Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Friday, December 21, 2007

Uh Oh...It's the Holidays Again


Thanksgiving through New Years: The Holiday Season.

Isn't it interesting that for a little over a month EVERY year, we voluntarily put ourselves through the craziness that is the Holidays, for fun?

Think about it. It all starts on Thanksgiving with a theme that keeps on giving. Eating. You bust your ass exercising for 11 months out of the year just to undo it with copious eating of at least 2 holiday dinners, a weeks worth of left-overs, those cookies from your aunt, and the daily holiday snacks near the coffee pot at work.

I'm generally pretty careful, but when I go home for the holidays, my house is filled with readily available snack food. It's as if I never left! When I get the munchies, I'll rummage around for a snack, and I'm likely to find an old unopened box of Fruit Rollups or Capri Sun's that I would've been packed in my middle school lunch.

But the real madness is the start of "Shopping Chaos Season." Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, all the way to Christmas Eve.

My God what a nightmare.

Last year, I made the mistake of leaving the house on Black Friday, to pick up a couple of necessities. Bad Move. Going down the isle's in Costco was impossible with the insane amounts of cart traffic. I was forced to ditch my cart and bob-and-weave my way between carts and hyperactive toddlers like motorcycles on the freeway.

This year, driving home from Thanksgiving dinner, I noticed a line forming at Best Buy for the doors to open the next day!

This is just ludicrous to me. Let's do a little analysis, shall we?

Freezing Cold: Check
Hard-ass concrete bed for the night: Check
Undervaluing of Time: Check
Likelihood of Spending Extreme amounts of money: Check

How is this a winning plan? They'll open the doors, you'll run inside and grab the super-huge TV you've been wanting that's discounted 200 bucks, and you'll still be on a payment plan for the thing! Honestly, I just don't understand how people can make payments on something like a TV. A college education? Good Investment. A car? Usually necessary. But a freaking TV? I could rant about that, all on it's own, but I'll spare you.

I'm all for buying gifts for people, but my time is too valuable to be spent camping outside of Best Buy or Walmart. I'd rather just pay more money for the same thing. There is one thing that I hate having to re-shop for every year though.

Can someone honestly explain to me, what is sooooo strenuous about the storage process of Christmas lights that just kills them? I don't understand, why after all these years, someone hasn't invented a string of lights that will last more than a year or two! You spend hours testing the damn things, locating the sucky bulbs, and replacing them. When you put them away they work fine. Next year, you open them up and surprise!...dead strand.

AT LEAST invent a strand where the whole goddamn thing doesn't die if one measly bulb goes out! When one of the track lights in my living room goes out, the other two miraculously stay on! Somehow though, the process of duplicating this feet of light independence was deemed too difficult to apply to Christmas lights. I would happily pay twice as much for a light strand that actually held up during the arduous year of sitting in a well heated storage room.

I do like seeing lights decorating neighborhood houses. In fact, I'm all about getting in the Christmas spirit after Thanksgiving. It's a little difficult in San Diego, when the closest thing you get to playing in the snow is beach volleyball. But, I try to get in the spirit.

I've been wearing a Santa Hat around work. And, I've tried listening to Christmas carols via Pandora online radio.

But whatever happened to the old fashioned classic Christmas songs? I turn the radio on, and all I want is a little Bing Crosby or Jose Feliciano. Instead, I get Michael Bolton belting out Silent Night, Vanessa Williams singing some song I've never hear of from "A Very Diva Christmas," and about fifty-three versions of "Santa Baby."

And speaking of Santa, I've noticed a disturbing trend of sucky mall Santas. The other day, I was in the mall and I saw a Santa strolling back to his Santa hut, with his glasses off, beard pulled down, eating a sandwich!!! What is this?!? What kind of Santa strolls around the mall, eating a sandwich with his beard pulled down?? I was pissed and I have a good mind to leave the real Santa a note alerting him to this when he stops by my house this year.

Yes, I still get gifts from Santa every Christmas. By the way Santa, if you're reading this, that whole snafu with the free smoothies wasn't really my fault, the finagling of the free cell phone was the fault of my uncontrollable charm, I didn't really mean to con the cast of the Road Rules, and oh, I like Ferrari's :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Dentist

Some people hate em, some people love em...well, actually, I don't know anybody who loves them, but I guess some of us don't mind them.

Put me in the later when it comes to visiting the dentist. I've been fortunate enough to have never had any major problems with my teeth. I did have my wisdom teeth removed, but that was an incredibly simple procedure and I had zero pain afterwards.

I don't think I would call a dental visit pleasurable though. There's something disconcerting when you see all types of crazy tools going in your mouth, making a cacophony of sound, knowing that you have no control.

Seriously, how are there not more accidents? And why is it that all of the tools they use look like ancient torture devices? The line em up on a little tray, and the hygienist picks her weapon of choice! I mean, have you seen that little hook thing they use to scrape the plaque off of your teeth? One little slip and BOOM! New tongue piercing!

Luckily though, I haven't had to face the drill more than once or twice for when the dentist put in sealants. I've never had a cavity, but it was pretty frightening when they had the drill in there to shave the sealants down to size. I'd feel a piece of something go flying across my mouth when the drill was in there, and all I could think of was my precious teeth!!! The hygienist assured me it was just the extra sealant.

Interestingly, when ever dentist or hygienist is in the process of inspecting and cleaning, they always insist on having a conversation with me. Now, I love conversations, but it's seriously restricting when I have to limit my responses to "Uh huh," and "Uh Uh." And if its not a yes or no question, what are the chances that if I move my mouth to speak coherently, one of the lovely tools will appear through my cheek?

And usually, they finish you off with a good ol' fluoride swish.

Terrible.

As much as I hate swishing with fluoride, my new dentist office doesn't do it, and I feel like I'm getting jipped. My old dentist used to go on about how good it was for you, and that I need to suck it up and do it. So now that I don't have to do it anymore, sure I avoid the terrible taste of fluoride, but my teeth are missing out!

One of the more interesting visits occurred soon before my wisdom teeth extraction. The hygienist was telling me that if I choose to do the procedure with the dentist (as opposed to an oral surgeon), they'd numb me up, and put me on Nitrous Oxide aka Laughing Gas.

Me: Nitrous Oxide? What's it like?
Hygienist: "It simple! It just relaxes you. If you want, you can try it today during the cleaning"
Me: "Uh...OK!"

No wonder people take it illegally. The stuff makes you feel sooooo relaxed and euphoric. The next time I went in, the hygienist and I had a nearly identical conversation (maybe she didn't remember I tried it last time?) and I tried it again. As good as it was, I ended up going to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth extraction. They put me on an IV which basically took me out.

But, if you ever get the offer from your dental hygienist, give the ol' laughing has a go! When they take you off the gas, the effects wear off within minutes, so you're good to go.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happily Bruised and Battered

I grabbed the rebound and began sprinting to the other side of the court. "Fake right, pass left." I executed, but my teammate missed the shot. I went for the rebound, and the next thing I know, I'm on the ground, my mouth bleeding and my leg throbbing.

Ouch.

Incredible. The biggest guy on the court happened to grab hold of the ball. I was behind him, and as he whipped around, I got a taste of some delectable elbow.

I've had better.

Now there was some serious velocity behind this elbow which sent me flying. As I'm crashing to the ground, my foot got pinned behind his leg causing my leg to twist awkwardly.

Boom. Grade II High ankle sprain. It's a miracle I didn't lose any teeth from that elbow.

So I hobble back to my office at work with a tissue over my fat lip, looking forward to a nice healthy lunch. Then, I remember my other problem...

I've been suffering from a mysterious sore throat all week. I have no other symptoms other than an incredibly sore throat, especially when I swallow. So what does this mean? It means the lunch that I was looking forward to, is now an incredibly painful chore that I need to endure just to hold off my hunger pangs.

Today, it's raining. I hate the rain...or at least when it rains on the weekends. It ruins basically all activities involving the outdoors, and since I do alot of outdoorsy activities on the weekends (although I suppose my ankle would put a damper on that this week), it renders me frustratingly frustrated.

I'm incredibly happy.

I know what you're thinking. "Oh Paa-leeease Arun! Get Real. You're doing all this complaining about how battered and bruised you are and you expect me to believe you're happy! I actually felt sorry for handsome little you, until you mentioned all this incredibly happy stuff! Be honest!"

I am being honest! So, how is it that I'm still in a great state of positivity? Look at all of the disasters I avoided!

It's a wonder I didn't get my teeth knocked out! A fat, cut, lip is nothing and will heal up in a couple of days. A few inches higher, and I could've had a broken nose! I think I'm a funny guy, but I really don't want to be known as the Indian Owen Wilson.

A high ankle sprain, while no minor scratch, is still nothing major. In the last 6 months, I've seen a torn ACL, a ruptured MCL, and a broken ankle on the basketball court. Those things take AGES to fully recover from. I'll be back in no time!

This sore throat does suck. I was thinking, in a nightmare scenario, what if I had this sore throat for the rest of my life? Sweet Jesus what a nightmare! As much as I love to eat, and as much as it hurts to eat right now, that would be the worst thing ever! Luckily, it should be gone in a couple of days.

But AT LEAST I don't have the flu like my buddy Jeff. He's bed ridden right now. I on the other hand have no other symptoms of anything. To quote my old roommate Tim To (with my name inserted instead of his), "The only thing stronger than Arun, is Arun's immune system!"

