Some bad guys with guns trespass into a guy’s house, hoping to steal his jewels.  But does he even have jewels?!  Watch and find out!


The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing

This documentary from 2004 discusses the art of film editing.  A good documentary for those interested in the subject.  The Walter Murch excerpts are particularly informative.


Bonnie and Clyde

The 1967 classic looks great on blu-ray.  The violence is nothing by today’s standards, but I think the overall story still stands, and the editing and acting are wonderful.


Spirited Away

Been wanting to see this 2001 film for a while, and I like that the DVD had the original Japanese audio as I hate listening to dubs.  A girl gets trapped in a mysterious spirit world.  Another genius film from Studio Ghibli.  Gotta love it.  Wonderful food for the imagination.



A 1931 German film with Peter Lorre directed by Fritz Lang.  A child predator is on the loose, and the police aren’t the only ones who want to catch him.  Really amazing camera work for a 1931 film, and it looks fantastic on blu-ray.

So, 30 films.  Good stuff.  The explorations in cinema shall continue, I hope.

Animation Mentor – Semester 4!

After a 12-week leave of absence, Animation Mentor has started again for me!

Probably the worst thing about Animation Mentor is when they assign you a Q&A time that’s difficult or impossible for you to make, even though you requested to avoid that Q&A time. They gave me a Q&A time of 3 PM on Tuesdays, right in the middle of my job’s Tuesday hours. Animation Mentor will let you switch Q&A times with another student if you can find one, but if you can’t, tough luck for you. And I couldn’t; it seemed there were several students who wanted to swap out of 3 PM Tuesdays. So I thought I’d have to try to get my hours at work switched, which tends to be quite an annoying problem.

Anyway, my mentor was animator Jay Davis and I went to the first Q&A yesterday and it was awesome. Jay Davis was great, and the group was full of students from all over the world, UK, Hong Kong, Switzerland, etc., so it was a lot of fun. But just as the Q&A was finishing up, I got a message from a student willing to swap his Q&A time of Wednesdays at midnight, forcing me to make a quick decision. I was really looking forward to Jay Davis and the international class, but swapping to late Wednesdays completely elliminates having to find subs every Tuesday, so I made the swap. So now I’m looking forward to another first Q&A tonight at midnight with animator David Weatherly!

In other news, I went to a special event at the movie theater last night from Fathom Events. They were playing Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Extended Edition. Nothing like seeing a big epic film like that on the big screen. Unfortunately about an hour into it, the power went out. We sat waiting in the theater for 25 or 30 minutes before the manager came around and said they had to close the theater. Ugh!! We got a refund, but since that was a one-night only event, I don’t know if that’s a chance I’ll ever get back… at least not until I’m rich enough to own my own big screen or have a rich friend who does. Leaving the theater, it was obvious that power was out for many of the surrounding shops, so lots of businesses probably lost some profits. Some traffic lights were also out and there were cops lining the roads. A storm had passed through, but by the time the theater was closed, the skies were clear and actually sported a rainbow. It was as if God was saying “Leave the fantasies of your mind’s eye and see my rainbow!” Though in my opinion, LOTR > rainbow.

So I sadly went home wondering why such suffering must exist (because being kicked out of a theater is one of the worst tragedies that can befall man), and finished watching the film on DVD. The blu-rays of the extended editions should be out now, so I have to wait for Amazon to ship mine (they take their time when you request free shipping), and then I’ll probably watch the whole trilogy yet again, if I can ever find the time.

Ugh… Internet connection

Our stupid Internet connection keeps dropping out. Luckily I have the web on my phone, but typing on this little keypad isn’t quite as easy as using a real keyboard.

Anyway, aside from going to work, I’ve continued work on my music project, trying to come up with some new algorithms to use that can process a lot of data more quickly. The programming can become a bit obsessive as I lose complete track of time trying to solve little problem by little problem. I’m still not at the point that my newer music generator (which I hope will be able to generate entire pieces of music) can give any output that I can experiment with (and of course it working even a little well is, I guess, a farfetched daydream, but the impossible is still worth pursuing, yes?). So I’ve still got much more work to do.

We’re supposed to get a lot of snow tonight… I’m hoping it will be enough to get me out of work on Saturday, though I guess that will just make Sunday all the busier.

7 days left until that happy day arrives… but the end of tomorrow seems far away enough for me…

High School Memories

One of my friends from high school uploaded a high school video project we made to YouTube. It really brought back a lot of hilarious memories… a lot of inside jokes though.

