Archive for the ‘College’ category

Never One For Opera…

June 13, 2008

Yesterday (being Thursday, the 12th of June) my wife and I went to see the opera “The H.M.S. Pinafore” at BYU.  I am not much of an opera fan really.  I have seen two live and one on video, and each one because of my wife.  She is a small time opera fan, and the first date that we went on that didn’t have chaperons (other than a room full of BYU students of course) was to an opera.  There are good points to opera, but I tend to enjoy the descendants of the opera a little more.  That said, I had a great time yesterday and thought that the music was really good.

My wife works with the costume department so we get cool seats for free.  So we were right at the top of the balcony, and could see everything pretty darn well.

One of the coolest things about the opera though, was that I discovered that both Indiana Jones and Chariots Of Fire quoted from it.  “I Am The Monarch Of the Sea,” “A British Tar,” where both sung by Sallah in Raiders, and Abrahams sang “An English Man.”  While many of you out there probably already knew all this information, it was new to me.  The songs were all very good, and I enjoyed them.

Definitely  the coolest thing about the opera though was the absolutely amazing oboe section.  I am not joking!  I do not think I have ever heard such amazing oboe playing in my life!  It simply soared above the rest of the orchestra, like… an oboe!  It was amazing.  It was certainly without a doubt the best oboe section I have ever heard in my life.

Anyway.  I am learning to appreciate the art of opera.  It is taking a little time, but I am starting to like it.  The problem for me is that it is simply so hard to follow a plot when every major interaction between the characters is conducted through a song.  Sure I like musicals, but they are different.  They are not always singing, they are just usually singing.  See the difference?  No?  Okay, maybe there really is not much of a difference.  But growing up there sure seemed like there was.  Opera was for old fat people.  Musicals were for young hip people.  I mean, only the really groovy people liked musicals.  With age and experience I believe I am turning into an old fat person though, so I guess Operas are probably okay, and maybe musicals really were for squares all along.  Ah well.

Anyway, that is really all for now.  This if you are stunned by the random and nonsensical nature of this post, just throw money, and I will be appreciative.  Adieu.

Not Sorry To See Them Go

March 16, 2008

For those of you who were unaware of the fact, I spent a little less than year as a custodian for Deseret Towers here in Provo. I never identified myself as a custodian, more like a boy that simply happened to be working as a custodian at the time. I got the job because of my brother (who was already working there). My brother had the job because of his wife (who used to work for the lady in charge). All in all the job was pretty good. In spring and summer terms we would clean windows. But in the Fall and Winter semesters we would clean the toilets. Yuck. I cannot say how that affected my opinion of freshmen. My brother would often comment on how he thought that monkeys were probably cleaner.

During the spring and summer terms we would also do “shotgun” cleaning after the EFY students would leave. This was when we would clean every tower from top to bottom after one wave of kinds left and before the next wave arrived. If freshmen were bad, EFY kids were horrible. They would write things like “I am here at EFY to check out all the HOT college boys (or girls).” Ew. Not fun. I think my favorite event was when I was cleaning dressers one time. One of the dressers seemed uncommonly sticky. I attempted to ascertain why and put my nose close to a drawer and was assailed by the sent of urine (all the rooms smelt funny so I did not notice it earlier). It seems that one of the young dears decided to leave a parting gift for the cleaning crew. Awful nice of him, eh?

In short I was happy to get out of the job.

But that brings me to the purpose of this post. They are tearing down those poor buildings. Many Utah residents are starting to get scared at the impending doom of some over late earthquake. As a result BYU is tearing down buildings that are not earthquake proof. Thus the great and spacious buildings are coming down. To celebrate their passing I am including pictures.

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After all that work slaving over the windows, it almost hurts to see them broken. Not quite though.
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Here you will notice the lack of towers. Of the original seven only one still stands. Kind of sad really. A friend of mine who used to live there almost began crying when they started tearing them down.

Anyway, that is all for now. Until next time, adieu.

The New Film

March 1, 2008

Well, George Lucas has done it again. Despite all the pleading and desires of the true fans of Star Wars, he is making another Star Wars movie. It is almost embarrassing to be a Star Wars fan now. Kinda sad really. For those of you who have not heard, George Lucas is making another Star Wars film that details the events of what happen between episode II and III. This post is going to focus on my reactions and feelings about his upcoming event.

