Pretty flowers

I spent hours planting flowers today. I have outdoor allergies this season, so I was sniffing and wheezing the whole time, but I did catch up on some podcast listening. I also went to Blockbuster and got some movies, so perhaps I’ll blog some reviews to those movies eventually. Haven’t done much else today, those flowers took up all my time.

Oh, I did subscribe to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for a year, so I’m looking forward to my first edition of that arriving in the mail, but who knows how long that will take. I also thought up an idea for a fantasy short story. How many years do you think it will take me to get published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction? I have two rejections from them so far… there will hopefully be more to come… (“hopefully” because it implies that I actually finish more short stories).

Reading into it

I was listening to The Dragon Page podcast last night in which John Scalzi (an author I have never heard of before though his books look interesting) was interviewed. I’m going to paraphrase here, but if you listen to the original podcast you can hear his exact words. Basically Scalzi said that after he wrote a certain book, fans asked him why he did this and why he did that. Scalzi said in the podcast that there really was no reason, “I was lazy and that’s the way I decided to do it.” But that’s not what he told fans because he was working on a sequel. He told fans something to the effect of “ah, yes, there’s a reason for that…” and then he wrote in the reason to the sequel. And now when people ask him about reasons for things in the sequel, he says “oh, really?” with an open ear, for the readers are unknowingly encouraging him to write about reasons for certain things. I just thought that was funny.

One of the things that came up in the interview is how the readers gave authors way too much credit for things they might not necessarily have been thinking about when actually writing. Some authors probably try to make themselves appear smarter by pretending that such things certainly were the intent. I don’t think this is necessarily a harmful way of doing business, but it can get plain stupid when you have English teachers (*cough* Dr. Walker *cough*) who make you write essays on such things, as if prose has to be taught by analyzing the drivel the English department presents as literature.

Shrek 3

I saw Shrek the Third last night and I’d give it a 6 out of 10 stars, the same rating I’d give Shrek 2, though I’d say this latest edition is better than Shrek 2. It is certainly hilarious, filled with all that good old Shrek humor, but when it comes to the sappy parts in which the characters have to talk about their feelings and the lessons they’ve learned and such, dialogue still comes across as far too forced, which for some reason I didn’t sense with the first film. I would much prefer the film to be twice as long (about 3 hours) and have that much more character and story development (and more orchestral music scoring and less pop music), but I guess most audiences wouldn’t much care for that! Still, I enjoyed it, and I would certainly recommend it if you enjoyed the first two films.

Shrek 4 is scheduled to come out in 2010, according to, so we’ll have to wait a few years…

I really haven’t been up to much else worth mentioning… it is extremely nice to be out of school.

P.S. For movie ratings, 4 is average, so anything above a 4 is good and anything below a 4 is bad, while 4 itself is neutral.

Time to podcast again?

I created another music animation video for YouTube, this time for my “Canon No 2 in C major” … embedding seems the proper thing to do:

Haven’t done much else… I read a bit more of The Moonstone… I’m on page 44 now, isn’t that exciting?

Now that I’m home, I’ve been reunited with my clarinet, but I really need some new reeds… I’ve also been reunited with my wonderful mic, which means I could do some new podcasts now… any ideas for a podcast?

Copying Beethoven review

I unpacked a bunch of stuff yesterday, but my room’s a mess and not everything is unpacked. But my computer is all set up, that’s the most important thing, no?

I watched the film Copying Beethoven last night, which was horrible. I’d give it a 2 out of 10 stars. I don’t mind historical inaccuracies when they enhance the story, such as in Finding Neverland, but this story about Beethoven’s fictional young female copyist seemed quite uninspired, lifeless, and bland. The cinematography was quite noticeable for its dreadfulness, with silly zoom ins and shaky cameras all over the place. What is it with shaky cameras these days? I hate the “shaky camera” effect, stop it you cinematographers! I don’t want to get dizzy and sick watching people shake around on the screen. You can create tension with the music and the story itself, you don’t have to go about shaking everything making it look like a home video. In the movie, during the premiere of Beethoven’s 9th, which Beethoven himself conducted (in the movie, that is), the camera decides to whirl around and stop suddenly on Beethoven, and then get shaky. It’s unfortunately almost laughable, because I’m sure the director and cinematographer and others involved wanted this to be a serious film. They should have done something like a crane shot at the climax of the 9th, so we get to fly above the choir and/or the audience, instead of being whirled about to make us nauseated.