He also uploaded a lot of the PowerPoints we did in high school. Instead of doing boring text-based presentations, we often created primitive animations and recorded our voices so that we wouldn’t have to do much talking during our presentations. My friend wrote some great descriptions of the projects; I had forgotten a lot about them, so reading the descriptions almost had me in tears laughing.

Though I still don’t believe I gained much from going through high school and still believe high schools should be abolished, it was great remembering the more hilarious times.

Genius thoughts

My first proposition is that “genius” is like “greatness” … it is an abstract concept the comes from our human brains, it is a word that describes what we think of something.

That said, it’s subjective. It is not objective. Some people don’t seem to like the notion of subjective greatness or subjective genius. They ask “who was the greatest composer?” or “how can we know the greatest music when we hear it?” They don’t seem to understand the notion that “greatness” is a thought, a psychological factor. It is not like size or mass, properties that manifest themselves in the physical touchable world.

So … what or who is “genius” is completely subjective. However, I think we’re raised in a world that doesn’t like to admit that.

Secondly, everyone is pretty intelligent. I think we often think of math skills as being the biggest “genius” factor … how well someone can do calculations in their head or how well they can do in a math competition or on a math test become measurements of “genius.”

But if you learn anything from studying artificial intelligence, from trying to make a computer do some simple human tasks, you realize how hard some human feats are. Being able to see a picture and instantly recognize all kinds of objects and structures in milliseconds … pretty amazing. Being able to balance on one foot, being able to fall forward just enough to put enough weight on the other foot as when walking … pretty amazing. Being able to hear sounds and interpret meanings out of them quickly, being able to structure new sentences with new meanings in seconds, being able to think in images and to have ideas and to decide what to do one morning … all pretty amazing things.

But they don’t really seem that amazing in the real world. Why? Because everyone can do them. Even the dumbest idiot can walk and talk. But the smartest robot who can calculate faster than the human calculator, who can beat a grandmaster in chess, can’t walk or talk, not with the ease of a human.

So perhaps we like to think of a “genius” not necessarily as someone who’s “really smart” but as someone who’s just plain special, someone who can do things that most people can’t. (Especially if it involves math.)

Which brings me to my next proposition: anyone can do just about anything. Not everything, but anything, with dedication. That is, sometimes it’s dedication that we replace with “genius” … after all, dedication can be extremely hard. Have you tried writing a book lately? Yikes.

Or take piano playing. Often those who can play very well are deemed intelligent, smart, smarter than average at least. I wouldn’t disagree of course (least of all because I can’t play myself), but I do believe it’s something anyone can learn, anyone who’s willing to give it dedication.

That’s probably not much of a proposition … you probably knew that already, huh? I don’t know. Sometimes I meet people and they feel like it’s “too late” for them … or they feel like if they weren’t “born with the talent” then there’s no way to gain it, even though it seems to me that all talent is gained through dedication.

All that said, yes, I do agree that some people can learn certain things faster than others. Some people have certain subjects come to them more quickly. Is that perhaps the measure of genius?

It’s kind of sad how we all might have some instinctive need to feel special, yet at the same time we can recognize that we can’t really be, not how we’d like to be.

I don’t know what I’m talking about anymore, I’m just blathering. That’s what this blog is for. Reading back over this post, I already sort of disagree with myself in some parts. Oh well. What do you think? Truth is an emergent property, eh?

People like to suffer!

Cloverfield review

I saw Cloverfield the other night. At first I thought the hand held camera perspective would make me dizzy. I thought I’d hate it, as I am generally not a fan of the “shaky camera” effect at all… but it worked in this film. It reminded me a bit of the awesome long shots in Children of Men. Although Cloverfield is supposed to be all from the perspective of a handheld camera, I must say, the camera gives excellent quality shots, and the people holding it are very good at constantly showing enough of the action to be satisfying. Sometimes when I’m watching home movies from yesteryears, I can’t stand how whoever was holding the camera let it tilt toward the floor too much or zoomed in too much or whatever. In other words, the character holding the hand held camera had a pretty good sense of cinematography. Even when he drops the camera, he amazingly drops it in just the right way that we’ll still get to see something interesting.

Anyway, I thought the special effects of the movie were fantastic, and they reminded me of the great effects in War of the Worlds. There is always something nightmarish about large things in the sky… that vastness of something incredible that you can only see from a distance. Ya know what I mean? I’ve had nightmares in which there are giant planets filling up the sky, or there are gigantic space ships flying over head, so distant that they look two dimensional, but so large that they take up your field of vision. If you don’t know what I mean… I don’t know… what’s wrong with you?