My way of keeping happy is this: anytime I get the urge or inkling to feel self pity, I think about all of the much worse scenarios that could have played out, and envision everyone who is in a similar, yet much worse situation that I. Putting perspective on things really makes you appreciate the great things you have and the terrible things you don't have.

I don't have the flu, a broken ankle, and some missing teeth...hooray!!!!

My modeling career is still intact, as is my basketball career (ok, ok...so I don't exactly have a basketball career, but I DO play basketball at work, so that kind of counts right?)

So just remember, count your blessings when you're down, and you'll get right back up!

Today's lesson has been sponsored by Big Lance's Elbow.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Big City Magnification


The contrast between big and small cities is pretty interesting.

Everything that happens in small cities, seems to happen more, happens bigger, and is, in general, magnified in big cities. A town may have a festival, but a metropolis will have a parade. A robbery in in Podunkville makes the evening news, but in LA its a tally on the end-of-the-year statistics.

As someone who has lived in cities of various degrees, I personally prefer the city life. Lots of happenings, lots of people, and limitless things to do and places to go!

The big city though is not without it's quirks, inconveniences, and maddening irritations. Yes, you guessed it...it's time for one of my infamous little mini-rants (as I know you've all missed).

It seems places like LA, and San Diego to a lesser extent, can never keep up with the growing traffic! In medicine, we spend lots of money finding vaccines to different problems to prevent them from ever happening. With traffic though, it seems that we wait for full-on Pneumonia before deciding "gee, maybe this is a problem we should address."

By the time we finally build a new road, the traffic baddness has doubled, thus a new solution is needed by the time the first one is initiated. Now, I'm no oracle, but I foresee more traffic in the coming years (majorly bold prediction, I know) so maybe we should solve the problem now? Just a suggestion.

But even with traffic aside, its interesting how comfortable we get with commuting. In San Luis Obispo, driving from SLO to Pismo beach seemed like a long drive to me, and I whined and complained anytime I had to go. How long was the journey?

Ten Minutes.

Now, ten minutes is pretty much the minimum it takes to get anywhere useful in San Diego, and it takes more than twice that long for me to get to work.

I go downtown all the time, and that's a good 15 minute drive just to get there! And once there, anything can happen.

And what type of "anything" am I referring to? Let's take this weekend for example. Jeff, Darren, Lauren, Taylor, and I are walking back to the car on Saturday night, when all of a sudden a brawl breaks out across the street!

Sweet...highlight of the evening! Eight guys who obviously were pretty angry but had a total lack of coordinated fighting skills were going at it, flailing away. It looked more like they were playing patty-cake on each others faces than any sort of actual fight.

One of the guys obviously knew he had no combat skills because he resorted to breaking a beer bottle over someone's head! I thought this only happened in the movies!

Impressively, the cops showed up within like 30 seconds and started pepper spraying the whole bunch dimwits. They all went down, crying in agony, "I can't see!! My eyes!"

The highlight of this who charade though, was the girl who was involved. As the cops were cuffing her, she's yelling and resisting. It takes three cops to restrain her and get her in the car as she's screaming her head off the whole time. "Get off of me! F**k you! F**k you! I didn't do ANYTHING! Get off you F**ker! Let me go! Go F**k yourself!"

Hmm...something tells me that telling a cop to go F**k himself is not the ticket to being released...again, just a hunch. I almost wanted to go over there, as she was vehemently denying everything, raise my hand and say in my most innocent voice, "Actually, I was standing over there, and I saw her throw a couple of solid jabs." I didn't for fear of her ripping out of the handcuffs and coming after me!

And speaking of feisty females, here's another funny story:

Last Wednesday, I'm at a nice restaurant downtown, for a friends' going away party. Everything's great, but as I'm telling a story, I'm distracting but something behind me. I do one of those fake back stretches where you twist around, acting like your stretching your back, but really just your just trying to look at what's going on behind you without being too obvious.

There's a couple behind us having dinner, and the girl is just ripping into the guy! It's a really loud restaurant, so they weren't really making a scene, and we were probably the only ones who could hear them, but she was yelling at him, then crying, then yelling, and more crying.

All the while, the guy is just sitting there with his head down, leaning on his hand, not saying a word.

He must've done something really messed up to get her this riled up...so I thought.

After quite a while of this continuous castigation, there were a couple of minutes of silence. I see movement out of the corner of my eye. I turn to see them walking together towards the bathroom, arm in arm!

WHAT?!? She's supposed to hate this guy, and be breaking up with him! Wait a second...why are they going to the bathroom together?

I guess I'll never know for sure, but considering the fact that they came out smiling together, and this chick's face was red and her hair was razzled, gives me a pretty good idea.

Whatever this guy said to her, I've got to figure out! This girl was just trashing him for ages, and in ten seconds, this guy says something that makes her turn a full 180 degrees? Either this guy has magic powers, or he has discovered an incredible feat of language that makes women forgive you and fall in love all over again, in ten seconds! But I digress.

So, as you can see, the big city offers plenty of opportunity to see crazy and absurd things, sit in traffic for long periods of time, and drive long distances, but it's all worth it. No, the traffic, the fights, and the blunders won't make the news, but that's part of big city charm, isn't it? Sure, everyone doesn't know your name, but at least there's a "Cheers" in San Diego :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Perfect Thanksgiving Plan


After many years of hard work, trial and error, and many turkeys I have finally perfected the Thanksgiving plan of attack!

A great day indeed. Gather with friends and family, and feast!

Over the years, man has sought a singularly effective strategy for maximizing food intake and post meal laziness on this sacred day. The common misconception and ill-fated strategy is to skip all meals and starve ones' self up until the "meal of magic."

FOLLY! Don't get caught in this widely spread yet ineffective plan!

I know what you're thinking. "Common Arun! I'm making my stomach as empty as possible to receive the glorious feast! What kind of hair-brained strategy could you possibly have that makes more sense! AND, what happened to your so-called healthy living?!?"

Worry not dear friends! All shall be answered.

First of all, allow me to do some debunking. Now, the problem with the ever-so-popular starvation strategy, has to do with shrinkage. When you starve, your stomach temporarily shrinks, thus offering very limited space for Thanksgiving goodness.

So what's the alternative? Allow me to present the newly released "Arun's Guide to An Awesome Thanksgiving Feast."

It all starts on the Monday prior to Turkey Day. Monday - Wednesday requires stringently scheduled workouts. I plan on eating ridiculous amounts of food, and then piling on ridiculous amounts of dessert on top of that, thus equating to ridiculous amounts of awesomeness (don't argue with the Math).

Now these workouts are your ticket to earning Thanksgiving Dinner entry. Go for a run and imagine yourself chasing a perfectly basted turkey with stuffing spilling out! Go for a swim and picture yourself backstroking through thick country gravy surrounded my mountains of pillowy mashed potatoes.

God, I'm getting hungry just writing this!

Suffice to say, I worked out very hard in the days preceding Thanksgiving. But, I also brought the diet to compliment it. Monday - Wednesday, I ate NO meat, and had only giant salads for dinner.

Why is this important? Well, aside from being healthy, the diet also increased my craving for a great Thanksgiving dinner and brought new appreciation for its' amazingness.

So now that I had adequately prepared in the days prior, I woke up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning, ready for the day! After all this preparation though, I wasn't about to sabotage my upcoming meal with inadequate same day preparation! So, the first thing I did, was go for a five mile run in the crisp morning air!

Exercise does wonder for building appetite. But, now with my run out of the way, it was time to focus on stomach capacity! I ate a good sized bowl of cereal for my dinner prep. This meal is important as it keeps your stomach open and flexible, and gives it a little warmup for the upcoming pounding.

As the meal got closer, and we were at the TG dinner location, I did some light snacking. This is OK, but there is a fine line! Too much snacking, and you've sabotaged yourself. Too little, and you risk stomach shrinkage.

Alternatively, a cup of tea about 45 minutes prior is also good because it provides temporary fullness, AND the warmth of the tea creates stomach expansion.

WARNING! Never down a cold beverage within 20 minutes of the meal on an empty stomach!!! This will result in stomach shrinkage and thus limit your dinner intake! That would be DISASTER!

Finally, it was dinner time, and I was ready to go to work!

So what did all this preparation get me? Two big plates of Thanksgiving dinner, two pieces of pie, and a big cupcake! After becoming gut-busting full, I proceeded to take a nice nap and let it all settle in. The rest of the day was spent puttering around and being otherwise unproductive and lazy...PERFECT!

Follow this unbeatable plan, and you're sure to have the ideal Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Four Things I Did Last Week and So Should You


It's always great to stumble upon awesome things. As the author of the most important pending publication ever, "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness," I try to awesomely stumble as much as possible :)

In the process of doing all of this stumbling last week, I found four great things that everyone should do.

1. Buy a Nixon watch. I bought a moderately expensive Nixon watch about two and a half years ago, only because I got a special deal through my former company which allowed me to purchase the watch at wholesale price.

After having recently dealt with the Nixon watch company last week, I would gladly pay full price for a watch. Here's the story.

About 8 months ago, my really cool Nixon watch-strap broke. I wore the watch almost everyday for two years, so I suppose it breaking was understandable. Luckily, I have two watches (and NO, I don't wear them at the same time :) so I was still able to look super-duper cool with my other smooth watch (you were worried, I know). I took it to two different watch repair stores, and no one could fix it! The steel strap was beyond fixable.

Bummer.

So my watch sat in my car for months, until I finally decided to call Nixon and order a strap. I had a feeling that the watch strap was going to cost me as much as the discounted price I paid for the watch. I got on the phone with customer service and they told me that they don't just send straps out, but instead instructed me to just send the watch in, and they'd take care of it. Nice, Less work for me!

Turns out though, Nixon's headquarters is in San Diego! So, I moseyed on over there and dropped my watch off...no questions asked. Fast forward a week, and I get a package in the mail from Nixon. Sweet! They must've fixed my watch.

Ding Dong, I'm wrong.

I open up the package, and bodda bing! Brand spankin new watch! No Charge! I officially love Nixon watch company! The most important thing for any company, is having exemplary customer service, and Nixon has just that.

2. Watch American Gangster. Totally Bad-Ass movie! I hate writing moving reviews because most of the time, they give away too much information, but Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe are awesome actors, the story is based on true events, and the movie is captivating. Don't ask questions, just go see it!

As an aside, there's a brief scene in the movie with Denzel and two young men. All of a sudden I got a familiar feeling. Then it hit me...I knew one of the guys! Cedric Sanders (who's younger sister I knew well) went to my high school! Small world...

3. Read "The Four Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. Again, I don't like writing detailed reviews of things (unless they of course have to do with ME, since as you can probably tell I am someone I like to talk about :) but I just started reading the book, and I haven't yet finished, but the author really brings up some amazing ideas. Obviously there's no cut and dry blue print to work very little and make lots of money, but there is a common mentality, and that is what he focuses on.

Read the first thirty pages and you'll understand what I'm talking about.

4. Find an efficient way to become a VIP. As a young guy who likes to go out with his friends on the weekends, I began researching ways to get VIP status in some places. One thing I did, was find a VIP card that works at a TON of restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops in San Diego. Discounts, free stuff, front of lines, cheaper prices etc. Well worth the money!

The other thing I found was a group called San Diego Young Professionals, which hosts multiple events at different bars and clubs every week. Aside from shorter lines and discounted (or free) door prices, they have these magical "hosted bar" nights.

Why is a "hosted bar" magical? Well, "hosted" is the official term for FREE. Last weekend for example, Sin Night-Lounge had an hour long hosted bar for VIP's. Last time I was there, I strategically made friends with the head bartender, and any time they have a hosted bar, he text messages me. So all I have to do is tell him if I'm coming and who I'm bringing, and BAM! We're in!

As one who is a fan of not throwing around money buying a lot of expensive drinks at clubs, this is an AMAZING deal!

So what's the moral of today's post? Basically, always listen to me and you'll be okay :) Ok, Ok....narcissism aside, I would definitely recommend doing some of these things and letting me know what you think!

By the way, if you work for Nixon, the publisher of "Four Hour Workweek", or are the producer of "American Gangster" and would like to pay me for the free advertising I just did for you, I'll happily accept :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Worst Barbecue Ever!

Everybody loves to barbecue.

Round up some friends, Round up some meat, fire up the grill, and "Q" to your hearts content!

In California, people love barbecuing on the beach. Seriously, what better place is there to barbecue? You fire up the grill, run around the beach practicing your frisbee skills, jump in the water and pretend to surf (me), then come back to a sizzling piece of meat and a beer!

Well this is all fine and dandy, assuming you actually plan things right.

I was reminded of the worst barbecue ever, last week when I was at Aaron's house. We were barbecuing lunch. I was comfortably inside watching football when all of a sudden I see Aaron sprint inside, across the dining room to the kitchen, for a pot of water. At the same time I notice a good amount of smoke outside.

He books it back outside and all of a sudden I see a giant ploom of smoke! I go outside to inspect (I know, I'm a daredevil) and see the last reminants of flames, extinguishing on my chicken. Aaron notices my quizzical look.

Aaron: "Grease fire...I hope you like your chicken a little smokey"

The chicken managed to turn out ok...much better than by first beach barbecue debacle that was probably four years ago.

It was summertime in San Luis Obispo, and my buddy Dan calls me up and suggests that we should barbecue out at the beach! Great Idea! Usually I just attended barbecues that I was invited to, but this time we were going to do the inviting and grilling!

So Dan and I hurredly hit the grocery store to buy the necessary stuff. Instead of buying a huge bag of coals, we decided to get a couple of "fire logs" that are supposedly easy and quick to light. We are feeling quite smart for having thought of such an efficient BBQ plan that no one has ever thought of!

We drive all the way out to Pismo beach and invite Darren, Debra, Daisy and Randi. So we're all set to start barbecuing, when we realize are first little predicament.

Matches.

Ok, so I was having an "off" day. luckily Debrah had a lighter in her car so we were saved! Close call. We light the fire log and were excited to eat! The fire burned hot and bright!...for two minutes before the log extinguished.

We couldn't understand it! Dan and I had thought this through perfectly! Why buy a big bag of slow burning coals when we can have a log that burns instantly? We pulled out the second log and read the info carefully this time.

Apparently, these were STARTER logs that were only meant to get the coals (which we of course didn't have) to start going faster. Dan, being particularly sharp this day, decides to round up a bunch of paper for the next fire log to burn.

Turns out, paper burns incredibly fast. We lit the next log, surrounded by paper. Realizing the fire wasn't going to last long, we frantically unwrapped the chicken and hot dogs to throw on the grill.

Problem number two...we forgot plates and utensils (I know I'm impressing you with my genius today). We opened the chicken but no one wanted to touch it (since we couldn't really wash our hands anywhere). So, we crammed as many hotdogs as we could on the mini grill as the fire was weakening.

Two minutes later, we were left with half blackened, half uncooked, hot dogs, raw chicken, fireless, forkless, and plateless not to mention hungry and embarassed. Drinks? Yep, we forgot those too. Don't ask me what we were thinking, because apparently, it wasn't a lot. The girls took advantage of this opportunity to lay into us.

Debra: "You guys are like the best prepared people I know!"
Daisy: "Hey lets have a barbecue, and not bring ANY stuff to barbecue with!"
Randi: "Good thing you guys are engineers and problem solvers!"

Dan, in his frustration of the digusting half charred, half raw hot dog that he just took a bite of, wound up and chucked it as far as he could. It didn't get far because it was caught in the air by a seagull! Soon, another one came and they were fighting for the food in the air!

Suddenly, we were being surrounded! Seagulls from near and far gazed at the buffet of hotdogs and chicken waiting for them! Some of them seemsd a little "poop happy" as well which meant, being under them was not an option. The solution? Our "food" soon became our weapon against the surrounding predators! We starting chucking the hot dogs just to get the little stinkers away from us!

Luckily, we escaped unscathed (You were worried, I know). We ended up eating clam chowder at a nearby beach restaraunt and toasted to "The worst barbecue ever!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Power of Self Confidence

Some people have it, and some people don't.

Those who have it can lose it, and those who have none can gain it all.

It's what separates the winners from the losers.

Confidence. (that was good...maybe I should start writing riddles?)

I have found, and it's no real secret, that possibly the most singular qualilty one can have to greatly increase the level of his/her success in anything, is a high degree of self confidence.

Having self confidence literally makes you better at everything you do. What is this self confidence I speak of? It is having no fear, and no vision of failure. A confident person has no fear of failure because he knows failing is simply an opportunity to learn, and thus further increase his level of confidence. Despite this lack of fear, a confident person only visualizes a successful outcome.

When Barry Bonds broke the home run record, he'd step to the plate envisioning nothing less than hitting a home run. I'd be willing to bet, the possibiliy of a strikeout rarely crept into his mind.

When Pavarotti was singing opera in his old age, do you think he was concerned as to whether he could hit the high E in front of a stadium full of people?

I happen to play a lot of sports, and sing some mean karaoke. (Ok, so I'm not exactly breaking home run records and hitting high E's, but I'd say I do alright :). When I'm playing tennis or racketball, the thought of losing never crosses my mind. Even if I'm playing bad and losing to someone I should normally beat, I know for certain that I will win, and in the end, having that mentality is usually enough to pull me through.

The above examples though, are examples of having confidence in a specific thing. I somehow doubt good ol' Pavarotti would have been confident in winning (or even finishing for that matter) a marathon.

That being said, I think it IS very possible for someone to be an all around confident person. A person who carries himself high, looks people in the eye, is always sincere, gives a firm handshake, and is generally unconcerned about what other people think about himself.

Watch the movie "Pumping Iron," and you will realize why Arnold Schwartzenegger is so successful at everything. I don't think a guy can be more self-confident (and sure, downright arrogant) than him. In the movie he states that he has "no fear of fainting in the gym" due to exhaustion. He doesn't care what people think about him. Self belief is the reason he's reached the pinnacle bodybuilding, acting, and politics.

Look at Tom Cruise as another example. I wouldn't call myself a fan, but he's the epitome of a really confident guy. I can't imagine him walking into any situation without a high degree of self assurance. He never gets flustered and he's your classic "alpha male." He could probably care less about what people thought of him jumping up and down on Oprah.

Confidence is applicable to practically everything you do in life.

On the other side of the coin, he who lacks confidence and self-esteem, is already ready to lose. He contemplates every scenario of failure, fears rejection by others, and interprets this rejection as a rejection of himself rather than a rejection of his approach.

He's the person that says, "I'll try my best."

We see these people all the time. When we walk passed them in the hall, they look down to avoid eye contact. They stand around with their hands in their pockets. The only outcome they can see with any risk, is the possibility of failure.

Most of us probably have friends where if they see a cute girl, they freeze up and are terrified of approaching her. "What do I say? What if she doesn't like me? What do I do?!" He might walk up and try and say something to her, quietly, voice quivering. She gets creeped out and leaves. Painful rejection.

