Saturday, May 26, 2007

Schooooool's OUT! FOR! SUMMER!

Ah, Alice Cooper.

So, I'm on summer vacation. Well, sort of. I mean, technically, it has begun, but it doesn't really feel like it yet. I'm home for a week, and then I leave for ten days in Australia, and then when I get home, I'll feel like summer break has truly begun. Australia, though it will be awesome in many ways, won't really feel like a vacation, I'm thinking, because it's a student leadership summit-type-thing, which involves a lot of meetings and presentations and "professional attire." Interesting and educational, I'll wager, but not exactly vacation.

Anyway, I have to note a few things upon returning home.

1. Z-94.1 turned into NPR?! WTF mate?! The radio situation in Fort Wayne is swiftly declining. First, there's the whole "WMEE/WAJI format switching/both starting to suck royally" thing (long story, don't get me started). Then, one of the only decent alternative rock stations gets taken over by a Spanish-language station (which would actually be really cool, except the music they play is awful). Then, just when I think things couldn't get worse, WBNI takes over one of my favorite classic rock stations and turns it into NPR! Now, I actually like NPR for news and stories and talk stuff. It's really interesting, and informative, and all such jazziness. But they already have an NPR station in the area. There's no call for another! Especially not at the expense of "Fort Wayne's only classic rock morning show," i.e. the classic rock station that actually plays music in the morning, not the Bob & Tom Show. Don't get me wrong, Bob & Tom are often quite amusing in their crude and offensive way, but sometimes you need MUSIC, especially when you're trying to drive somewhere in the morning without falling asleep. And anyway, it was nice having an alternative when 92.3 got boring. But no longer.

2. Lake Clare is disgusting. This has been true for awhile now, but it's getting even truer. It used to be a really nice place to swim: spring fed quarry water, cool and clean. That was back in the day. Awhile back now (before my scope of memory, anyway), they closed the deeper part of the lake to swimmers, eliminating the raft and high dive. In more recent years, they started draining the field across the road into the lake. N-A-S-T-Y. And then the birds came. I'm not 100% sure on the reasons behind this (my mom says it's because their usual haunts are being destroyed, which sounds quite plausible), but whatever the cause, ducks, geese, and all other manner of waterfowl have taken over a huge portion of the area around the lake, to the point where you really don't want to walk around on the sand for fear of stepping in something unpleasant. And the unpleasantness is obviously not limited to the sand. My dad said he heard that they're not even opening the swimming area this year, because (a) they don't want to mess with cleaning it up, and (b) lately they've been having to add water to keep the levels up, and this messes with the water table and ends up putting water in nearby basements. So, no more Lake Clare. Not that I'd swim there anymore anyway. What a sad, sad mess.

3. As I said at winter break, two-ply toilet paper is amazing. End of story.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

foreign films

We had a discussion in my FP class once in which we were talking about a movie we'd watched. I can't for the life of me remember the name of it, but it was a Canadian flick about some Jesuit explorers in the New World and the Indians there and the conflict that ensues when the two groups meet. It was to go along with Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow, which we were reading at the time, and it was right depressing, as I recall. But anyway, in the part of the class I'm remembering, the prof had asked what in the film had struck or surprised us, and I said something about the fairly explicit sex, because I hadn't seen that in a movie before. The teacher's response was something along the lines of, "Oh, well you just need to see more foreign films." I didn't contest that, because, well, I hadn't seen many foreign films. In fact, I'm reasonably sure that it was, if not the first, then one of maybe two or three. That has since changed a bit, and I've discovered that, at least as far as Spanish-speaking movies, he was right. Most of the movies we've watched for Spanish this term are, at least in some parts, not ones I'd want to watch with my parents.

Now, I think this says something very interesting about the cultural differences, and that's probably enough for for a post all its own, but that's not what I want to talk about tonight. My topic for the evening is instead the latest movie we watched for Spanish, which ironically enough had no sex at all, though sex was important to the premise in a more peripheral and abstract sort of way. It was a Costa Rican flick called "Password," and it was, in a word, terrible.

Of all the movies we've watched, this one actually had the most interesting-sounding storyline. The main plot is about this 13-year-old girl who meets someone posing as a 14-year-old boy in a chat room and agrees to meet him, but he turns out to be someone who is not 14 (surprise surprise), and who is part of a group involved in basically selling kids to foreigners as sexual slaves. Fun fun. There are also hints of sub-plot with the relationship between the girl's mother and grandmother, and a lot that could've been done with her her father's leaving, which is what opened the movie. Based on a description of the plot alone, this seems like it ought to be a decent film, don't'cha think?

It wasn't.

Where the other movies we've watched had all the sex of a softcore porn flick, plus decent plotlines and good acting, this one had all the clichés and terrible acting of a porno, without the sex. The acting was uniformly ham-handed and flat, and underneath all the clichés, there was no real plot or character development. Things happened for no reason. Coincidences weren't satisfactorily explained. Characters were suddenly mysteriously smarter or dumber than they should've been. In short, it should be shown in every film class as an example of exactly what NOT to do, ever.