I liked that none of the actors in the film were familiar to me, that made the story a bit more believable. If someone famous had been cast it would have been awkward. However, I thought the actors they did cast weren’t very good at acting. Maybe it was the story and the script, but their performances didn’t come across as believable to me. They came across as high school drama students reciting lines.

I think it was the story and the script. While the special effects were fantastic and the cinematography was great, the story was just… bleh… I didn’t get it. Then again, I’m not sure I could’ve come up with anything better.

I really loved the end credit music, composed by good old Michael Giacchino. He needs to score some more films.

So, overall I’d rate Cloverfield a 6 out of 10. What it lacks in story and acting it makes up for in amazing visuals. And I’ve seen much worse stories anyway.

I think it would have made a rather nice musical. They should’ve hired Sondheim. That would have been awesome.

An Impulse Buy

The other day the phone rang and I picked it up and it was my father at Best Buy telling me about computers on clearance, as my mother was thinking of buying one. I thought the deal was pretty good, so I drove over and bought the computer meself! It’s fast, has got about a 600 GB hard drive, and 3 GB of RAM, an okay graphics card, all for a low price. Definitely nicer (and of course more up to date) than my other four year old computer that I bought before college (which is, by the way, in pretty good shape for four years of use). I needed a new graphics card and more memory, so for probably a little more than the same, I bought a new computer.

I hadn’t planned on buying a new computer quite yet, so this was definitely an impulse buy. But thus far I’m pleased with it, even though I already used up 100 GB installing software and putting on the music I had on my other computer. But I still have 500 GB, so I’ve got plenty of space… plus my external which still has 400 GB left if I need it. So memory won’t be an issue for a while, I do suppose.

Anyway, in other news, I worked a bit more on my book on melody. Actually, I didn’t do much writing, I mostly did some planning. Ah … planning.

In other news, I finished the book How Computer Games Help Children Learn. I first expected it to talk about popular video games and their effects on children, but it was actually more about epistemology and how children come to learn anything in the first place. It then applies epistemological factors to games in general, showing how someone might learn something from any sort of game at all. It goes over case studies of quite elaborate games, and hints at how the properties of such games could be applied to the popular video games of today.

It would be very good for teachers to read as it makes some very important points. For example, students have to care about their work. Morphing a subject into a quiz game is practically useless. “History Jeopardy time!” is a lame stupid useless way to incorporate a game into a classroom; it’s not going to automatically make students care about history, nor will the content of the game last long afterwards.

My only qualm with the book is that to prove children have learned, it quotes the children themselves, and I know from experience that children are certainly willing to lie. I went to a summer program in middle school, and at the end we had to fill out evaluations. Being young and not very critical, I gave the program a good review on the evaluation. After all, this would please everyone, right? If I was honest about my opinion of thinking the program was a waste of time, who’d listen? Wouldn’t that make me seem like a whiny little dork? Wouldn’t the grown ups take it as an insult?

Not that I believe all the students quoted in the book are lying, just that I took them with a grain of salt. But what more can you ask for as proof? (Or ‘evidence’ I guess I should say.) When someone asks you “does this dress make me look fat?” the question begs a lie or jerkfulness, doesn’t it?

Much blather in July

Whew, the month of July has been going by fast! I’ve been mostly staying busy with part time jobs (still don’t have a full time job yet). I’m still working on a music album, but the composing is a bit slow going. In my free time, rather than composing, I’ve been watching movies, reading books, and working on my book on the art of melody.

Movie-wise, the best movie I’ve seen in a while is Pixar’s WALL-E. It amazes me how far ahead Pixar computer animation is compared to their competitors. And they’re always very good with story. Many of the other studios seem to have pretty stupid people in charge, approving horrible scripts, who don’t seem to realize that story should come first. Michael Eisner, former head of the Walt Disney Company, even went so far as to assume audiences were no longer interested in traditional 2D animation because their animated films performed poorly in the box office. I think audiences still love traditional animation; what can make or break a film isn’t the fanciness of the graphics, it’s the story. That said, I can understand story can often be a mysterious realm that can be hard to get right; coming up with a good story is hard. Still, it’s amazing what plotless horrible stories find their way out of some major studios. Pixar seems to be one of the only studios that continues to have a very good sense of story. Even they don’t get it completely “right” all of the time (in my opinion, at least), but they’re way ahead of the game.

