Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Go Away M. Night Shyamalamalamalan!

Does anyone out there actually like M. Night Shyamalan's movies anymore?  Ok, The Sixth Sense was pretty good, but since then each of his films has gotten progressively worse.  I think the guy just needs to go away forever.
Allow me to illustrate.  I will present to you each of his films, beginning with The Sixth Sense, and give you the Rotten Tomatoes rating for each film.

The Sixth Sense - 85%
Unbreakable - 68%
Signs - 74%
The Village - 42%
Lady in the Water - 24%
The Happening - 18%
The Last Airbender - 7%

Technically he had two films before The Sixth Sense, but pretty much nobody has heard of them, so I decided not to include them in my list.  It was really The Sixth Sense that made people start paying attention to him anyway.

Notice anything odd about his films since then?  Looks like a pretty consistent decline in ratings to me.

Check out this groovy graph I found!

Let's face it, he really only has one good movie and everything else pretty much blows.  Why do people keep giving him money to make awful movies? He just needs to go away!
On the other hand...I can't see how he could possibly get any lower than his most recent 7%.  I mean, single digit films on Rotten Tomatoes are pretty rare.  So in that respect, he has nowhere to go but up.  Perhaps one of these days he will manage to make something that isn't a steaming pile of crap.

In his defense, my brother and I have a theory about him.  We think that he actually is a reasonably talented director.  He creates mood and suspense really well.  The problem is that he insists on not only directing, but also writing all of his films.  He should let a professional handle the writing part, and just stick to directing.  Maybe then he will make something worth watching again.

(All ratings are current as of August 31, 2010.)


Have any of you heard of a Narwhal?  It's like a whale with a freaking huge unicorn horn!  Check this out!

Are people aware of this animal?  I'm pretty sure I had heard of Narwhals before, and maybe even Narwhal tusks, but I don't think I knew what they looked like until recently!  I probably thought they were fictional creatures or something...

Anyway, check out these freaking Narwhal pictures!

My Ongoing Question

For the last couple of years I have had an ongoing question that seems to apply to nearly every facet of my life.  I think about this question from time to time, and recently it has resurfaced once again.

My question is this:
When you are feeling unsatisfied, how do you know when you should be patient and trust that things will improve, or when you should give up, move on, and actively work towards finding something better?

This question seems to come up regarding everything!  School, work, relationships, etc.
Does anyone have an answer?  I'm not sure that there is one.

Your Movie Sucks!

A long awaited occasion has finally arrived!  I have finished reading Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert!  Why is this such a momentous occasion?  Well, simply because I've been reading this book since December.  Usually it doesn't take me that long to read a fairly short (333 pages) book, with largish print.  So why did it take me so dang long to read?  Well, since this book is nothing but a collection of bad movie reviews, and since each review is only about one to two pages in length, it makes for an ideal bathroom reader.

Yes readers, I read this entire book (well, more like 95%) while sitting on the toilet!  I realize that this probably qualifies as TMI, but I'm pretty proud of this fact.  This is the first book I have ever read, that was reserved exclusively for bathroom reading.  I take good care of my books, and this one still looks pretty good, but it's probably one you shouldn't ask to borrow from me...

So what about the book?  It was ok...I guess.  It was sometimes fun to read some of Ebert's more scathing reviews, but in general, it was kind of boring.
The best part of the entire book was the Introduction.
In the introduction he set the stage for the book by talking about three especially bad reviews he wrote, and the responses he got from the film makers.  It was incredibly interesting reading the letters which attempted to defend these awful films.  The best part though, was that after Ebert received these letters trying to explain the merits of these awful films, he published his responses, which were generally even more harsh than his original review.  It was pretty fun.  I just wish that the entire book could have been like the introduction.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A New Nickname

