Category: Personal Page 2 of 7

Love in a…Parking Garage?

I don’t post too much solely personal stuff around here, though I do let it seep in a lot when I’m talking about movies or music or whatever else. This is worth its own post, though. My boyfriend Jonathan and I are now engaged, but not for long – we’re getting married this Sunday. “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” right? (When Harry Met Sally… is one of the few romantic comedies we both actually like.)

I’ve never been very good with decisions. It’s part of my INTJ personality type, I know – we like to have all the options open and continue gathering data as long as possible. After all, we may find out a piece of data that totally changes what we think and affects that decision. Choosing schools, choosing places to live, choosing where to eat dinner, choosing what movie to rent – they’re all things that take me a long time and I second guess myself constantly.

Marrying Jonathan is the easiest decision I’ve ever made in my life. The idea of NOT being with him is just…unimaginable. Thankfully he feels the same way! Now Sunday can’t come fast enough.

Yesterday, our friend and photographer Sarah took us out for some engagement photos. In a parking garage. But it fits, because we’re both city people now, and the parks and fields she often shoots engagement photos in wouldn’t really fit us. Plus, this particular parking garage has really great mountain backdrops. She was able to find all the cool patches of light seeping through the edges of the garage. An unlikely location, perhaps, but I think it turned out beautifully.

Here are just a few of my favorite shots. Click here or on any of the images to see more at Sarah’s site.

On Theatre vs. Film, or, My Biases Become Clarified

Look, it’s not a scheduled series post! Didn’t know I could still do those, didja? I had to write this down, though, while I was thinking about it. A compulsion, you might say.

My friend Lis and I have a sort of ongoing casual conversation regarding our likes and dislikes of different media. We both love television and similar music, but she can take or leave film (while I obviously cannot) and I can take or leave theatre (which she loves with pretty much the same intensity that I love film). We went together to watch a play tonight, and though we ended up agreeing fairly well on what we liked and didn’t like about the individual play, I had a few sudden insights into my preference for film and hers for theatre that I hadn’t had before.

She’s really interested in acting and how actors convey emotion. She’s also a big fan of writing, so for her, a medium of the stage is very close to perfect. The stage highlights the work of writers and actors perhaps more than any other craft. (My dad would say lighting design, but he’s an engineer. Heh.) Plus, in live theatre, the actors are RIGHT THERE, providing an instant and visceral emotional connection. But even in film, she’s similarly more drawn to acting, script, and story than anything else.

If I ranked what’s most important to me in a film – in other words, what things are more or less likely to make me enjoy or fail to enjoy a film – it goes like this: 1) direction, 2) cinematography, 3) editing, 4) story, 5) script, 6) acting and probably 7) music and 8) other concerns like set design and costumes. In other words, I’d rather watch a film that looked gorgeous and had interesting editing and mise-en-scene but mediocre acting than one with great acting that’s shot in a hamfisted manner. There are exceptions, of course – there always are. But IN GENERAL.

During the play tonight what interested me the most was the set design – how you take a play with at least six or seven different places and depict them all in such a small area with a minimum of changes. Where do the actors come in, and where do they go when something else is commanding our attention? That’s fascinating to me. Manipulation of space. The stage is a great place to examine mise-en-scene, because that’s WHAT IT IS. And filmmakers that understand space are usually much more competent than those that don’t, but they also add editing and perspective. I enjoyed figuring out the set design and marveling when a new way to set it up is revealed, but I got bored very quickly looking at it from the same perspective all the time. I wanted to see what it would look like from a low-angle shot, or an oblique from behind those curtains at the side. When I say my number one most important thing is direction, that’s what I mean – how does the director manipulate the cinematic space and our view of it? Directing the actors is secondary, except insofaras the actors are part of the frame.

A great example of this was when Lis and I watched Doubt (the film) together. She liked it a lot more than I did, because the acting is so strong. And I recognized the strength of the acting, but I thought the direction was incredibly dull. And when the director tried to make it interesting (the canted shots depicting doubt), he was inconsistent and illogical, which threw me right out of the story. She came out thinking it was really powerful; I came out wondering who decided to let a playwright direct a film.

I can enjoy live theatre, no problem. And I love seeing musicals (and music) live – the immediacy of music affects me more strongly than the immediacy of actors. But it’ll never mean as much to me as film does, because it lacks the elements that most make me love film. Not that that’s bad – obviously Lis is the opposite, and that’s fine. I just feel better knowing that I can now verbalize my hesitation to rush out to the theatre with her, which matches her hesitation to rush out to the cinema with me. :)

Incidentally, there are plays that I don’t think would work as films, and not just because they’re talky and film would be boring. Into the Woods I can’t see as a film at all, because the staging is so perfect that trying to do almost any part of it without having the rest of the stage (and the inactive-yet-still-active portions of the story on it) visible would lessen the counterpoint and interconnectedness of Sondheim’s score. But it would be very awkward and stagy to film it that way. In that case, adapting it to film seems almost sure to flatten it rather than add depth. Maybe some brilliant filmmaker can prove me wrong, and I’d love to see one try. :) But again, exception to the rule.

