Thursday, January 28, 2010

Speaking of Creepy...

Today while I was perusing WSU's campus newspaper, I came across a strange story. I immediately assumed that it was just another boring "student's aren't getting enough sleep" article...which it was. But then my attention turned to the photo... Does that strike anyone else as being slightly creepy?

What's the deal with sneaking up on someone while they are asleep, and taking pictures of them? I don't want some weirdo taking my picture if I happen to fall asleep in the Union building! How messed up would it be if you occasionally like to catch a quick nap between classes, and then one day you find a semi-undignified photo of yourself in the newspaper? I think this definitely falls under the "bizarre" category.

As I further perused the article, I was struck by a strange realization. Assuming that the photographer has a sense of propriety, and assuming they understand that taking sleeping pictures of people is weird; might they fake the photo by having someone pose as if they were asleep? If this were the case, wouldn't that violate some sort of journalistic integrity?

I'm no journalist, and I don't know what sort of checks and balances exist in the newspaper world, but I have seen enough movies to know that faking your sources is generally frowned upon in that business.

Once the photographer's integrity was brought into question, I came to the conclusion that, creepy or not, the best course of action was to actually sneak a photo of an unsuspecting sleeping person. I just hope that this photographer's lack of shame doesn't extend to hiding in the bushes in a trench coat...

Hey, here's a thought: Since they are already engaged in creepy picture taking, perhaps they should go one step further and take some photos of the people who like to make-out in the Union building! They could do a great article on how much PDA is too much. Seriously, what is with those people?

Jimmy John's!

I just wanted to say how funny I think the Jimmy John's commercials are. I especially like the "fast talking" radio add. If you haven't heard it, check out this link. I dare you not to laugh when the kid says his name.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have a confession...I'm kind of shy. I hate being shy! "Reserved" is the nice way of saying it. This is something I've been trying to overcome most of my life. It's only been within the last few years that I've actually made major progress in this difficult social arena. I am proud to say that I am now sufficiently confident to go up and introduce myself to pretty much anyone(almost). I will admit that these initial conversations don't always go well.
Because of my lingering shyness, I sometimes have trouble making conversation, especially if I happen to be talking to a cute girl. Why am I making all of these confessions you ask? Basically because I'm concerned that my occasional shyness makes me come across as creepy.
A little creepiness never hurt anyone...right?
Ok, so maybe I think it is funny to act deliberately creepy around close friends, but that's just because they know me well enough to understand my strange sense of humor. However, in general, creepiness is not the impression I am going for.

* * *

Consider the following two stories of inadvertent creepy behavior:

Story 1

It was the beginning of a new semester and I was anxiously engaged in meeting the new people at church.
I see a new girl who looks sort of familiar. I decide to go up and talk to her.

Me: Hey, how's it going? It's Lisa, right?
Girl: Actually it's Lesley, Have we met?
M: Didn't we meet at that social activity last week?
G: Um, I don't think so.
M: Oh...well my name is Robby.
G: Hi.
M: So what are you studying?
G: Engineering.
M: Really? I think we did meet last week because somehow I already knew you were doing engineering...
G: That's because you're a creeper...

At this point I was pretty sure that any chance of a graceful recovery was lost, so I just let it go. I will admit that it really hurt my feelings that she accused me of being creepy just for trying to have a conversation. Needless to say I never made another attempt to get to know this girl.

I later realized that I had in fact met a girl named Lisa who was studying engineering; it was just an honest mistake on my part and a coincidence that these two girls with similar sounding names happened to be studying the same thing.

Story 2

First some background. Prior to this story I had actually met this girl three or four times. She and I have several friends in common, but for some reason she and I had never really hung out together. We met at church twice, and at the wedding reception of one of our mutual friends. I think we may have talked at a Halloween party, but (because of the costume) I don't think I realized it was her until later. Anyway, the only reason I remembered her name after these few causal meetings is because she and I seem to stay updated on the blogs and Facebook pages of our mutual I see her name in comments and stuff. I remind you that all of these things are merely casual observations on my part; there was absolutely no stalking involved! I promise!

Anyway, I see this girl at a social gathering. On the off-chance that she might actually remember me, I decide to go up and talk to her.