Still, there were a few funny parts that were meant to be funny, such as Beethoven’s cruel words about female composers, and how Beethoven ruins the dinner of the family that lives below by washing his hair. He’s deaf, what can he do?

At the very end of the film, Beethoven lays on his deathbed and dictates his last quartet to his copyist… hmmm… sound like the end of another movie about a composer? Hmmm? Tsk tsk tsk! Copying Amadeus!

I thought the film looked rather insipid from the trailer, so I wasn’t too surprised when such notions were confirmed. Do not waste time seeing this film; time is better spent actually listening to Beethoven’s 9th in its entirety. (I like how the third movement of the symphony is skipped completely in the film… who wants to listen to that boring movement?)

Home at last

Whew, I am finally home! Most of my stuff still needs unpacking though… including my computer. Sometime this summer we’re moving into a bigger house, so that will be extremely hectic. But it’s good to be home and it’s great that the semester is finally officially complete. A quite busy summer awaits… and I’ll blog about it everyday that I can to try to keep myself sane… and because I’m a dork.

One day more

One day more… another day, another two exams… this non-ending academic scam… these men who seem to grade my work will always drive my mind berserk… one day more!

My first exam today starts in thirty minutes. I’ve been studying just about all night, and I guess I’ll just spend the next thirty minutes being nervous. Right after the first exam comes another! But today is the final today, and in four or five hours, my exams will be complete!

While studying, I’ve been listening to the catchy “Someone in a Tree” from Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures, so now it will be stuck in my head all through the exams, which is actually nice… a song stuck in the head is a great nervousness coping device!

Last night I also put up some book quotes from Roots of the Classical, as I’ve been planning. There are hopefully some more quotes to come, but what’s there now was all I had time for.

And thus ends the last post on this blog from this dorm room… how special. I mean to get away Tuesday, everything’s set, I leave tonight…

A comedy tonight

Hmmm, actually an exam tonight, but if my life were a movie, the exam might be a comedy. I’ve got a math exam tonight at 7:30 PM, so I’ve still got a good amount of study time, and I’ll be studying basically all day. Hopefully I’ll still have some time to do those quotes from Roots of the Classical after the exam tonight. So today will be a pretty bland day as I do nothing but study, study, study. I finally go home tomorrow night!

Exams so wicked this way come

I’m working at the university library for the last time this morning!

I finished Roots of the Classical last night. Nothing like knocking out a 470 page book in two weeks, though I admit I skipped most of the music examples which did take up a fair amount of space. Maybe next semester if I have the time and the dedication, which I probably won’t, I’ll check the book out again and spend some time with the music examples. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen with all the other stuff I want to do… it’s a nice thought though. Anyway, as I said before, I do have at least 20 quotes I wanted to blog about in the book quotes blog, so I’ll do that today in between studying breaks.

I have three more exams, one tomorrow night and two on Tuesday. The last one on Tuesday I hardly have to study for… maybe I’ll just run through the notes for an hour, but it’s pretty simple stuff. The other two, however, are math exams, which I must study for, though I’m still afraid I’ll blank out for some reason on at least one question. The one on Monday night will probably be the hardest, and if I can get through that, Tuesday shouldn’t be too much trouble. However, the first exam on Tuesday is at 7:30 AM. Ugh! I haven’t waken up that early in a long time, that won’t be fun. Almost to the end…

I’ve had a few people contact me asking for sheet music for my “Trio for Harp, Flute, and Oboe” which seems to be my most popular video on YouTube (which isn’t that popular at all compared to… uh… more popular videos). So I really want to make that available somehow… I want to publish it on (I think I said this in another blog post somewhere) and offer it as a download, but I wonder if anyone would pay for it? If I can make at least enough money off of it to buy a candy bar, that would be awesome. I guess I’ll try offering it as a pay-to-download (something like $2.00… really cheap, no?) and see whether or not anyone is willing to pay for it.

That’s enough blather for today…

Great concert

PDQ Bach was hilarious, I especially enjoyed the final movement of his “Variations on an Unusually Simple-Minded Theme for Piano and Orchestra, S. 1” … ah, that was great! They did a fair amount of visual jokes as well, so the humor did not come entirely from the music, as it might on one of his albums, so seeing him in concert was a much different experience… probably even a better experience.

On June 29 and 30, the National Symphony Orchestra is playing the good old “Video Games Live” concert… I’d love to go see that, who wants to come?

I’m on page 426 of Roots of the Classical and I’ve got one chapter left to read. Almost to the end! And then I have at least 20 quotes to put up… though I might skip some to save time.