theladyrose: (Default)
If there is one important thing that I've learned this semester, it's that one should NEVER leave liquids around computers.

Miraculously, just yesterday night my keyboard went back pretty much to normal, except the shift key doesn't work. But hey, I'm not complaining. I do apologize in being slow in responding to comments as I was pretty much denied computer access for the past few weeks, and I forced myself not to procrastinate when working on my paper in the basement computer lab. I've come to appreciate how much we rely on technology to communicate; as I accidentally left my cell phone battery charger back home, someone in theory could have murdered me in my room – my roommate was out in studio for the better 3/4 of this past week – and no one probably would've known. I really don't know how my floormates can get away with smoking the amount of marijuana and drinking and generally partying during finals that they've done; perhaps they realize how screwed they are and have stopped trying.

Speaking of my floormates, I was extremely tempted to pull a Grey's Anatomy and tack up one of my floormate's panties to the floor bulletin board. The laundry room is right across from the bathroom, dears — leaving your thong around the shower head is kind of nasty minus the "kind of."

Thankfully my roommates next year are lovely; we start scouting around for an apartment mid-January. Rumor is the housing lottery belongs to the 4th circle of hell, but now that USC guarantees incoming freshment starting my year two years guaranteed campus housing we're given priority. We still need a 4th roommate – luckily the greatest demand seems to be for 2-person apartments, although there are a fair number of 4-person apartments – but a fellow classmate may be joining us so we'll see.

I've been alternating between periods of dull le Carré-style drudgery and stress-induced hysterical laughter — yes, it's that time of year: finals. It's crazy how long it took me to write the last half page of my consumerism final – I was probably at the same page length for 4 hours because I kept editing a lot and found my brain too worn out to come up with even more analysis to make up for the edits. I can honestly say for the first time since I've been in college I can't wait to be home tomorrow afternoon and give my brain a chance to rest up and do the stuff it wants to do, like finish watching the rest of Danger Man season one. The one little thing I will regret leaving for a month (as eerily enough, most of my friends here live in the Bay Area) are the honey bran muffins from Commons, but I think I can manage ;p

I can't figure out if I've become lazier since coming to college. Seriously, I've been setting new records for how late I've slept in this week alone; today it was almost 5 in the evening just because my body's forced to pay the massive sleep debt accumulated from insomnia. I've been trying to start my papers a week in advance, but I find that I look back on my earlier drafts and realize how much I need to change so I still end up staying up until 3 AM to get them the way I want. Now that I finished my last take-home final at 2 AM today, I finally got around to dumping out the masses of papers I've accumulated over the semester and sorting out the work I want to keep. I've probably sacrificed a small forest in the process, but it was so worthwhile. It's a little scary, the sense of tremendous satisfaction from finally organizing everything. Somehow I'm deluded enough to think that if I have enough self-discipline the rest of the emotional chaos that tends to randomly explode in my face can be tamed.

I've been trying to work on my Casino Royale film review for the past few weeks, but I keep rewriting it as I'm still not quite satisfied with it yet. A more comprehensive soundtrack review is also in the works.

Year in Review meme )

Random Casino Royale soundtrack note: I read some silly review that praised Arnold's "passionate love themes." What the heck? Arnold's love themes are remarkably restrained, even minimalistic in orchestration compared to his other, more John Barryesque works. I'm glad that Arnold went for a more subtle approach - you can hear the gradual progression of the slightly icy banter still tinged with a certain chemistry to the gradual realization of their mutual feelings. Craig's Bond isn't really that much of a romantic; despite his professional coldness, he strikes me as the kind of guy who acts on his feelings in relationships, the sort of person who omits to tell the truth rather than lie. Neither of them are gushingly in love, totally engrossed in learning everything they can about the other; they come to implicitly trust each other without asking any questions, which underlies the dramatic tensions of what is left unsaid. The simplistic tonal and harmonic palette in the renditions of the theme reflects that unspoken honesty.

That was basically a really convoluted piece of tripe calling itself writing, but whatever. It's driving me crazy that I can't use parentheses anymore because my shift key doesn't wo.

Anyway, getting back to my original point about Arnold's approach – yes, the "I'm the Money" cue introducing Vesper features a wonderfully lush string quotation of the main title theme, but Arnold (and his orchestrator/conductor, Nicholas Dodd) tends to use richer orchestrations for location introduction cues. Listen to the sudden shift halfway through “Blunt Instrument” when Bond arrives in the Bahamas or 'Welcome to Baku' from The World Is Not Enough, and you'll know what I mean. “I’m Yours” during Bond’s recovery is the most full-bodied use of the Vesper theme, but it's really the official culmination of the Bond/Vesper relationship, and the cue also introduces the gorgeous Lake Como sanotorium location.

Yeah, I'm glad that I finally have the time to get around to working on this review in my newfound free time because there's way too much I want to say.
theladyrose: (Default)
There's nothing I'd like more right now than to write up an initial review of David Arnold's Casino Royale soundtrack. [livejournal.com profile] blofeldscat wrote a great review and feature about the evolution of Arnold's musical approach, so I'm afraid anything I write will. (For the record, I did get the excerpt about From Russia With Love from your book; I'm still mulling it over and am in the midst of coming up with a response.) My initial impressions of soundtracks tend to be rather cursory and misjudged; I usually dislike/feel indifferent, and then a few weeks later upon the second listening

I am so out of practice. It's pathetic — several months and the terms are starting to slip my mind.

A few brief, crude initial impressions — I'll get back to these later )

Coincidentally enough, I have to put off this review (and finishing up the Elmer Bernstein concert review from two months ago) because I need to finish up my paper about consumerism and James Bond.

With luck, I'll be seeing the movie this weekend.
theladyrose: (Default)
I'm not quite sure why, but I've always been drawn to this particular passage of Ian Fleming's. The man's not John le Carré by any means, but Fleming does have his profound moments amidst the "kiss kiss bang bang" of the Bond novels.

He was amused by by the impartiality of the roulette ball and of the playing-cards — and their eternal bias. He liked being an actor and a spectator and from his chair to take part in other men's dramas and decisions, until it came to his own turn to say that vital "yes" or "no," generally on a 50-50 chance.

Above all, he liked it that everything was one's own fault. There was only onself to praise or blame. Luck was a servant and not a master. Luck had to be accepted with a shrug or taken advantage of up to the hilt. But it had to be understood and recognized for what it was and not be confused with a faulty appreciation of the odds, for, at gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.

One day, and he accepted the fact he would be brought to his knees by love or by luck. When that happened he knew that he oo would be branded with the deadly question mark he recognized so often in others, the promise to pay before you have lost: the acceptance of fallibiity.


[/end tonight's studying]

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theladyrose

June 2010

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