The Basics

The film is going to be about the clone wars and will take place at some unspecified moment in the three years between Attack of the Clone and Revenge of the Sith. All the major characters from the prequel trilogy will be in the film to some degree or another (this includes Count Dooku and General Grievous). So far only Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) is the only original actor slated to play his role. The film is based on a TV series imaginatively named The Clone Wars, which most fans considered better than the actual prequel trilogy. That series was directed by Tartakovsky who also did the delightful Samurai Jack (and is now working on The Dark Crystal II). It does not look like he will be involved in this new series though.

The movie was originally going to be the first few episodes of a TV series that was to be released sometime in the near future. For some reason George Lucas decided that he wanted to turn the idea into a film and then have the TV show take place after the immediate events of the film.

The twist on this film is that the movie is going to be cg animated. How is this different from the other three prequel movies I hear you ask? This film will be just cg animation, no live actors to make the aliens look fake.

The Good

The animation could be a good thing. The shots I have seen look pretty good, and there are no real people to compare the animated aliens to. So it is entirely possible that the animation could be a plus that makes the movie more believable.

One of the project heads is a huge Plo Koon fan. I know that most of you out there do not know and/or do not care who Plo Koon is (but I am going to tell you anyway). He is a minor character that was originally slated to have bigger roles in both Episode II and III, that ended up doing nothing more than standing around looking cool and being shot down by his clone trooper wingmen in III. Why do I care about this guy? I am not sure really, but I do. That is all there is to it. But the point is that a Plo Koon fan is working on the project, there is a good chance that he could have not only a role, but a good role in the film.

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One of the issues that I had with the prequel trilogy was the lack of depth given to non-central characters. In the original trilogy there were guys like Admiral Piett, Admiral Ozzel, Wedge Antilles, Adimiral Ackbar, and Nien Numb (to name just a few) all of whom and speaking lines, but wherenot closely connected to the main characters. None of the heroes ever even meet Piett or Ozzel, but they had lines and where important in their own way. There were no characters like that in the prequels. The only chacaters that ever did anything cool were the heroes. Anakin, Obi-wan, and Padme save the day in every single movie. They only interact with each other, the badguys, and one or two support characters like Mace Windu and Yoda (who you could also argue should be included in the hero category). There are no badguys that only interact with the bad guys. Other characters are only important in how they impact the heroes lives directly.

The reason for this rant (besides the fact that is partially contributed to the poor qualities of the prequel trilogy) is that the aforementioned Plo Koon fan stated that one of the major points of this film and following TV series was to flesh out the universe and give the characters who did not do anything in the films a chance at doing something. So this film could be attempting to rectify one of the biggest problems that I had with the prequels. The fact that every trailer and sneak peek I have seen has shown several shots of Plo Koon either piloting or wielding a lightsabre helps too.

The Bad

The animation. What was George Lucas thinking? Fans have been joking about George Lucas going through and replacing all the actors of the films with cg versions in their likeness. I honestly never expected him to actually do it. I mean I know that he loves cg and all that, but Star Wars was a lot cooler before he found it.

Why is he even making another Star Wars film? We already had to do too much grinning and looking away from the last three films. Why does he feel the need to put us through this again? He is embarrassing me. I am sick of having to grin and bear my way through bad movies that bare the Star Wars logo. That is not to say that I hated (or hate) the prequel trilogy. That is not true, I am just very aware (painfully so) of their deficiencies and flaws (which are many). I am sick of having to apologize for Lucas and explain the loop holes that are in the films. I was planning on ignoring the tv show, but I am not sure if I can ignore another movie.

The Conclusion

I am wary. There are some things that look like they could be very good. There are some things that look like they could be very bad. George Lucas brought to us the travesty that is Attack of the Clones, but he also made the original trilogy. I am hoping that the fact that the film is animated will dazzle him enough that he will not feel the need to ruin it, and can get back to good story-telling.

That is all for now. I am still waiting to hear back about Grad School. I have not yet heard anything other than the fact that they have started looking at my application (that was about a week or so ago). Until next time, adieu.