My main interests outside of computer science are film and music.
This spring I wrote a half-dozen movie reviews for the Carnegie Mellon newspaper The Tartan. This was, I felt, a useful experience insofar as it forced me to put my thoughts about movies on paper instead of just making good conversation out of them. However, I learned a few unsavory things about being a movie reviewer:
That said, I am not through with reviewing movies, for sure. I guess what I've realized, though, is that reviewing new movies in the theatres is not my cup of tea. What gets me going more than anything else is showing movies that I love to people I like and respect and watching their reactions, hopefully positive, as I introduce them to something beautiful.
Thus, my new desire is to write recommendations of films that I cherish and that have shaped my sensibilities, in the hope that they will mean something to other people out there as well. This will include films from throughout the century, most of which should be available on home video for rental. It remains to be seen whether The Tartan will approve of this concept, but at the very least I will post my recommendations to this web page. As soon as I find the time to start writing, that is.
I have no idea exactly what to say here about music, which is such an integral part of my (daily) life. I love classical music, especially modern and contemporary classical (which some view as an oxymoron), but not exclusively. One of these days I'll get around to constructing a page with links to other web pages devoted to my favorite composers. Of course, web pages devoted to my favorite composers are, with a few exceptions like Dmitri Shostakovich, few and far between.
I'm also a big jazz fan and I have great affection for other assorted genres, such as the musicals of Stephen Sondheim which are unparalleled anywhere else in musical theater for their originality.
However, since I find it much easier to review movies than music, and because I have an infinitely better chance of popularizing the films of David Mamet than the twelve-tone compositions of Arnold Schoenberg, I'll stick to writing about film.
I haven't played pool or racquetball in ages, but I would love to start up again. Let's hit some balls!!
Derek R. Dreyer