I also saw the film Awake not too long ago. It didn’t get very good reviews, and was certainly not as good as WALL-E, but the twists surprised me nonetheless, so it was okay. Definitely better than many of the other films I’ve been watching. 10,000 BC, Vantage Point, Into the Wild, Vacancy … I didn’t much care for any of them.

I still want to see The Dark Knight, but I’m waiting for the hype to die down.

Reading-wise, I finished Wizard’s First Rule a while ago. The story was okay, but the author’s style of writing was quite bland. I’m now reading a fantasy book called Gardens of the Moon … it’s okay, the style is not bland at all, but there are so many characters, so many motives, so much history, it’s extremely confusing. Especially after reading something as direct and non-confusing as Wizard’s First Rule.

On the non-fiction front, I read a very interesting book about the origins of Pixar called The Pixar Touch … definitely interesting for anyone who likes Pixar as they are becoming the new Disney. I’m now reading a book called How Computer Games Help Children Learn which is about how computer games help children learn. You’d think it’d be about something else, but it’s not. So far it’s pretty interesting. Here’s a quote:

Early in my career, for example, I had the pleasure of teaching in a school that was also a working organic farm in rural Vermont. The students planted and harvested all of the school’s produce. They fed and mucked the cows, sheep, and chickens, cleaned the schools buildings, repaired walls and painted fences, took in hay or collected sap for syrup, and chopped an hauled wood to heat the buildings, depending on the weather and the season.

They were willing to work so hard because they saw the work as authentic. The chickens needed to be fed. Every morning. Even when it was 10 degrees below zero. If the tables weren’t wiped down after breakfast, everyone got maple syrup on their elbows at lunch. Students saw the wood go from tree, to log, toneatly stacked cord, and, eventually, to the school’s furnace.

While I have no great desire to enroll in that school, I think it makes a very important point, and that’s that emphasized word: authentic. Is the work in school authentic? Does it really matter? Working on a farm like that, the work definitely matters. Answering questions at the end of a chapter in text-book, not so much. Unfortunately, I think a majority of the work done in middle school and onwards is not very authentic. Students aren’t working on a farm, they’re working on paper, and the ultimate punishment for an unfinished homework assignment is a low grade, again on paper. How does such work apply to the real world? How does it apply to life? It doesn’t. The basic argument is “get good grades and you’ll get a job with lots of money in it!” and that’s how it applies to the real world. But can’t we look beyond the grades? What about the actual content of the assignment? Is it important? Usually it’s not. Usually it’s pretty useless info by itself.

And I believe that’s why so many teenagers get “moody” … don’t we all want our work to be meaningful? School work certainly doesn’t seem very meaninful, and yet teenagers are pretty much forced to do it out of the prospect of getting a high-paying job years down the road, a prospect that’s pretty hard to promise, and schools certainly don’t get punished if their students are displeased with their jobs years later. Shouldn’t some other goal be in mind besides a “high-paying job”?

Okay, enough about that. Music-wise, I’ve been working on my book about the art of melody. I’m not that far into it, but I think it’s a pretty fascinating area of study, and I hope I can finish it and perhaps even get it published. However, as I said before, it will probably take years to complete. It’s exciting though, I don’t think anyone’s approached the subject like I am ever before (and I spent a fair amount of time looking), so I sort of feel like I’m breaking new ground (although maybe I’m not and I just don’t realize it). Woohoo! I only wish I had more time to work on it…

Well, that was a nice long post, hopefully it makes up for my not blogging in a while…

King’s Assassin and stuff

Posted a new music video on YouTube the other day!

Let’s see, what else… I’m still working on a music album, though it will still be a while before it’s finished… I’m close to having 1/4th of it done.

I’m still reading Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind (took a break to read Physics of the Impossible). Only 300 pages to go!

I sent off my short story to another publisher last week, so I’m waiting for a rejection from them, though I guess it will probably be a couple months.

Oh, the “Creature Creator” for the upcoming game Spore came out; I played around with that a bit. Unfortunately my graphics card doesn’t support the right version of pixel shading, so I’ll need to buy a new one before I can enjoy the full glory of the game, so I probably won’t get it right when it comes out. 🙁 (Maybe we’ll get it for the Wii though, not sure.)

I haven’t seen the new Pixar film yet, but I heard that they didn’t release a teaser trailer for next year’s Pixar film with it. GRRRR. Why not? Please, please, Pixar, don’t let Disney cramp your style!! If you do, I won’t like you anymore.