Me: Hey Jodie, how's it going?
Jodie: I'm I know you?
M: I'm Robby, we've met a couple of times. I'm friends with So-and-so, Jimbo Bob, and What's-her-face.
J: Oh, I'm sorry, I don't remember.
M: That's ok. We have a lot of friends in common, but for some reason you and I have never really hung out.
J: I'm surprised you actually remember me.
M: Well, I probably wouldn't have, except that you and I frequent the same blogs, so I see your name in the comments all the time.
J: That's kind of creepy...
M: Yeah, sorry. It is kind of a weird world where we can know someone through the internet, even if we don't actually know them in real life.
J: Yeah, did you know that Jimbo Bob and I have never actually met?
M: I did not know that...
J: Yeah, we only know each other through Facebook, but we are really close.
M: That's cool... Anyway, I recognized you tonight and figured that it was time that we became acquainted. Sorry if it was kind of weird.
J: No, it's ok; it's nice to meet you.

Admittedly this conversation went a bit better, but for a while there it was circling the shower drain of disaster.

* * *

I suppose the point of this post is for me to apologize to any girl who has ever been weirded out by my awkward shyness. I promise if you get to know me you will find that I'm actually a pretty normal nice guy. If you doubt me, I can provide character references upon request...

p.s. I changed/made-up the names of everyone involved in the previous two stories. I didn't change them to protect their privacy (because I'm pretty sure they don't read this blog anyway,) I altered the names simply because I wanted to. So Take That!

p.p.s. If you still doubt my normalcy after reading through my blog, that is understandable. You should know that I use this blog primarily as an outlet for all of my quirks and oddities. I have to get this stuff out of my system so I can be normal the rest of the time!

p.p.p.s. I originally wasn't going to publish this post, but I decided to go ahead and do it thanks to the interest of this person. Blame her if you didn't like it!

p.p.p.p.s. Are you still reading this? "Turn off your computer and go to sleep!"

p.p.p.p.p.s. You will get one million bonus points if you know what classic video game I just quoted. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reign Over Me

I had sort of a strange experience regarding this film. Recently I was talking to a friend about movies Adam Sandler has actually been good in. I mentioned Spanglish, he mentioned Reign Over Me. I was familiar with the story, and I thought I may have seen it before, but I honestly couldn't remember. I decided to check it out.
While I was watching the film, literally every single scene was familiar to me. I realized that I must have already seen the movie. For some unexplainable reason, I had almost no prior memory of ever seeing it. This is very strange considering I usually have a very good memory for films.
The most interesting thing about the experience was how profoundly I was affected by it. I freely admit that I was all-out weeping during two or three scenes. I've cried in movies before, but I think this holds the record for greatest volume of tears shed.
I really don't know why I didn't better remember this movie after my original viewing. I'm not even sure if it affected me at all the first time I saw it.
To briefly summarize the story, Adam Sandler plays a man whose wife and three daughters were on one of the flights that hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He is absolutely destroyed by his loss, and retreats into mental and emotional seclusion. He refuses to associate with his wife's parents, and has blocked out any memory of his family; simply because the pain is too great.
In general I am no fan of Adam Sandler's films. I don't particularly like his humor, but as with other comedic actors, I feel he is at his best in dramatic roles; this film proves that theory. This is by far his best performance to date.
Don Cheadle plays an old college roommate who runs into Sadler on the street, and is troubled by how disconnected from reality he seems to be. Cheadle takes it upon himself to help Sandler recover. There is a scene where Sandler finally opens up to Cheadle about his family, which is absolutely beautiful. He carefully describes his wife and three daughters, and in tears says how much they adored him. He then talks about the events which led to his family being on the airplane without him, and how he watched on the television as the planes hit the towers. It is a truly heartbreaking story, made even more profound by the fact that thousands of people actually experienced this very thing.
I've thought a lot about why this film affected me so greatly, and I can name two specific reasons: First, my greatest aspiration is to have a beautiful wife, and daughters who adore me; and I them. Second, my biggest fear in life is that I will lose the people I love, and find myself utterly alone. Reign Over Me presents exactly this situation, and it terrifies me.
I found myself aching over Sandler's loss, and struggling with the question of how I would respond to such a horrific and tragic experience. I hope that through my faith I would emerge a better person...but I can't be certain, and this worries me.
This film didn't do very well, and it received a lot of negative criticism. This honestly puzzles me. I thought it was a brilliant portrayal of a story and characters which I think we can all relate to; and if not now, certainly in the future.
If you want to check this film out, be warned that the language is quite severe. For that reason I can't recommend it. That being said, Reign Over Me is a potentially life changing film.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Recently my brother and I certified our geekness by fulfilling one of my life goals: to view the movie "TRON".
I have to say that it was one of the most bizarre films I have ever seen. It's like someone who doesn't actually understand computers(even though they think they do) trying to explain how they work to someone who has played way too many 1970's video games, and happens to be high on hallucinogenic drugs.
Some of the stuff in "Tron" is sort of cool, and if you use your imagination you can sort of tell what they were going for. For example, the light-bikes were semi-exciting...ok, that's really about it. I could have done without the glowy-frisbee battles, and the "river" of energy that they drank from to "recharge".
For me the coolest thing in the whole dang movie was the computer that the evil corporate dude had in his office. It was just a smooth black table, but it was really a computer that responded to touch. He would touch it and a keyboard would appear, images would be displayed, and it would talk to him. It was almost like a vision of the iPhone from 1982. Actually I think that this idea would still be cool in the future. Can you imagine a giant iPhone that is as big as a table? That would be pretty sweet.
I honestly can't recommend this film to anyone, it was just too dang weird. I'm glad I saw it, but I will probably never watch it again. The only reason I can think of for watching "Tron" is if seeing it would fill some sort of void in the makeup of your inner-geek. It's just not that cool, even for 1982.



