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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Haunting

There are two reasons why I generally don't like scary movies.
1) I don't like being scared.
2) I think most "scary movies are actually pretty dumb.

It's very rare for me to actually get scared by a movie; in fact, I can't remember the last time I was scared by a movie. This is probably due to one of the two reasons.
1) I'm too macho to be scared by "scary" movies.
2) I just don't watch many "scary" movies.
Ok, so it really just comes down to reason number 2...

Recently I watched the 1963 version of The Haunting.



















Here are some brief comments from Rotten Tomatoes:

"...easily ranks among the finest supernatural suspense films ever made."
Mark Bourne
DVDJournal.com

"Properly creepy, unlike the dodgy remake."
Ian Nathan
Empire Magazine

"An undeniably effective adaptation of the Shirley Jackson novel and remains one of the best haunted-house movies."
TV Guide's Movie Guide

So after these glowing reviews, you are probably expecting me to say how good it was, and how scary I thought it was...

Nope.

I thought this movie was just as dumb as most other scary movies. It was not quite as dumb as the 1999 remake, but it was still pretty dumb.

My brother, who has read the book, really liked it. I have not read the book, and I did not like it. To me it was just a bunch of people freaking out in a weird house. Most of the "scary" stuff took the form of strange banging noises, weird writing on the wall, a creepy door, and the oddities of a crazy woman.

The only good thing about watching this movie was sitting next to a cute girl who gets scared easily. Yeah, that was awesome. ;)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Recent Reads

If you have read many of my posts, you probably know that I really like to read. The problem is that I suddenly got so busy at the end of the semester that I neglected to blog about the few books I had read prior to becoming busy. The semester is now over, and I would like to remedy my negligence.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

I've had these books for a while now, but never got around to reading them until a few weeks ago. Contrary to popular belief I did not read these books because of the new Tim Burton movie. I never had much desire to see this movie, and after hearing the reviews, I definitely did not want to see this movie. I think I decided to read these books because my brother had recently read them, and had quite liked them. I also felt like something a little more fun and light after all the heavy books I had read recently.
I must say that I enjoyed these books. They are both fun, quick reads, and they expertly capture the feeling of being in the middle of a dream. The dreamlike quality of these books is probably the thing I enjoyed most. I love how circumstances and scenery suddenly change with no explanation, yet all the characters just go along with the changes as if they were the most natural occurrences in the world...exactly like most of my dreams.
I must add that I absolutely hate the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. That's not saying that it isn't a quality film, or the best adaptation of the novels, but as a child I'm pretty sure it traumatized me. The movie is just freaky and weird. It plays like a drug induced hallucination rather than the silly dream of the books. Perhaps I should give the film another chance now that I am older, because it really freaked me out as a kid. Despite that, the books were excellent!

Night and Day by Robert B. Parker

This is one of the books in Robert Parker's Jesse Stone series. Jesse Stone is an LAPD homicide detective turned small town police chief. I was first introduced to the character through the made-for-TV movies featuring Tom Selleck. The movies are fantastic, and I absolutely love the character! Prior to this, I hadn't read any of the books, in fact I hadn't read many murder mystery/detective novels at all. So far my only exposure to mystery has been through Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe.
Lately I've been in the mood for a little mystery, so to satisfy my cravings I picked up this book. It was a lot of fun, and because it was mostly dialog, it was also a very quick read. I read the entire 300+ pages in less than half a day. I need to read more of the actual books, but compared to the movies, I wouldn't say that this was one of the better plots. There were never any twists or unveiled plot elements, the story just played out in a very ordinary, linear fashion. I'm not saying that it isn't good, because it was definitely enjoyable, but it just wasn't that exciting or thrilling. The characters are really what made this book so fun.

The Robby Seal of Approval

I don't know exactly when I started giving things my personal seal of approval, but I've been doing it practically forever. Anything and everything is subject to being approved, or disapproved by me. I don't hand out my seal of approval flippantly either. If something is privileged enough to bear by personal stamp, you know it is good!
Usually the approval process goes something like this:

Person: "Hey Robby, what do you think of -----?"
Me: "Oh! ----- is awesome! It's Robby Approved for sure!"

Pretty cool huh? Anyway, here is a list of things that frequently bear my personal seal:
-Movies
-Books
-People/relationships
-Restaurants
-Food
-Beverages
-Cars
-Common household objects
-Uncommon household objects
-Anything that I think is cool

I've never kept a formal list of things which have been Robby Approved, so if you are wondering about something, feel free to ask.

What the Heck!?

The other day I was with my brother at the Smith's grocery store in Logan. We were buying curry mix, and some awesome juice for a little shindig.
I don't know how this happens, but nearly every time I go to the grocery store, I find myself walking down one of "those" aisles in order to get to the other side of the store. You know which aisles I am talking about...the beer aisle, or the feminine hygiene aisle... Anyway, as usual, I found myself casually perusing all the various alcoholic brews, when I noticed something that made me stop, stare, and then take a picture. Here's the picture:

I don't know why, but I think it is hilarious that Smith's is selling ping-pong balls in the beer aisle. What else can possibly be inferred from this product placement other than a deliberate promotion of the game of beer-pong?
I don't actually know anything about beer-pong, or any other drinking games for that matter, but with a little research, I found out that beer-pong is apparently a pretty big deal; they even have an official league.
If you are curious about how beer-pong is played, I found this great instructional video on the interweb. Now I know how to play a game that I'm never actually going to play...FANTASTIC!

p.s. I think by that last statement, what I really mean is that this whole dang post has been nothing but a big waste of time. Congratulations on wasting some of your precious time! :)

p.p.s. I just realized that this blog post lends itself to a sort of funny joke: "Why did Robby cross the feminine hygiene aisle?" "To get to the other side!" HA! Ok, so that was actually pretty lame.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cilantrophobia!