I've had a lot of nicknames over the years, I guess Robby and Rob are technically nicknames themselves since my actual name is Robert.  Additionally I have been called Roberto, Bob, Bobert, Berto, R-Bert, Roberticle, Bruce, Robert the Bruce, RB3, RB3-PO, Big Red, Spratt the Cat, Captain Sexy Pants, and Nancy.  I suppose to make the list more complete you could throw Elder Spratt in there too.
Also my mom wins for using the longest, most complicated, nickname of all time. She calls me Roberty berto spratt junior the third. I like that one. :)
Recently I found out about a new nickname I have been given.
One of the members of my bishopric regularly brings his wife and kids to our singles ward, and to our ward activities.  I don't know why, but his kids seem to have taken a liking to me. This is unusual.  I like kids just fine, but I don't have much experience in dealing with them.  I haven't gone out of my way to talk to these kids, but nevertheless, they seem to like me.
So recently their mom informed me that they have started calling me Robby Ray Stewart.  I've never seen Hannah Montana, but apparently, in the show, Billy Ray Cyrus goes by the name Robby Ray Stewart.  Clever huh?
Anyway, the kids like Hannah Montana, and I'm probably the only person named Robby that they know, so thus I have been given the nickname of Robby Ray Stewart.  I will try to wear this name with honor. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunny D

The other day, I was at a friends house, and I got to hang out with his young daughter for a little bit while I waited for him to get some stuff.

She showed me her doll, which she likes to throw up in the air and then laugh as it hits the ground.  She was also fascinated by the vast difference in the sizes of our hands and noses.  She would hold up her fingers to my nose, measure it's length, and then compare it to her own.  It was pretty cute.

The best though was when she was telling me about how they had just bought some Sunny D (that's Sunny Delight for all you old-timers like me) at the store that day, and that she had just had some.  I asked her if she liked it, to which she nodded and replied, "It tastes like...your face!"

I'm not sure how she knows what my face tastes like, but if that's meant to be a compliment I will take it! :)
It was pretty funny, and when I told her dad about the Sunny D remark he laughed and then gave her a big hug and kiss. He was quite proud.

So if we(real-life friends) are ever hanging out, and you happen to have a sudden craving for the cool, refreshing, tangy taste of Sunny Delight, you can just lick my face!

Not really though.

Please don't lick my face.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Did I Do the Right Thing?

Last night I had a strange and puzzling experience.

I was driving down Bountiful Boulevard, minding the speed limit even though I was in a hurry to get someplace.  I may have let my speed creep a bit over the limit, but not much.  I really was trying to maintain an appropriate speed.

So there I am, motoring along in the dark, when suddenly I notice that there is a cop parked a little bit ahead of me, on the same side of the road.

I check my speed, and slow down just a bit before I pass him.  As I pass, I notice that he has his hand out the window and appears to be making some sort of motion which isn't clear.

Suddenly he flips on his lights!

Immediately I get that "Oh crap I'm being pulled over" feeling.  I slow way down, and watch my rear view mirror expecting him to pull out behind me.

He just stays put...

I have no idea if he wants me to pull over or what, so I slow down even more, and continue to watch the mirror.  Next thing I know, he turns his lights off again.

What the heck?  What is going on here?  I seriously have no idea what to do.

By this point I am only going maybe 15 mph because I was preparing to pull over at the first sign of pursuit.  I'm getting farther and farther away but he still just sits there.
Finally, I decide to keep going.  I sped up to the speed limit and went on my way.  He didn't follow, so I guess he didn't intend to pull me over after all.

It was still really weird though that he stuck his hand out the window and flipped on his lights just as I went by.  I'm not sure what he was doing, but I hope I did the right thing.

Now I'm freaking out that in a few days I will get some sort of nasty ticket in the mail for fleeing from a police officer, or whatever you would call that sort of situation.

Later that night when I left to go home again, I took the long way around so that I wouldn't risk passing the same cop again.

Perhaps he just wanted to have a laugh and see how bad he could freak someone out by flipping on his lights for a sec.
It will probably make for a good Facebook status with all of his cop buddies, or at least a humorous conversation on FB Chat. ;)

Cops are stupid!  Yeah, I said it!  If you are a cop and happen to be reading this, I think YOU are STUPID!  Take that jerk!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Case of the Missing Mouse Carcass

I have a cat.  My cat loves me.  When cats love people, they like to bring them presents.  These presents usually take the form of dead, half-eaten, rodent carcasses.

My cat brought me one of these half-eaten presents the other night.

I woke up when he first brought it in, got up, turned on the light, examined the gift, but was too tired to clean it up right away, so I went back to sleep.

A few hours later, I was woken a second time. This time, the upset which caused me to wake was the commotion of my cat playing with the dead mouse carcass.
In my half-asleep state, I remember seeing him pick it up and fling it across the room.  Immediately I imagined mouse guts scattered all over my room, and I realized that this wouldn't do at all.
I got out of bed, put the cat out in the hallway, and closed my door.  I really just wanted to prevent him from making the mess any bigger.

Anyway, morning came, and I got up to begin the process of cleaning up the dead mouse remains...only now I can't find the dead mouse!

I distinctly remember the spot on the floor where he originally deposited it, and I distinctly remember him flinging it in the general direction of my desk, but I seriously can't find it!

I launched an all out search for this dead mouse!  I looked under, and behind, everything in my room!.  I even looked inside all my shoes!  I can't find the thing!

Somewhere in my room a dead mouse carcass has been cleverly hidden, and I need to find it before it starts to stink!

There is a possibility that when I kicked the cat out of my room, he still had in in his mouth.  If that is the case, then the dead mouse is probably in one of the other rooms in our house, which will make it even more difficult to find.
I'm going to give my room one last go-over, and then I'm going to have to expand my search beyond the confines of my own bedroom.

I sure hope I solve this mystery soon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Ten: Joe Versus the Volcano Quotes

Recently I had the chance to rewatch one of my favorite classic Tom Hanks films, Joe Versus the Volcano.  If you haven't seen it, you need to, it's pretty funny.  It features Tom Hanks as a hypochondriac who is told he has six months to live and is hired to jump into a volcano.  One of my favorite things about Joe Versus the Volcano is that Meg Ryan plays three different characters, each one radically different from the others.
Besides the humorous plot, and excellent characters, the film boasts some pretty witty dialog.  Some of the funniest scenes are when Joe and Marshall, the limo driver, are discussing clothes, and also when Joe goes to buy luggage from a very passionate luggage salesman.  It's a great film!  I only wish that the last part with the Waponi Chief were a bit longer.  That guy is hilarious!
Anyway, I had forgotten how quotable a film it is, so here are my ten favorite quotes:

Angelica: I am completely untrustworthy... I'm a flibbertigibbet.

Joe Banks: I have less than six months to live. The Waponis believe they need a human sacrifice or their island is going to sink into the ocean. They have this mineral your father wants so he hired me to leap into their volcano.
Patricia: What?!
Joe Banks: You're not going to make me say that again, are you? 

Luggage Salesman: Have you thought much about luggage, Mr. Banks?
Joe Banks: No.
Luggage Salesman: It's the central preoccupation of my life.

Marshall: What kinda clothes do you got now?
Joe Banks: Well, I got the kinda clothes I'm wearing.
Marshall: So you got no clothes.

Dr. Ellison: And what did you do in the fire department?
Joe Banks: Well... I put out fires.

Patricia: You're afraid of the commitment? You're gonna have to love and honor me for about 30 seconds.

Luggage Salesman: This is our premier steamer trunk, it's all handmade, only the finest materials. It's even watertight, tight as a drum. If I had the need, and the wherewithal, Mr. Banks, this would be my trunk of choice.
Joe Banks: I'll take four of them.
Luggage Salesman: May you live to be a thousand years old, sir.

Joe Banks: What's that? A teddy bear?
Waponi Chief: It's my soul.
Joe Banks: Oh, I hope you don't lose it.
Waponi Chief: Me too.

Joe Banks: So I'm not sick? Except for this terminal disease?

Patricia: You mean you were diagnosed with something called a brain cloud and didn't ask for a second opinion?

Runner Up Quotes

Angelica: I have no response to that.

Joe Banks: And then I'll be staying on a tiny island and I don't know if I'll be living in a hut, or what.
Luggage Salesman: Very exciting... as a luggage problem!

- Joe Banks: I tell you one thing, though. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna take this luggage with us!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Am I a Masochist?