It's NOT a rejection of him (since she doesn't even know him), it's a rejection of his approach. Learn from your mistakes and try again.

The confident guy will walk up to her without hesitation and say, "Hi!" or whatever. His mindset is, "let's have a great interaction since I'm a cool person and there's a possibility you are as well. You need to bring just as much, or more, to the table as I do."

She's not on a pedastal, and not a prize. She's just a cute girl who might be as fun as he is.

In one episode of this show "The Pickup Artist" I saw recently, a bunch of really unconfident guys are memorizing these canned conversation starter lines to use on girls. The problem is, when they actually went to use them, their delivery sucked! There was no substance, no confidence behind what they were saying!

It's not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.

So we've pretty much established that having a high degree of self confidence is directly proportional to life success. But how do we build some general self confidence?

Well it takes some building, but the only way to build confidence, is to succeed! Seems like a catch-22 since each one relies on the other, but it's really not.

The first thing you need to do is step out of your shell for something small.

This could be something like walking upright with your back straight and your head held high. Look around. Observe the people around you. Try to make eye contact with everyone you pass. When they look back at you, smile! You'll find that everyone smiles back! Now start saying "hi" to some of these people, along with the smile.

And speaking of smiles, use them a lot! Smile when you walk into a room. This is YOUR room and the people in the room are YOUR people...YOUR friends. People want to be YOUR friend. For every ten smiles, "hello's" etc. you get back, MAYBE one person might not, but that person's reaction then becomes inconsequential.

When you smile at someone, you can EXPECT a smile back, and if they don't, brush it off and move on.

If you start doing these things, you'll notice people will start doing them back to you, without you having to initiate anything!

It's little exercises like this that really build confidence from the ground up. After a month of smiling and engaging everyone, you'll have no fear of doing so on a regular basis. There will be no contemplation of "what if they don't say hi, or smile back?" because that possibility doesn't even exist anymore!

Athletes do the same thing. When they're struggling with confidence, they go back to the basics and play against lower competition to get a few wins under their belt. Slowly, confidence builds and they get a feeling that they're unbeatable! Then, they go back to the higher level of competition with this renewed confidence.

I'd like to think I'm a confident person, but it has certainly grown over the years (some might say to ridiculous levels of self-love that the world has yet to see! :)

The little social exercises I mentioned above are things I started practicing without really knowing the positive effect it was going to have on me. Saying hi to everyone, getting over the perceived akwardness of talking to a stranger in an elevator, approaching a beautiful woman that has probably been oggled at 20 times that day...these are things I previously would never have done without building up my own confidence!

When I see someone I want to talk to, I don't think "what am I going to say? What if it's akward? What if I mess up what I'm saying?" I just go and chime in. There's no reason that he or she shouldn't want to talk to me...afterall, it is ME and I'm interesting! :)

When you live with confidence, it seems like the whole world opens up for you. Things just start going right, people respect you and want to know you, and you feel great!

I think the key to keeping this confidence is to think positive and create a positive environment. When you make the people around you feel great, they do the same to you. It's one big cycle of greatness that will keep YOU at your most confident.

And it's at that point, where you feel invinsible and unshakable, that you realize the great power of self confidence.

UPDATE: If you found this post useful, definitely check out my new ebook package The Social Charmer. I write at length about improving self-confidence and the information I share has been invaluable to me! At the very least, join the FREE email list!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Havoc


Good ol' Halloween...oh how the years change what this holiday means to people.

When we were kids, it was all about dressing up as the coolest superhero, and running around the neighborhood getting candy from all sorts of people...well sort of.

I spent most of my trick or treating days up in Anchorage, Alaska where it's just tad nippier than everywhere else. It was always a bummer because my Mom would always make us where our winter coat OVER our costumes thus ruining the effect of dressing up!

Walking through the neighborhood was also tricky. By October 31, there was usually a thin coat of snow and ice on the ground which made hauling huge bags of candy up and down driveways slightly hazardous.

Only in Alaska...

And I never understood why people left baskets of candy outside of there door when they weren't home. Sure they had good intentions, but seriously, did they expect the first group of kids who find this gold mine, not to take it all??? I don't think I ever found one with a single piece of candy.

And speaking of Candy...a note for you who give out candy to kids:

Worst Candy: Piece of Gum, Couple of tootsie rolls, jolly ranchers, dum dums, bite size anything.
Best Candy: Any type of Candy Bar (yes "Fun Size" is acceptable), any chocolate more than two squares, anything that takes more than one bite to consume.

These days, the concept of Halloween is totally different. For a young adult, it means it's time to get crazy in the costume party frenzy that is Halloween! For most guys, it involves the pain of finding a costume, just so you can enjoy partying with all of the girls who have been planning their costume for months. For a lot of girls, it's an excuse to be a skanky ________(insert any noun here). Pick any type of conceivable costume, add the the word naughty before it, and boom, you have a female Halloween costume.

That is indeed what happened during the week long Hallows Eve festivities.

Last Friday, my buddy had a huge party. He and his roommates throw a huge Halloween party every year and go crazy decorating the place. This year was no different. I, at the last moment, had the brilliant idea of being 80's Michael Jackson for Halloween. This was brilliant for a few reasons:

1. I've been known to bust a few MJ moves (including the "Crotch-Grab of Wonder").
2. I've been known to do a mean MJ Karaoke (complete with falsetto "Hee hee's" and "Shamone's").
3. I actually sort of look like him if I where aviator sunglasses and a fedora.
4. I have longish hair and my skin is brown (just in case this wasn't apparent in the picture).
5. I was able to preserve some semblance of sex-appeal (good thing I have an abundance of this :) as opposed to some other costume ideas I had (nacho libre, sumo guy).

So come Friday night I was bustin moves all over the place! I even had a glittery microphone prop which I promptly lost on Friday. So I bought another one and promptly lost it again on Saturday. I then came to the realization that me carrying a prop around was obviously not working out.

Unfortunately, the Friday fun was broken up by the good ol' Boys in Blue as it was in full swing. Now usually, one would expect maybe one or two cops to come end the fun. Apparently there were no other disturbances in San Diego this night because in comes TWO SUBURBAN LOADS OF COPS. It seriously felt like some kind of a drug raid. All of a sudden flashlights all over the place are pointing in my face!

I finally make it outside and see a truck with huge search beams pointed at my friends house! A smidgen excessive for a Halloween party if you ask me.

Then comes Saturday, day two of the extravaganza. This time, I met up with some friends to hang out before shocking Mission Beach with the finest Michael Jackson it has ever seen.

Well Mission Beach was gonna be shocked alright, but not by me. I innocently arrive at Ibis' and Jane's house. I had once asked Ibis what her Halloween costume was going to be, but she refused to spill the beans, responding only with "Oh, you'll see *wink wink*!"

My poor virgin eyes got an eyeful (and I mean an eye-FULL).

I walk in and Ibis and Jane are dressed innocently enough: Leather trench coats wrapped securely and a fedora on top. Hmmm....undercover detectives or something?

Well they were definitely undercover, but they sure as hell weren't detectives.

Ibis and Jane: "Ok Arun, are you ready?"
Me: "Ready for what?"
Ibis and Jane: "One...Two...Three"
Me: ....(staring, jaw hanging, eyes meandering) "OH...MY...GOD!"

What followed was the most insane, eye popping, stare provoking, yet somehow awesome costumes ever. Sure I threw-up in my mouth a little bit, but it was worth it...I think. A picture of the two is below in their full frontal glory.


Yes...they were Flashers. Suffice to say, they won the costume contest down in Mission Beach, by more than a hair (and by the looks of it, I'd say a lot of hairs).

So then came Wednesday...good ol' Halloween night. I had a steady stream of trick or treaters come by my office all day, and as it was the first time I've had trick or treaters of my own, it was a lot of fun. I forgot how cool kids are!

I also forgot how cool I am! (hard to believe, I know).

Jeff and I went to an upscale bar in PB and wreaked havoc.

Theorem 58 in "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness": Jeff and Arun + FREE Rum + super outgoingness (yes I made a new word) + Fun Costumes + Music = Halloween Havoc!

Apparently when you wear a Michael Jackson costume out, and they start playing Michael Jackson music, and you start moonwalking your booty all over the place, you become immensely popular.

Everyday should be Halloween!...Either that, or I may need to permanently dress like MJ whenever I go out.

Jeff meanwhile was dressed as a doctor (specialty: OBGYN) and prescribing girls a healthy dose of "Jeff" as the remedy for everything!

The rest of the world needs to join in on this holiday. Free Candy, crazy costumes, fun stuff everywhere...why not? Maybe when I become the World Ambassador, I'll institute this as a new international holiday......of course AFTER I institute "International Arun Day" :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The San Diego Inferno


Tuesday:

So I’m sitting in my favorite La Jolla coffee shop right now, “working from home.”

Ok, I suppose it would be more accurate to call it “half-working in coffee shop, taking a break to blog,”….minor detail. Actually, I’m usually really productive on the few days I work from home.

So why am I working from home today? Well, Carlsbad happens to be located “in the line of fire”…literally.

San Diego is burning, and North County particularly, is a little chaotic and not where I want to be right now. Yesterday, driving up to Carlsbad was very surreal. Smoke enveloped the freeway, and what would have been a normally clear day with blue skies, was overcast with smoke and everything had a red tinge as the sun fought its way through the ashes.