I just want to say that I am super excited "Chuck" if finally back on the air! Seriously this is my favorite(currently airing) show.
I was nearly in fits when there was a possibility of its cancellation. It was such a relief when they finally announced that there would be a third season.
The last few episodes of season 2 were AMAZING! I was really excited about where they were taking the show.
We are already four episodes into the new season, and I must say that they have been fantastic! They are doing exactly what I hoped they were leading into at the end of the last season. I also love the new catchphrase, "no more Mr. nice spy!"
So far, the most impressive thing is that three episodes in, they had the guts to pull out one of the shows biggest cliff-hangers! I wasn't sure if I could wait a whole week to see what happened, but it was well worth the wait. Episode 4 was probably one of the best they have ever done. This is shaping up to be one killer series!
Anyway, if you haven't had the chance to sit down and experience "Chuck", I highly suggest that you do.
Here's a little video teaser for the new season. Ok, and one more. Enjoy!

Oh, and just for fun, here is quite possibly the best commercial ever!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Backpack Strap Etiquette

Today, while I was leaving the sanctuary of the Shepherd Union building, and reluctantly retreating back to my rightful place in the Engineering building, I realized that, in my haste, I was wearing my backpack on only one shoulder.
Instantly my mind was taken back to my days in elementary school, and junior high, when it was considered majorly uncool to wear both your backpack straps on their respective shoulders.
At the time, I desperately wanted to utilize the full functionality of my backback by actually wearing both straps. Terrified of appearing even less cool than normal, I succumbed to the zeitgeist of the single-strap era.
I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the way, this fad reverted back to the more logical two-strap method.
This odd memory made me realize how much I appreciate being able to wear both straps, at the same time, whenever I want, and still maintain my respective level of coolness.
At this point you are probably thinking that, after making such a realization, I would have promptly placed the lone strap in its proper place...I very nearly did. Instead, I decided to live in the past for a brief moment and proudly sport the diminished coolness of the single-strap.
Sadly, I wasn't able to dwell in this moment for long, because my attention was needed elsewhere. It was nice however, to enjoy a little early afternoon nostalgia.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Feel Pretty Good About This!

Today was the first day of the new semester at WSU. I might not be registered for classes yet, but I already know this semester is off to a great start! How do I know this? Because today I was able to complete the entire crossword puzzle in The Signpost without any outside assistance! I didn't time myself, but I'm sure it was a personal best record. I think I did it in just under an hour. Check it out!

I also just got my tickets to go see Avatar for the third time in the IMAX! Yeah, this is going to be a good week. Now if I can just get registered, and find a job, things will be perfect.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Heteroclitic Holiday Highlights

(In case you are wondering, "heteroclitic" basically means "unusual". I had to pull out the thesaurus in hopes of forming an alliterate title. Yes, I am that weird.)

This holiday season was full of the usual family, Christmas, and New Year's festivities. This post isn't about any of those. Instead I thought I would share something totally different.

First highlight: I shaved off my dang beard! I won't bore you with the details since I already did that in my previous post. The real highlight of this event was the maiden voyage of this bad boy:

The Merkur HD Classic Double Edge Razor. Oh yeah!

Second highlight: I got sick. Really sick. Puking-my-guts-out sick. Ok, this isn't so much of a highlight as it is a significant event. It was pretty much awesome though because I got to wander around the house all day looking like this:
Notice the puke pail, the zip-up-blanket, the bottle of water, and the pathetic facial expression.

Third highlight: Clementine elephants! We do this every year. This shows just how dorky my family really is.
This started a few years ago when my brother peeled his Christmas Clementine in a very particular way. I immediately picked up the peelings, held them up to my face, and started making elephant noises. This spawned into some sort of bizarre tradition. Without fail, every year, someone eats a Clementine and makes this peel-face. Shortly thereafter, the rest of us grab our Clementines and join in the foolishness. The best is seeing my Mom try to do it. That's the way we roll!