I kind of enjoy donating blood and having my blood drawn.  Is that weird?  I guess I sort of have a thing for needles.
I don't enjoy the brief sting of getting poked by them, but I do think it's funny to watch them shove this giant needle in my arm, and then see this thing sticking out from my skin.
I am always amazed at how easily those gigantic needles slide right into the vein.
As long as I get a good phlebotomist it is a pretty interesting experience.  I have had experiences with bad phlebotomists, and let me tell you...those were awful!  I will spare you the details of my bad experiences, but luckily I haven't had too many of those.  Most phlebotomists are very good.

Another thing I like about donating blood is all the compliments and positive affirmations I receive.  I have type O negative blood, which means that I am the universal donor.  That means that they are always happy to see me whenever I come to donate.
Also, I always get compliments on my veins.  I have very good veins, and I have a particularly good blood letting vein in my left arm.  The phlebotomists always notice and tell me about how good my veins are.
I also sometimes get fun compliments about my low resting heart-rate, or low blood pressure.  Compliments are fun!  I always feel good about myself after giving blood. :)

 My favorite part of the whole thing though is when they open the pinch-valve and you get to see the blood rushing out through the tube.  I also kind of like at the end when they fill up all the different vials for testing.  You get to see a ton of blood just squirting into each little tube!  It's cool how fast those things fill up, and know that it's all squirting out of your body!

I also enjoy prepping myself for an efficient donation time.  I drink a lot of water anyway, but I usually drink way more the day before I donate, and the day of, so that I can bleed out as quickly as possible.  It's kind of like a fun little competition with myself.

I went and donated blood on Wednesday.  My time was 5:22.  Not too bad.  They used a 16 gauge needle, which I'm told is pretty much the biggest needle they use for this sort of thing.

The phlebotomist who helped me was really cool too!  She got a kick out of how much I liked the whole process.  We had some pleasant chit-chat for the ten or so minutes I was in the chair, during which time she accused me of being a masochist.  At one point a doctor person came to see how I was doing; before I could even respond she said, "Don't worry, we've already established that he likes needles."  It was funny.

Here I am sitting in the comfy chair squirting blood out of my arm through that little tube. :)
Notice something weird about this photo?  It's actually two separate cell-phone pictures that I spliced together.  It's sort of a cool little panoramic effect.

My least favorite part of the whole thing is when they have to rip the tap off your arm.  Pulling out arm hair hurts way worse then getting a giant needle shoved in your arm!  Especially if you happen to have really hairy arms like I do.  Despite that, it's all a lot of fun.  Getting juice and cookies afterwards is pretty cool too.  :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ten Miscellaneous Thoughts

1.  When my parents begin discussing my Dad's erectile dysfunction pills at the dinner table...that's my cue to leave.
2.  Awkward moment: I'm walking past a group of people and hear someone say my name in their conversation.  I look over at them but no one was looking back at me.  I wasn't sure if I was supposed to overhear anything else, so I decided to walk away quickly hoping that they didn't notice me.
3.  Have you ever typed out a word, gotten the red spell-check underline, respelled it, still got the line, tried a few variations, and finally find the right one only you swear that that is the way you had it in the first place?
4.  What is up with jumping pictures?  I used to not mind them, I guess they are sort of cool, but I see way too many of them and they are getting pretty annoying.  Stop with the mid-jump photos people!
5. Don't you love those awkward moments where you are trying to read the writing on someone's shirt, but you can't quite make it out, so you have to get up real close and just stare at their chest for a few seconds?
6.  There are some things in life that you can go cheap on.  Toilet paper is NOT one of those things.
7. I think it's weird when someone's pocket suddenly starts glowing.  This sort of thing never used to happen...
8.  Do you ever have bad hand-to-face coordination?  Recently I had a bottle of water, went to take a sip, and somehow stuck the mouth of the bottle somewhere in my chin area.
9.  I've realized that I trust some bathroom locks more than others.  The more obvious the locking mechanism the better.  A large metal latch would be ideal.
10.  Call me old fashioned but I don't think single guys should say "hey hot stuff" to a married woman while in the company of her husband.