Looking out to the sky at work was crazy. Half the sky was blue and clear (to the north), then to the south was literally a wall of smoke…insane.

I, being particularly valuable to the San Diego Community as “Premier coupon model and witty blogger,” decided to stay away from the danger :)

My friend Bruno is an EMT/Firefighter and has been sending me crazy pictures of houses going up in flames all day.

His last text: “We broke into a house and pulled a 380 lb woman from her house. Flames were whipping up the driveway. There were burning embers the size of basketballs.”

Note to San Diego residents…when the reverse-911 calls you and tells you to evacuate, DO IT! Fire crews have been diverted from the fires because of people like our width-challenged friend that Bruno (and likely several other firefighters because he is certainly not strong enough to lift a 380 lb woman by himself) have had to be rescued.

Wednesday:

Essentially, this is day 3 of "San Diego Fire Chaos." I actually did make it to work today despite the I-5 freeway being closed in both directions north of Carlsbad.

I finally got the full story of Bruno and his "mass evacuation"...and by mass I mean a lot of mass in a single woman.

So it's middle of the night and Bruno and his partner get a call to enter Poway for emergency evacuations. Little did they know what a "heavy" task this would turn out to be.

They arrive at the first residence which is thoroughly smoking. As they walk up to the house, they're forced to dodge giant basketball-sized flaming embers, erratically blowing around.

Note, that as an EMT, they have no fire equipment, flame retardant clothing, oxygen masks, or official fire rescue training. In the midst of chaos though, any and all rescue personnel were utilized.

In an effort to break in and save the yet unseen woman, Bruno runs around the back of the well-secured home, and rips the sliding glass door off the hinges. Now however, the woman is bellowing from the front of the house.

They run to the front, and just as his partner is running towards the door to bust it down, it opens...380 lbs of immobile woman greets them with little gratitude. After harping about her need for her purse and medication, Bruno runs into the flaming inferno of clutter that is her house, and fetches her aforementioned belongings.

The next task perhaps proved to be the most difficult. Somehow, two young EMTs, neither of which are exactly power lifter status, had to get 380 lbs of fragile, old woman onto a gurney and into the ambulance.

Bruno, being a college graduate, deduces that rolling is the best solution. So, they lie her down, roll her onto the gurney, and strap her in. Sensing the enormity of the task at hand, Bruno focused, regained his energy, and positioned himself for an incredible feat of strength. They only had one shot at this, for if they failed, neither would have the energy or the strength to try again.

They positioned themselves on either side of the gurney, and squatted down in ready position. Bruno remembered the old adage of heavy lifting:

Bruno thinking: "Lift with the legs, not with the back. Lift with the legs, not with the back. Lift with the legs, not with the back."

Bruno and partner: "1....2....3...AAAAAAAHHHHHHHRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!"

Halfway up, they almost didn't make it. The gurney shifted right. The balance was off! Bruno dug deep into his reserves and siphoned his last bit of strength to complete the lift! Yes...our healthy (and I mean HEALTHY) sized friend made it into the ambulance.

Another day, another life saved.

Thursday:
So things are starting to look better. For awhile, the fires were moving so fast, I thought we'd eventually have to evacuate, but luckily they stopped short.

I met a couple of people on Tuesday night whose houses burned down...really awful. Interestingly, although we've supposedly "turned the corner," the fires are only 10 or 15 percent contained, but I think the weather is cooperating now such that firefighters can get control.

So this week wasn't the typical adventure I plan for, but luckily, for me at least, things turned out OK.

As one who likes to adventure, I may have to become a part-time EMT...the potential for adventure is high.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The San Luis Brawl


It was a dark Tuesday night in the "quaint" little town of San Luis Obispo. Apparently Quaint went on vacation on this night.

Will, my roommate at the time, and I decide to walk over to the theater to see a movie. I didn't need much convincing since Will was an assistant manager at the theater and anytime I went with him, movies were FREE.

We get to the theater around 10:00pm and it's pretty empty. The movie by the way, SUCKED, and I don't even remember what it's called. Well, as the previews get underway, a group of six guys come in through the emergency exit door and plop their noisey butts a few rows in front.

I actually didn't notice them come in through the exit, but Will being an assistant manager and also being one who likes to "stick it" to wrongdoers, gets up and alerts the staff to these shananigans.

When he got up to take care of this, he just said "I'll be back," then came back and told me what he did. Meh...whatever. The guys ended up having to go to the front during the previews and purchase tickets. Big Deal.

After the movie, Will took me up to the booth to show me all the movie reels and stuff which was pretty cool. Then, as we got outside the movie theater, six ugly guys looking none-too-happy were waiting for us.

Call it a hunch, but I don't think they were waiting to discuss the amazingness of the six-dollar suck-fest they just paid to watch.

We ignore them and start walking home...they follow.

To say they were pissed would be like saying I'm only moderately attractive ;) Yes, they were FURIOUS at Will.

As we walked they were baraging Will with verbal barbs. Think of the most offensive stuff to say, and they were yelling it. Interestingly, they were so focused on their detest of my roommate, that I was pretty much being ignored. They must have inherently sensed my coolness (as well as my toughness) and decided it would be best to leave me alone.

Will started to get scared (understandibly) and starts running! I chase after him and right behind me is the stampede of six angry ogres. I finally catch up to him as he slows down. We're now in the middle of Downtown SLO and people start noticing that six Zoo-escapees are coming after us.

Being the geniouses that we are, we turn a corner and are now walking away from downtown, down a dark, desserted street. Me thinking, "hmmm...maybe this wasn't the best idea."

Now they start surrounding us. Will is pretty much freaking out and dials 9-1-1.

So here we are, on a dark lonely street, me standing in flip-flops, and skinny Will on the phone with emergency services. I, being particularly astute in Mathematics, do a quick mental calculation and deduce that our odds against six angry thugs are not exactly stellar.

One of the guys is REALLY agitated so I move to him first to try and calm him down.

Me: "Calm down dude, it's just a movie"
Ogre 1: **Innaudible groan of anger**
Me: "You paid six dollars and you're pissed? Come on man, let it go."
Ogre 1: **More innaudible groans of anger**

This guys so pissed that I've now physically got my hands on him, holding him back.

Me: (now turning to Will) "Will, just walk back downtown and go into a bar (he was 21 at the time, I was only 20) where there are people"

As I turn to tell him this, the guy I'm holding, blows right passed me, grabs Will by the shirt and throws him to the ground like a rag doll! Then, a few of the other guys go and start kicking him as he's on the ground moaning into the phone with a dispatcher on the line!!!

I had never been in a real fight before, but at this point adrenalin kicked in, and normal Arun became SUPER HULK ARUN and let loose the "Arun Fury of Madness!"

I run up to Ogre #1, grab him by the back of his collar, and throw him hard, face first, into the side of a building. Then I grab Ogre #2 and throw him into the ground. The other two involved in the kicking back off or something (I don't really remember).

So now I'm literally standing over Will, who's lying in pain on the ground, my fists clenched, yelling incredibly lound "GET THE F**K OFF!!! GET THE F**K OFF!!!"

Seriously, I don't think I've ever looked so feroscious. It's amazing what a little adrenaline does for you, but even I would have been scared of me at that moment.

Luckily the guys decided to bolt after this exclaiming to Will "You're lucky you're not alone and that's all you got!!!"

Good thing they scurried away. Sure I had a lot of fury pumping through my vains at the time, but against six guys, my Greek-god-like body and angelic face would have been in grave danger of injury!

As soon as the thugs left, bystanders run up to us exclaiming they saw everything, and one of them even tries to follow the escapees!

The cops then show up and tell us that they've caught four of the six suspects already! Jeez, I must say I was pretty impressed with their expediency!

The main intigator of the fight ended up getting charged with "Assault with a deadly weapon" because of his kicks to Will's head. He served some time in the slammer and got a hefty fine.

Will's hard head finally came in handy and he escaped, suprisingly rather unscathed.

I escaped with no injuries and about three nights of restless sleep. The more I thought about it though, the tougher I felt for holding them off! (Yes, believe it or not, it is actually possible for me to think even MORE of myself :)

I've thought about going into a career as a crime fighter/super hero.

Super Arun?
Model Man?
Hero of Handsome?
The Chisled Charmer?

Maybe I'll parlay my super hero status into a business..."Super Arun and Associates." It would consist of me being famous, and the crime fighting "dirty work" being handled by my associates :) Good plan!

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Taste of Fame


Being recognized is a great feeling.

Ok, so I'm not exactly hounded by the paparazzi, but I have tasted from the fountain of fame. (alright, alright...maybe it was more of a sniff of the vapor from the fountain of fame...minor detail).

I cameoed as a Model in a local coupon magazine. (If only any of my stunning photos made the final product).

I starred in a commercial once. (Ok, so I had no lines, but I did demonstrate some solid tennis skills in a commercial for an athletic club). This immediately vaulted my middle school popularity.

I have a moderately popular blog.

But possibly the most recognition I received was from a newspaper article written about me soon before I left Anchorage, Alaska for college. It was a HUGE article which took up the front of the Sports Page in the Anchorage Daily News.

To be fair, this article was ridiculously complementary and makes me sound like Mother Theresa (oh the similarities between "Momma T" and I). But then again, it is ME afterall :) So today I present to you the article in its entirety. The picture above took up a huge section of the page.
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Rapped up in tennis
East High's Arun Srinivasan is a tennis champ, rapper and scholar

By Josh Niva
Anchorage Daily News

(Published June 26, 2001)
Arun Srinivasan knows a good racquet when he sees one.