Devout readers of my blog are probably already aware that I HATE CILANTRO! I first declared my distaste for this nasty little herb in my original "Things That Must Go" post.

Recently I was having dinner with the beautiful and talented Miss D (who happens to be one of my favorite people in the whole universe), when the topic of Cilantro arose.

While we were trying to decide what to order, I explained the strong aversion that I have to its pungent taste. The always agreeable Miss D was surprised by my strong feelings on the issue, considering we agree on practically everything, and she happens to rather enjoy Cilantro.

Somewhere in the interim of discussing Cilantro, and actually placing our orders, I neglected to request "no Cilantro please," when the waiter took our orders. Of course I didn't realize this mistake until my order arrived generously covered in leafy greens. I picked most of the big leafs off, but I couldn't get all the little fragments.
Despite the pleasant company and conversation, I had a less than pleasant dining experience.

Today, further demonstrating her awesomeness, Miss D referred me to an article from the New York Times, entitled, "Cilantro Haters, It's Not Your Fault". I found this article to be incredibly liberating! All this time I thought I was alone...I thought I was the only person on the planet not enjoying the wonders of Cilantro. Come to find out, my dislike of Cilantro is shared by none other than the legendary Julia Child!

It turns out that I'm not at all weird for hating Cilantro. The article explains how some people are genetically predisposed to taste Cilantro differently from other people. Those who don't like it usually describe the taste as being "soapy". I usually describe it as tasting like copper coins, but I can understand the soapy description as well.

This article made me very happy, because now I have a real explanation for why Cilantro seems to disagree with me so fiercely! Never again will I be ashamed to request "no Cilantro" at restaurants! I feel as though I have found my place in the world, and I am not alone! Fellow Cilantrophobes are so numerous, there is an "I Hate Cilantro" Facebook page, and even an "I Hate Cilantro" blog!

CILANTROPHOBES UNITE!












Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Strange New Experience!

Today I had the thrilling new experience of...shopping for portable toilets!

Why was I shopping for portable toilets?

I'm glad you asked!

This Saturday my paintball team is hosting our big annual event, Battlefield Utah. Guess who is on Potty Patrol. That's right, me!

So today I had the rare opportunity of calling all the major porta-potty suppliers in the Salt Lake City area, to find the best deal.

I am now familiar with the ins and outs of the porta-potty rental business, so if you happen to be in need of a portable toilet, I can make some good recommendations.

Yeah, I'm cool like that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Things That Must Go! (Part 2)

I really liked my last "Things That Must Go" post, so I thought I would do another one. Here it is:

1. Energy Drinks









I see people all the time who down these things like soda. Do they have any idea what is in them, and how bad they are for you? I guarantee that in a few years we will start seeing some major health repercussions from the sudden popularity of these strange brews.
(Oh, and for all you LDS people out there, I'm convinced that these things violate the Word of Wisdom, but that is only my personal opinion.)

p.s. This is my favorite parody EVER!!
p.p.s. If you liked that, then don't forget about Part 2!


2. Dogs in the Beds of Pickup Trucks










Personally, I think that cops should pull these people over and charge them with animal cruelty. Sure, it may look like the dog is having a great time, but just think what would happen if the driver had to pull a single emergency maneuver. Just one abrupt stop, or one sudden swerve, or one unexpected bump, or even worse...an accident. The dog could easily be thrown from the truck, and I doubt it would survive. I've even seen these people driving down the freeway! It just makes me sick.


3. The "Torture Porn" Film Genre











This genre has really only been created within the last six years. The term refers to the ultra-violent, gore-fest films such as Saw, Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes, Wolf Creek, Chaos, and other modern horror movies that glorify sadistic torture. I'm all for horror movies, but I think these go way too far. I don't see any redeeming value in these films at all, and I feel that through their depictions of pure evil, the films have become evil by nature. I refuse to see anything of the sort, but I know that films only get made if they, in turn, make money. I think the rise in popularity of these films says a lot about the degrading morals of society.
Time magazine did a very good article on the rise of these films and the effect that they have on the people who enjoy them. Basically they create an addictive titillating effect similar to pornography. This is dangerously gross stuff.

4. Ice Queens














These are the unapproachable girls that are impossible to talk to. As you approach one of them with a smile, they walk right past you without even making eye contact. It is as if you didn't even exist. If you do manage to approach one of these girls, they look at you with a disgusted expression that seems to say "who are you and how dare you speak to me?" These girls are somehow able to always look down at you, even if you are physically taller than they are. These are the girls who are only kind to those they deem worthy of their attention, and are accustomed to getting what they want because of their looks. Their appeal is merely superficial, and they seem to lack any real substance. I think they need to go away.

5. Flaky Girls














Sure, they may seem interested when you talk to them, but then they are impossible to make plans with, and have trouble doing simple things like returning phone calls. Flakes are consistently inconsistent, and beyond confusing. I've given up on ever figuring these girls out, and when someone begins to show signs of flakiness, my interest drops off rapidly. I've been stood up, and led on, by enough of these girls to know that it isn't worth the hassle. How hard is it to make a date and then keep it? If you aren't interested, just say so in the first place. Oh, and while you are at it, do me a favor and go away!