This would make me sad in any circumstance, because movies just shouldn't be that bad, but this one irks me particularly, because I have to write about it. And when the prof was describing it, he seemed very enthusiastic, like he thought it was really good or something. How do you write about a movie that's supposed to be shocking and moving when it made you laugh in all the wrong places? How do you evaluate the technical merits of a film that doesn't have any?

Answer: you bullshit.

Wish me luck.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hello Blogger!

So here it is, my official blog. Now, instead of posting everything three times on three different sites with three different formats to remember, I have it all here, in one easily accessible blog of my own. How nice.

Now the question is, of course, will anybody actually read it? Answer: No. But that's okay. I'll have fun with it anyway.

And I must say, I like this site. It's definitely more aesthetically pleasing than Myspace, and more customizeable than Facebook. And while I sometimes miss the emoticons from DeviantArt, I think I'll manage to live without them. I'll have to work on conveying emotion through just my writing, and I need to work on that anyway, so it'll be good practice.

AND IT TELLS YOU WHEN YOU SCREW UP YOUR TAGS! "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is broken: [and then it shows your broken tag]" AMAZING!

This makes me happy.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

making a joyful noise

So, the Community Chorus concert was this evening. (Well, last evening now, I suppose). We did Beethoven's Mass in C Major, along with the Knox College Choir and orchestral accompaniment and four excellent soloists, and it was grand. At least, I thought so. But then, I was singing in it, so I couldn't really hear what everybody else could, and my opinion's probably uninformed and biased anyway, given my relative inexperience with that kind of music.

And of course, now I've got about four different bits from the Credo playing an odd round in my head, interspersed with the occasional burst of "GLOOOOOO-RI-A!" (God, that entrance is so cool!) *hums*

At any rate, I enjoyed myself quite thoroughly. It was the first performance since my days with Academy Singers where I felt like I actually accomplished something. I mean, much as I enjoy Women's Chorale, it's not a challenge, y'know? It's fun and all, but...idk, perhaps a brief anecdote will explain my feelings more clearly.

My anecdote about Women's Chorale

So at the beginning of term, we got some new music, and one of the pieces was a lovely little SSA round, Dona Nobis Pacem, arranged by one Harry Robert Wilson. Upon sitting down and looking over the music, I exclaimed, "Oh, I remember this! We sang this in middle school!" Now, I was merely noticing a fact out loud; my feelings on the subject were somewhere along the lines of, "Oh, I know and like this song! Yay!" I didn't mean it to sound condescending, as in, "Oh god, why are we singing this stupid, easy crap?" but I think that's how Sarah (the director) interpreted it. So I told her that well, it had been honors choir, if that made her feel any better. I don't think it did, which is part of why I failed to mention that, while it had indeed been honors choir, the year we sang that song was actually the year it went to just being regular choir. And that we actually only sang it as a warm-up.

But really, what does she expect? It's not a high-commitment group, and everybody knows the music is easy. We're singing Seasons of Love, for God's sake! Surely she realizes she's not conducting rocket science here. And it's not a judgment call on her, it's simply the nature of the group—WC is for fun. If you want a real musical challenge, you join community chorus or go out for KCC.

Ah well. I likes me my singing, in whatever form it takes.

Speaking of KCC, they're holding auditions. I think I'm gonna go for it. I have no idea whether or not I'd have even the ghost of a chance (and I rather think I wouldn't), but I chickened out in the fall and I promised myself that I'd do it this time around. So I think I will. I mean really, the worst that could happen is that I wouldn't make it and I'd just stay with community chorus and women's chorale like I am now. I don't think Laura Lane will chase me screaming from the room with a pitchfork and tell me never to be caught dead within ten miles of the Knox choir, and if she does, well, I can take a hint. (I really hope she doesn't though, because that would be scary.)

On a completely unrelated note, I had no pockets this evening. As I was undressing for bed a moment ago, I took off my bra and out fell my key to the door downstairs, which I'd forgotten I put there. There's now a kind of weird-looking, key-shaped, grayish-green area on my skin where it was sitting all evening.

And, yeah, that's all I've got for the moment....

*sings* Et vitam venturi saeculi AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-men.

:D

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I'm an internet attention whore.

It occurs to me, from time to time, that I am far too accessible in the online world, if such a thing is possible. I was thinking about it last night, and I now have two Hotmail accounts, Gmail, AIM mail, my Knox email, Myspace, Facebook, deviantArt, Windows Live Messenger, and AIM. I even had a Yahoo ID at some point, though that was long ago and far away and I've forgotten what it was. Upon checking just now I have discovered that my very first email account, ALJ13@att.net, is even still active. Who'd'a thunk? I guess those things never expire. (And how the hell do I still remember that password? That was six years ago!)

All this though, and I still want a blog. I keep thinking about it, and then I think no, I've already got one on Myspace, plus Facebook notes and dA journals that amount to the same thing. Anybody who would be interested in what I have to say can already see it on there. So I talk myself out of it.

And then I run across a link to somebody's page on Blogger and I have to go through the whole process again.

*sigh*