Thursday, December 29, 2005


Narnia was better

Z and I saw Narnia today. It wasn't too bad. Not great or anything, but a whole lot better than King Klunk. I can't really remember any favorite scenes or anything... it was all a bit shallow and aimed at the kids. I did like the morphed characters, like the fauns and the centaurs, etc. The story line was a bit hokey. I did like some of the music - especially the cello parts near the end.

The only preview that we wanted to come back for was Pirates of the Caribbean II. Johnny Depp is by far the best actor in the business. He puts himself completely inside the skin of whatever character he plays.

Why does Hollywood invest a quarter of a billion dollars to make a movie and then let some a..hole butcher it with poor or quirky directing, lame plots, absurd casting and characterizations (e.g., Jack Black in King Klunk), and inane dialogue? No wonder the audiences have become jaded. It ain't worth blowing $ on tickets and the overpriced lobby food for a movie that's agonizingly boring. Most of these blockbusters aren't even worth watching when they show up on the cable channels.

Maybe it's because they do have so much money tied up in it that the producers, the studio execs, and their consultants and lawyers all dumb it down with edits and prohibitions in order to avoid offending anybody and to reach the largest possible audience. This process culiminates in a boring "blockbuster".

I'm working on drawing an "exact scale" fingering chart for my cello, using AutoCAD. I want something that is easy to figure out (I'm using colors for each position). Somehow, I also want to show the frequencies for each note and their positions on the staff.

I realized today that I am sight reading the finger positions from the notes on the staff, but I'm not actually recognizing which note it is (A, or D# or whatever). I know the treble clef well from my clarinet and violin (and piano) experiments, but I never used the bass clef. So I've got to spend a bit of time quizzing myself. has a cool quiz page for that; also for key signatures, chords and intervals. I know absolutely nothing about intervals, and only barely a little about chords.

Today, again, incremental cello progress, little by little. I KNOW I am going to get it. I worked today on fingering drills, and then back to the new pieces. I've finally worked through the one full-page new piece (still in pieces) but tomorrow I think I'll be able to play it through all at once. I noticed today that I can tell when I was flat or sharp on a note. I still glance at the PC analyzer to see how far off.

My new monitor arrived today. The screen is HUGE! It's got card slots, USB ports, and DVI capabilities. I can't wait to hook it up tomorrow. It only took a week to arrive. Dell actually shipped it to DHL in Anchorage who then mailed it here ($20)!

Also my new Yo-Yo Ma album: Bach's 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites, arrived from Amazon. I can't wait to hear it. I stopped at the library and picked up some Norah Jones, Van Morrison, and Beach Boy's Pet Sounds for two weeks.

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