He's a 10-year tennis veteran, a high school state champion as a doubles player, a state runner-up in singles and even a tennis instructor on the side. So he's no stranger to the tools of his sporting trade.

But Srinivasan didn't need a good racket to land him a $6,000 scholarship from the USA Tennis Foundation Educational Scholarship Fund. When applying for the honor that rewards tennis achievement, tennis involvement, community service and academics, he simply let his off-the-court statistics speak for themselves: a recent honors graduate from East High with a solid 4.0 grade-point average; a volunteer math tutor and tennis instructor; a Key Club member; the embodiment of sportsmanship.

"It's really exciting," the 17-year-old Srinivasan said of receiving the award. "And it will help a lot (financially)."

Every bit helps when you're about to enter your freshman year at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo to study computer engineering, including the $1,500 East Anchorage Rotary scholarship he received earlier this year.

"I was so happy for him -- I feel like I won this, too," said Srinivasan's tennis mentor and friend Cathy Tracy. "He's just always there to help out and do anything. He's a selfless, wonderful person.

"I wasn't surprised at all (that he received the scholarship)."

And it shouldn't be too surprising that a person as ambitious as Srinivasan has an extremely well-rounded background to go with his tennis acumen.

His parents are from India, he was born in Kansas City, Mo., and he moved to Anchorage in 1990.

Then there's his advanced placement calculus, AP English and computer engineering background that would fry the average mind.

He's into music, too. He plays the cello, sings jazz, is in classical choir and he even raps. Yes, the honor student raps, and his name on the microphone pays homage to his GPA ... A-Plus.

"It's just a lot of fun," said Srinivasan, who began rapping with a friend seriously two years ago after an AP English assignment called for him to compose a rap song.

But this rapper doesn't spit the typical Parental Advisory lyrics. His lyrical content is intelligent, and his flow is as tight as his court game -- quick, hard hitting, wise and no unforced errors. He volleys tongue-twisters like tennis shots and even sprinkles a little of his favorite sport into his raps as he sizzles, "players who pose on the court" of the "prodigy" with his lyrics.

While Srinivasan has only been in the rap game for a brief time, he's been serious about his tennis for quite awhile. His family always followed the sport, but his interest piqued when he was 8 and he decided to attend a clinic that Tracy conducted.

Tracy can still remember that day 10 years ago when she first met the aspiring tennis star who would turn out to be her assistant tennis instructor at the Alaska Club years later.

"He was 7 or 8, and there were probably 55 kids there," said Tracy, the Alaska Club's director of tennis. "I noticed him right away with his great attitude and athletic ability. Sometimes you see someone for the first time and see that this kid could be good."

"I just fell in love with it," added Srinivasan. "It came naturally and I just enjoyed it."

Srinivasan is a right-hander who likes to play a serve-and-volley game, a strength that makes him a strong doubles player. After making the East tennis squad as a freshman, Srinivasan toiled, paid his dues and eventually won the state doubles title with teammate Adam Stauffer. A season later, as a senior, Srinivasan finished second in singles play to Service's Deric Saffell.

"He's got an awesome serve, good hands and touch shots," said Tracy, evaluating Srinivasan's game.

But his physical skills are just part of what makes Srinivasan a special player. He also plays by his own strict code of tennis ethics, a code that gets him accolades and one he spelled out in the essay he wrote to the tennis scholarship committee.

"I always try to keep a level head when playing and show class on the court," Srinivasan said. "In the essay, I wrote about how I started playing tennis and how it helped me not only do well in school, but how it changed my attitude. It teaches you how to be a sportsman, and it teaches patience."

It's a message he tries to get across to teammates, opponents and now to the fledgling tennis players he teaches. But he also knows when to just have fun with his sport.

"As an instructor, he's great," said Tracy. "He's always aware of the whole situation, and he makes sure the kids have a good time."

And that's one aspect of his lessons Srinivasan is sure to focus on.

"I usually instruct kids, and not so long ago i was that same person," Srinivasan said. "So I always have to make it fun for whoever's taking lessons. If it's not fun, they won't come back. That's why I came back."

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Back to the real world...there are some innaccuracies in this article (through no fault of mine).

Computer Engineering Background???...I had no clue about computers back then, and struggled with those damn machines when I got to college.

Rapping Seriously? Umm..I did spit some solid rhymes but I don't think anyone would have called what I did serious.

Oh well...I guess when you're as famous as me, you have to accept that media will, on occassion, fabricate information or perpetuate rumours :) Ahhh, the price of fame...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Seven Mistakes Guys Make When Approaching Women


Ok Fine...I may have strategically chosen to include this photo because......my shirt is spiffy? :) No, I'm not a pickup artist. I am however a fan of the show.

Recently, my friend Jeff and I stumbled upon this show ("The Pickup Artist") by accident and were instantly intrigued at how a so called "Master Pickup Artist" trained a couple of sad stories, into lady-savvy guys.

It was pretty impressive considering the contestants' social skills were INCREDIBLY awkward or downright nonexistent.

Lucky for me, I'm pretty glib by nature (surprising, I know) so that sort of works in my favour...well that and my devilish good looks :)

Anyone who goes out and about with any regularity notices the poor guys who just don't have a clue. Some of them are douchebags, and we're happy when they fail miserably while others are either scared or socially awkward. Well, this post is for the latter.

Off the top of my head, there are seven major mistakes that guys make when going out, that have FAILURE written all over them! I see it ALL THE TIME, and if you promise to keep this a secret, I've even made some of these mistakes over the years (another shocker)! I have however learned, and avoid the contents of this list like Rosie O'Donnell avoids exercise.

Now this post is not about how to shoot a gun with deadly accuracy, but rather how to NOT shoot yourself in the ass. So without further adu, I present to you "Seven Common Mistakes Guys Make When Approaching Women."

1. Being a Wallflower - Seriously, why even go out if you're just going to post up against a wall and watch everyone? This is bad for a couple of reasons. First, once you get in "post up and watch" mode, it's hard to break out of it, and all of a sudden start being social. Second, when you finally DO decide to enter the fun, people won't be as receptive. Why?

Who would you rather talk to? The person who is having fun, smiling, talking to people and contributing to the environment, or the tree in the corner, holding a drink and watching the fun?! The more fun you are having, the more other people (women) want to be around you and experience that energy!

As an aside, the Wallflower is SOOO common! Usually it's shy guys. You need to at least try to get your social self going early, and then you'll get on a run!

2. Being BORING - When you finally start talking to a girl please refrain from classic "interview" questions. This is sooo generic and BORING! "Where are you from? What do you? Do you come here often? What's your major?"

Yes for some people I just eliminated the first five minutes of riveting conversation.

I know what you're thinking: "That's really dandy Arun, but how about you give me an alternative, Mr. Smooth!"

Ok Ok. I personally like talking about something interesting going on right now, or making a funny observation about the room. A person needs to like me for some semblance of personality before they care about where I'm from or what I do. Similarly, I could care less about where they're from, what they do etc in the first few minutes of conversation because it has no bearing on me liking them as a person.

People ascertain each other's most glaring personality qualities by simply interacting on a fun, somewhat superficial level.

3. Failure to Escalate - When a girl is finally displaying some interest in you, it's time to kick your charm up a notch (ONE notch...not three or five Speedy Gonzalez). Friendly touching and flirting is included in this notch. What happens when you don't escalate? FRIEND ZONE!

And once you're on the "friends ladder" you have to be a downright "pro athlete of seductiveness" to successfully make the leap over to "relationship ladder." Trust me...women grease up those upper "relationship ladder" rungs nice and good, so good luck hanging on after the leap.

In all likelihood, you'll end up falling painfully on your bum, on neither ladder. Then, they'll throw some of the same grease goop on the bottom rungs to end you forever!

4. Being Touchy McToucherson - Instead of escalating, you try and take the supersonic elevator to the top of the Sears Tower. Touchy McToucherson soon becomes Sleezy McSleezerson. Luckily, only douchebags do this type of creepy stuff, and my website automatically blocks people of high douchebaggery :)

5. Being Nonobservant - Too many people don't pay attention to body language. Most times, you can get an immediate gauge as to a girls interest level if they display positive body language (ie. looking at your eyes, facing you, touching you etc). The same can be said if they aren't interested in you.

Too many guys go in as John Boring (see #2) then fail to get the clue that the interaction has gone stale and stick around for WAAAY to long! PAY ATTENTION! If her back is to you, if she's ignoring you at all etc, MOVE ON! On the bright side, you'll rarely ever receive overtly negative body language if you eliminate the John Boring in you.

6. Being as Asshole - Sure some girls like bad-asses and others like guys who end up being jerks, but I wouldn't recommend approaching a girl with hostility. There's a fine line between teasing and being insulting, and if you don't know what it is, avoid it altogether!

I tease everyone, but people always know I'm joking. I'm also very sensitive to people's feelings so I never encroach on anything has even has a remote risk of being offensive. On the other hand, pointing out obvious blunders and giving a girl a hard time about something silly is comedy GOLD! I've seen a lot of guys try to be the funny teaser, but end up saying something totally offensive.

Stick a fork in you.

Sexist, Racist, and other over-the-top jokes are big time no-no's when first meeting someone.

7. Being the Personal Drink Bank - I've already talked about this in my old Bar Culture Post, but it needs to be reiterated.

DON'T BUY RANDOM GIRLS DRINKS!

Guys are tooled everyday for drinks. Girls don't respect guys who buy them drinks right away. When you buy a girl a drink you are setting yourself up to be used, AND implying that your conversation alone is not interesting enough to hold her attention. Essentially you are purchasing some conversation time by means of a drink.

Don't ever do it!

And if a girl did ask me for a drink after I meet them, I would lose interest immediately. I usually like to string them along though after they ask (because now they've lost my respect) and use one of my favorite jokster lines (credit Jeff with the punchline).

Girl: "So are you gonna buy me a drink?"
Me: "Sure! Let's go to the bar!"
(Now having arrived at the bar)
Me: (turning around to girl) "Now did you want your water with or without ice?"
Girl: (now totally confused then realizing she's been had)
Me: (smiling super wide at my own cleverness).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wacky Weddings


Man waits at alter. Bride walks down with father while "Here Comes the Bride" plays on the organ. Mother balls her eyes out. Pronounced Husband and Wife. Smoochy Smooch. Reception. Bodda Bing! That's the typical American wedding we've all grown up seeing on TV and have possibly attended and expect.

Apparently none of my friends got that memo.

I've been to six weddings in my life, (one as recently as a few weeks ago) and only ONE of them has followed anything resembling this formula. That's right...in keeping with the running theme in my life, they've all been a little crazy!

The first wedding I ever went to was up in Alaska. The Groom's family (my "in" to the wedding) happen to be very "Alaskan" so the wedding was far out from the city, at a remote yet beautiful location. Scrap the church, not needed.

I suppose the wedding was fairly normal, but come reception time, I wasn't quite sure what to eat (or not to eat). In keeping with the "Alaska" theme, the main cuisine was Bear (Yes BEAR...poor little guys), Moose, and Carribou. What ever happened to good ol' chicken???

Where'd the bride and groom go for their honeymoon? You guessed it...Halibut Cove.

Then there was the wedding I went to a couple of years ago in Kansas City...an Indian Wedding. Calling this event a "production" would be an understatement. The festivities go on for days, and the actual wedding ceremony resembles a broadway play. There's singing, dancing, instruments, acting, flowers everywhere, props...and yes I'm talking about the wedding, not the reception.

To further complicate matters, the Football Arizona Cardinals were in town that week to play the Kansas City Chiefs and were staying at the same hotel as the wedding. Why was this complicated? It just so happened Embassy Sweets double booked the ball room for the reception as well as some Football meeting for the Cardinals.

Uh oh.

If you thought wedding planners and brides Mom's were normally stressed out, you should have seen them after this revelation. When they found out, there was no way anyone would be able to stand up to the wrath that is "Stressed out Mother of the Bride" and not let us have the room.

In fact, I bumped into the head coach of the Cardinals when I was in the elevator with my Mom. The conversation went like this:

Me: "Hey aren't you Denny Green?"
Coach Green: "Yea Man! WHat's your name? Nice to meet you!"
Me: "Hey Mom! This is Denny Green, head coach of the Minnisota Vikings!"
Mom: "Really?"
Coach Green: "uh.......actually it's the Arizona Cardinals now"
Me: "Uhh....yeah...that's what I......meant? (now realizing that he was previously FIRED from the Vikings and waiting for what seemed like ages for the damn elevator door to open)"

The next wedding was in New York. This was my first visit, and I witnessed some crazy Mob stuff, along with a speed trip through the sites of NYC.

The funny thing about this wedding was the groom's family was Japanese, and the brides family was Indian.

Consequently, the bride's family wanted the whole, lavish, Indian production of "The Wedding" directed by the all too familiar Mother of the bride. The groom's family wanted a traditional Samurai wedding.

Personally, I was rooting for the Samurai wedding. How cool would that be?

Instead, they comprimised and had a semi-traditional wedding with absolutely NO religious symbols.

At the reception, there was lots of dancing, and anybody who knows me, knows I've been known to bust a move or two here and there. What I didn't know was that my MOM does too!

That's right, my MOM was dancing up a storm! Apparently it's in my genes.

Fast forward a couple of years which brings us to last month, where I attended two weddings.

The first one, I went to valet cars for a friend, but basically got to enjoy the wedding as if I were a guest (AND I got paid...not to shabby!). What was so special about this wedding?

This was the first (and likely ONLY) Scientology wedding I'd ever been too. I went, half-expecting Tom Cruise to be the minister...unfortunately he wasn't available.

The wedding was at an estate in North East San Diego County, and the owners are devout scientologists. Infact, the giant guest house is now converted into a library of scientology history and contains a lot of original works of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

Suffice to say, some of the ceremony was a tad unconventional, but after the weddings I've been too, I suppose unconventional IS normal.

And now we get to the most recent. A few weeks ago I went back up to San Luis Obispo, the city of my Alma Matter Cal Poly, for my buddy's wedding. This friend is unlike any other I have. To put it simply, he's a Cowboy.

The wedding invitation had a picture of Nate (the groom), on a horse with Nikki (the bride) and said, "Nate and Nikki r' gettin' Hitched!"

Nuff said.

The wedding was at a ranch in Cayucus. The bride arrived in a horse-drawn carriage, and the groom and all the groomsman awaited, proudly donning their Comboy hats, Cowboy Boots, and of course, tuxedos.

I meanwhile kept popping up out of my seat to try and see over all the cowboy hats in the audience!

At the reception, there was a bluegrass band to kick off the festivities, beer was seved in cowboy boot mugs, and there were peanuts and "Cowboy Cookies" at every table.

And WHERE was this reception held??? You guessed it...a Barn! Now it was a very "done up" barn, remodeled for things like wedding receptions, but from the outside, it looked just like an old Blue Barn.

Me, being one who doesn't discriminate against different dancing styles, got my line-dancin, booty shakin, groove on! I particpated in such classics as the boot-scoot-n-boogy, the two step, and my personal favorite, the Tush-push!

Luckily the DJ decided to play a little "Billie Jean," which just happens to be my specialty.

So there you have it. Whenever the day comes that I get married, I guess I'm gonna have to do something totally off the wall in staying with this theme! Maybe a wedding on the Moon? (and don't anyone steal my idea!).

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Move of Mayhem


I am never moving again.

Ok, ok. Maybe that's a little extreme, but I HATE moving! I had been dreading the arrival of Saturday all week, and it finally came with a vengeance!

Me being me, the totally nonchalant, worry-free sort of person that I am, did ZERO preparation for the move. I moved to a place that's only a block away, so I figured I'd just run back and fourth making lots of quick dumps.

In my "back and fourth" calculations, I somehow neglected to account for a few little obstacles.

Obstacle 1: Getting my crap from the third floor, all the way down to the basement. Sure there's an elevator, but certain things don't fit in the elevator which brings me to:

Obstacle 2: We own big, HEAVY-ASS stuff! For safety purposes, I don't recommend carrying huge sofa's and 200 pound armoires down four flights of stairs...or up for that matter:

Obstacle 3: Getting my from the basement garage of the new place, up to the fourth floor.

Luckily we could fit most of the stuff into the elevator, but getting things like the goliath couch in and out, and around different bends was insanely hard! First off, its a pretty new leather couch so accidentally scrapping it on the ground or on a corner is not an option. Luckily, behind Jeff and I's modelesque looks and charming personality lies some serious brain power.

Yes, we were able to geometrically deduce the proper moving angles of various sensitive furniture (leather couch, chaise lounge chair, armoire etc.) in order to maximize efficiency while minimizing damage...to the furniture that is.

I can't say that neither of us escaped unscathed. Jeff temporarily threw his back out trying to lift a box of hard covered text books. I had a little scare myself.

While moving stuff from outside into the apartment, I decided I could take on Jeff's gargantuan old-school TV myself. I had seen Jeff and Frederico struggling with that beast earlier and that was with TWO of them.

By this point, I was extremely tired and not thinking entirely straight. So, I did a couple of warmup flexes to get my muscles ready but more to get my confidence in my supreme, Hulk-like strength up, and went to lift.

I managed to get the TV up, and as I was standing up, I heard (and felt) a "rrrrrippppp."

Me Standing there with the TV Thinking: "Oh God, what was that! Was that my back? Well I don't feel any pain (other than my muscles begging for mercy to drop the TV)"

I then felt a nice, cool, draft between my legs. Yes, in my powerlift of the TV, my old gym shorts could not contain my massive butt-muscles as they strained for dear life.

Once I got the TV in, I examined the damage. HUGE split down the middle seam. Actually, I think they split because my shorts got caught on the rough outside wall as I was lifting the TV. Yes, I was a little disappointed that they didn't actually split as a result of my rock solid ass, but rather my dim-witted plan to move the TV on my own.

I was forced to waddle my was back to my car to avoid mooning my new neighbors.

We eventually finished the move at 2 in the morning. I don't think I've ever been so deliriously tired. Now my place is in mass disarray with stuff everywhere! You didn't really realize how much stuff you have, until you move.

On the bright side, the new place is awesome! My room is HUGE. The complex amenities are awesome as well. Four swimming pools, Bi-weekly parties, Game room. movie theater, Gym, Yoga classes (which I'm definitely going to be doing), and Pool parties! To add to the fun, I worked out a little deal which makes it CHEAPER than my old place.

I'm still extremely sore from the move, but I trust a visit to the hot tub and a nice yoga class should alleviate my pain!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, and Me


I'm sure you've all heard of my friends, Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova.

Ok ok...So maybe I'm stretching a tad (and by stretching a tad I mean stretching the truth so thin that it's basically transparent) by calling them "friends," but I have had personal encounters with each of them that few will ever have.

Let's start with Anna.

Back in high school, I used to visit Montreal quite often as my sister attended University there and Montreal happens to be one of the coolest cities in the world. So one year, we decided to plan our trip so it coincided with a big tennis tournament held there, formerly called the "Du Marier."

My Anna happened to be entered...What a nice coincidence!

Aside from watching the matches, it was fun to roam around the grounds and watch players warm up and practice. A lot of players were driven around to the practice courts on golf carts, and others walked with security. If you were lucky, you might be able to catch a glimpse of them as crowds of people surrounded as they walked to the practice court.

I was more than lucky...actually, I think she was subconsciously attracted to my gravitational charm :)

So I'm standing around near some courts, kind of oblivious to anything going on. Suddenly I hear this low, loud, and somewhat muddled voice barking at random pedestrians to step aside.

I, thinking I was already out of the way and not wanting to move excessively for risk of being personally smashed by the Sumo King of Canada, stood still as he thundered by right next to me.

Then I am rudely bumped in the back by someone! Before I get a chance to turn, hoards of people are running towards me!

At first I was shocked and scared, but then I realized that this type of fame is price I must pay for being ME!

As I turned to see who accidentally crashed into me, I felt a strange sense of chemical electricity and passion. As I met eyes with aforementioned offender, I was struck speechless! (hard to believe, I know)

Anna was smiling sympathetically into my eyes. She quickly apologized to me for her clumsiness and gave me a couple of autographs. She then gazed back deep into my soul and smiled flirtatiously.

Anna, being the extremely dedicated player that she is, fought of her urge to ravage me right then and there, and continued on to the tennis court. I was left stunned. It takes an extremely focused athlete to resist the animal-like instinct of attraction that we shared for those brief moments.

Interestingly, my fans who had previously rushed over and surrounded my area, left and followed Anna as she continued on to the practice court. Perhaps they wanted to let me enjoy my vacation in privacy?

Now onto Maria Sharapova.

When I used to work as a Floor Supervisor at the Tennis Warehouse we used to, on occasion, get orders from professional tennis players. Supervisors were only allowed to handle these orders because each player had a special code that we'd verify and ensure they got a discount. Most of the players that ordered stuff were lower ranked (as higher ranked players get everything for free anyways).

I did manage to talk to some names that tennis fans would recognize such as Mashiska Washington (Malivai's brother), Richie Reneberg, and Mark Phillipoussis' Dad.

Despite the fact that top players very rarely called to order stuff, it did happen some times, and we had a list of the top 500 Mens and Womens players who were privy to discounted merchandise. We were sent an updated list every month by the official Mens and Womens Tennis tours (ATP and WTA respectively).

Well one time the WTA messed up. They sent us the list, but instead of including just the players name, ranking, and verification code, it included information such as email, mailing address, and phone numbers of the top female tennis players.

Suffice to say, we disposed of this list immediately...well almost immediately.

Me being the curious guy that I am, decided to verify the authenticity of this list. Who better to verify with than Maria Sharapova! I called and the conversation went like this:

Maria:"Hello?"
Arun: "Hi! Is this Maria?"
Maria: "Yes it is. I'm sorry, who is this?"

At this point of the conversation I'm incredibly flustered as I didn't really expect to talk to her.

Arun:"Ummm...you're Maria Shablahblahblay (making up some crazy last name)"
Maria: "Oh no...I think you have the wrong number."
Arun: "Oh I'm sorry! Have a great day!"
Maria: "You too"

Despite the dull content of the conversation, I could sense the underlying tone of desire in her voice. I could've had her right then and there, but I didn't want her to have to deal with the stress of having a man like me so far away.

To this day I still have her number. I've only ever called it one other time. It's more the novelty of having it than actually using it.

The one time I called was after I saw her play a match in San Diego...it went straight to her voice mail and I left no message.

Worry not though Dear Maria. No one else has, or will ever get your number from me! After all, it's no longer a novelty if everyone has it!

Maybe some day I'll call her again. Maybe not. When I become rich and famous, maybe I'll invite my little Russian tennis players on a Caribbean Cruise aboard my yaht...just Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, and Me :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Grocery Store

We visit them everyday. They're essential for living! They provide nourishment for all that are hungry and have wallets.

The good ol' grocery store.

Personally, I'm a fan of grocery stores. They make doing enjoyable activities such as eating, quite affordable. Yesterday during my weekly shopping run, I really thought about the quirks of the grocery store, and also realized some of the problems we encounter all the time.

It starts with the shopping cart. At some places, selecting a cart is like playing Russian roulette. You know what I'm talking about. You get your cart and start strolling through the produce section and all of a sudden one of wheels starts sticking.

Somehow, this problem never shows itself until AFTER you're sufficiently far from the cart bay so then you have to decide to either go all the way back to the cart bay and exchange carts or deal with the annoying sticky wheel the rest of the time!

I'm more of a "basket" shopper these days and avoid the shopping cart altogether. The only problem is when throw something heavy like milk in the basket. Then you have to hobble around the rest of the time lugging a heavy-ass basket around, walking like half your body is suffering from paralysis. At Costco however, the basket is not an option. Conveniently, Costco has oversized carts because everything in Costco is, well, oversized.

Costco shoppers however observe ZERO cart etiquette! I always thought you should push carts like you drive a car. People in the main isles get "right of way," stay to the right (in the U.S.), no tailgating etc.

Apparently Costco shoppers are not good drivers. The worst is when the back of your heals get "rear ended."

"Oops! I'm sorry."
Me Thinking: "Oh I'll show you sorry, soccer Mom!"

The best thing about Costco though is the abundance of SAMPLES. Go there on a Saturday afternoon, and there's no need to buy lunch! As a kid, going to Costco with my Mom and Sister was always great because they are both vegetarian. Keeping in mind that most of the good samples contain meat, I'd always be privy to three delectable tastings!

And speaking of samples, it always really annoying when you saw a sample stand and got all excited only to realize when you got up close that they are giving away like apple wedges or demonstrating a cleaning product...but I digress.

So now that we've got a nice cart or basket, produce is usually the first area we go to. It's always interesting to see people shop for fruit.

You get to the melons and shake em a little, and start tapping different ones. Apparently this tells us something. What the hell are we listening for? Is it like a seashell when you hold it up to your ear and hear the ocean breeze??? Does louder mean riper?

So once we've finished all of our shopping, we make our way up to check out. There, we are bombarded with tabloids and candy! It makes you wonder about this country's state of mental and physical health when every time, every person goes shopping, he encounters such wholesome, quality goods!

The checkers are generally pretty impressive though. They seem to have every four-number code for produce memorized!

In highschool, I had a friend who was a grocery store checker, and used to quiz him on produce codes (though I suppose he could've said four random numbers and I wouldn't know any better). I was the only person who ever stumped him!....the item? Pomegranate.

Yes, yet another in depth-observation and analysis of everyday life. Coming soon...Walmart: The Not-so-good, the bad, and the ugly!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hello 24, Goodbye Youth!



I am old.

Ok ok, well I guess technically I'm in the prime of my life, but I feel damn old. As of today, I'm no longer in my early 20's! I'm now in my early-mid-20's! Yikes.

I'm half way to 48! I have a few friends who are Married!

What's funny is that despite my age, I still pretty much the same as "little Arun." How is this you ask? Let me give you a short list.

1. I'm still quite adorable :)
2. I smile a lot.
3. I sing everywhere and all the time.
4. Ghostbusters is still my favorite movie and if I had a choice, I would forgo the plastic grocery bag I bring my lunch in for a "Real Ghostbusters" lunch box.
5. I love sweets and dessert items and crave them with reckless abandon.
6. In any big problem or emergency, the first person I think of to call and fix everything is my Mom.

Of course my maturity and mindset are totally different. One of the biggest things is money. When I was a kid I used to think, "Gee when I grow up I'm gonna buy all this awesome stuff, and everytime I go shopping, I'm gonna buy the Snicker's bar I was never allowed to have!"

Now, sure I buy SOME awesome stuff, but my main goal is to parle' all this money into becoming incredibly wealthy. I almost never buy candy at the store, and I actually use coupons!

Luckily, my desire when I was two years old to marry my Mom has also passed.

When I was a kid, before my birthday or Christmas, I'd give my Mom a stack of Toy Flyers from the Sunday paper conveniently marked up with items circled that I desperately wanted. Then, I'd peruse Toys R Us for AGES! Now, I can't think of anything I really want!

Somewhere along the line of growing up, I decided to forgo the Velcro shoes, then went to the two-bow shoelace tying strategy (also known as the "bunny ears") and finally graduated to the much more efficient single bow with the loop-around.

I do, however miss the days of playing with boats in the bath, rocking the latest Bugle Boy Shirt, waking up obscenely early on Saturday Mornings for cartoons, and having birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese.

And speaking of Chuck E. Cheese, man what a disappointment those places are when you go as an adult. I was at Boomer's game place last year and was all excited to play "Ski Ball" (the one where you bowl the little wooden balls up the ramp and into the plastic circle things). The ramp is seriously like 1/4 as long as I remember it! I could seriously lean forward and practically toss the ball in!

Oh well. 23 was a great year and every year of my life has seem to have been better than the last.

Birthdays are always great because you get calls and messages from everyone and are doted on more than usual!

Somehow, I need to figure out a way to harness this doting, and get it to happen everyday! As soon as I figure this out, I'll add it to Appendix K in "Arun's Guide Lifetime Awesomeness"