LA Update

I’m working on various posts about various things, but I don’t know how long it’ll take me to actually get them finished and posted, so I figured I’d throw up a quickie update for those of you wondering how my crazy move to LA is going.

  • I’m in LA! Yay! Safe, fun trip all around.
  • I love it here. The weather is gorgeous, there’s cool stuff everywhere, stores, restaurants, theatres, beaches, mountains, the whole bit.
  • I love the people here! And by “the people here” I mean the Craws and the other people in their church, who have been very welcoming (to the point of letting me stay with them while I apartment-hunt, even!). And my friend Lis in Sherman Oaks.
  • I am still apartment-hunting, but I have a bunch of leads I’m going to call up tomorrow and hopefully get something nailed down early this week.
  • Also still job-hunting, but I’m expanding my search beyond universities, and I think I have a few good possibilities.
  • Mostly, I’m just still so happy every time I wake up and realize where I am. So there’s that.

Life Update

I know I’ve been lax on the old blog lately. I claim a combination of schoolwork, socializing, nearing-graduation stress, returning television shows, and generally not much interesting going on. Oh, and also the part where I’ve gotten in Twitter a lot more and am post one-off thoughts there instead of collecting them together into a blog-sized post. That gets most everything I want to say out of my system so it doesn’t end up here, which can be good or bad, I guess, depending on how you look at it. The socializing has been largely responsible for my not being around and live-blogging American Idol. Various people have wondered what’s going on with me, though, so here’s a bulleted update.

  • American Idol – I’ve been ragging on Carly a lot, but honestly, I was pretty shocked when she went home instead of Jason. I’ve also supported Jason mostly throughout the show, but that was a trainwreck of a performance on his part, and I think he’s pretty well proven that, much to my disappointment, he’s a one-trick pony. So America got that one way wrong. For me, though, David Cook has it locked. Which means he’ll probably get voted off next. Just my luck.
  • School – In case you didn’t catch the edit to my post about the oral exam, I did pass it. Which is a major yay. Actually, it was sort of enjoyable – a conversation about books and film with really smart people. :) Except one professor kept asking me about Faulkner even though I admitted to never reading any Faulkner. Guess I know what’s next on my reading list! And a friend and I gave a joint presentation in Literary Criticism yesterday which went surprisingly well. And now I just have two seminar papers left, and I’m fairly comfortable with them, so stress-level has fallen exponentially in the last two days.
  • Post-Grad Plans – My current plans are to take a couple of weeks after graduation, maybe spend a week here hanging out with friends minus finals week stress and a week at home, then move to Los Angeles. I’m looking for jobs at USC or UCLA (not teaching; administrative), or pretty much anywhere out there that will pay me to do something I can do. ;) I mostly just want to live in a big city for a while, at least, and LA won out over New York due to climate.
  • Television – Most of the TV shows are back from the writer’s strike now, which caught me by surprise, a bit – I had gotten used to my DVR NOT filling up every week. ;) The fact that I found the writer’s strike a bit of a relief probably means I’m following too many shows, but I can’t figure out which ones to give up. And the down side is that I ended up picking up a bunch of Bravo reality shows during the strike, and now I don’t want to give those up either. Good thing most of them are short. Anyway, the big television news around here is that Battlestar Galactica is back! After marathoning S3 on DVD, my friends and I jumped straight into the fourth and final season, and it is frakking amazing. If you’re not watching this show, get the DVDs and start. Don’t start in the middle.
  • Gaming – GTA IV came out last night at midnight, and I went and got it. At midnight. Only time I’ve ever done that for a game, though I’ve been to midnight movie premieres. One. Harry Potter. Anyway. I wasn’t able to stay awake for more than a couple of hours gaming once I got home (I’m getting old, what can I say?), but it’s pretty sweet. Graphics are beautiful, Liberty City is HUGE. I was afraid that it’d seem small after the three-city-plus-desert of San Andreas, but no. It’s ginormous, and with so much stuff going on that I’ve repromised myself never, ever to drive in New York City (on which Liberty City is based). It’s craziness. I also used gift certificates to upgrade to Gold on Xbox Live, so I’m set for multiplayer, once I can tear myself away from the single-player campaign.
  • Socializing – It’s starting to hit me that I’m leaving here in like a month, and though I feel confident in the strength of the friendships I’ve made over the past two years (and the power of Facebook) that I’ll keep in contact with most of my friends, I have been trying to spend as much time as possible with them all before I leave. And I’m at that place where I’m glad to be almost done with school, and I’m very glad to be leaving Waco, but I’m not at all glad about leaving all the people here. I know everyone goes through that every time we change life situations, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

So that’s pretty much my life right now.

Spring Break!

I won’t be liveblogging American Idol this week due to being on Spring Break at a friend’s house off South Padre Island where there is no internet. We’re all at the library now doing some much-needed e-mail catch-up, but I’ve been surprised by how little I’ve missed being online, especially since I’m normally online something like ten hours a day. Ah well. We’ve had other things to keep us busy. Even though it’s been a little chilly to do much beach stuff. We’re going to try to go today, but we’re all wearing sweatshirts. :) Anyway, just wanted to give y’all a heads up so you didn’t think I was dead when I missed American Idol tonight.

Page 2 of 7

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén