Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Game-Killer

Many of us have heard about them, and a few of us are unlucky enough to meet them. I am one of the few.

The "Game-Killer" title must be used very carefully when applying it to a person. Only those possessing vast powers of "negative game" qualify for the Game-Killer title. So what is negative game? Allow me to briefly define these vital levels of game:

The Zero (he who has "no game") - This is the guy who goes out and doesn't talk to anybody. He is crippled by shyness, and essentially does nothing to affect the surrounding environment that would either help your game (reel the chics in) or kill your game (drive them away!). He is a non-factor.

The Gamer (he who has "positive game") - This is the guy you ideally would like to hang out with. He's super social, talks to everybody, and basically brings the party to you! Hanging out with this guy is always an experience and you end up meeting tons of people!

The Lost Cause (he who has "negative game") - You DO NOT want to hang out with this guy. He has an inherent quality of repulsiveness that drives the ladies (and the guys for that matter) away. This comes in various shapes and forms, from the "sleezy" type, to the nerd-balls who won't shut up about their new computer at work or their last game of "Dungeons and Dragons."

The Gamekiller. (he who has God-like abilities of feminine repulsion the likes of which few have yet to encounter) Now to be classified as a game-killer, one must have a special talent, part genetic, part idiotic for killing the game of those in his immediate environment. Actually, it goes beyond immediate environment. By simply admitting you KNOW the Gamekiller people are turned off by your association even if he's not there!

Not too long ago, I had the misfortune of meeting a Gamekiller.

This guy, who we'll call "GK," was a friend of a friend. After realizing his status as an elite negative gamer, I consulted my friend and expressed my concern. Luckily, ties are being cut from the Game-Killer as we speak.

Yes, this man almost single-handedly killed "Sunday Funday" a couple of weeks ago.

So a couple of weeks ago, Bryan decides to invite GK out with us to Sunday Funday. I'm don't know this guy really aside from briefly meeting him once, so I'm pretty indifferent. All I really know is that he's kind of "hickish" and has one of his front teeth missing.

Immediately after showing up, he starts annoying Brian and I by incessantly complaining about the whole five blocks we have to walk to Lahaina's bar on the beach. Little did I know, this was just the start. To spare you the painful details, let me summarize GK's gamekilling moves of the day.

-I invite a number of different groups of people to "share" our table (ie set their pitchers down on our table while we all hang out). Every group that comes up, GK starts trying to barter with them so he can have some of their beer for "allowing" them to use our table. At least two groups get fed up and leave.

-He claims to have no money and beats around buying any pitchers for the three of us, so Brian and I have to constantly leave and get another one while GK is left to wreak havoc on the groups we've invited over while drinking the beer we've bought.

-After I lightly chew him out for bugging everyone for beer, he finally buys a pitcher from the cute waitress but doesn't tip her, so we never see her again.

-We meet this group from Canada who's pretty friendly but he keeps pestering them with ridiculous questions like: "what's the money like there?" "What do you say differently there?" "Is the food different?" "Why do you say 'eh'?" Dude, it's freaking Canada, not Abu Dabi!!! No wonder they were getting irritated!!! It's on the same level as when people find out I'm from Alaska and they ask, "Is it cold up there?"

-At another bar, he again does not tip the bartender. One girl sees this and gives our group (which had grown by this point) an awkward look. I then notice he didn't tip and call the bartender over so that I can at least tip him.

Yes friends, he was a bonified Game-Killer. It took our combined powers of Game to defeat him and make Sunday Funday another success, but it was a close call!

For the sake of humanity, I ask each of you to truthfully evaluate yourself, and at all costs, prevent being the Game-Killer. After probably the quickest deliberation in the history of deliberations, we all decided GK was guilty and is no longer coming to Sunday Funday...well at least not with our group.

I know none of MY readers could possibly be Game-Killers, but that doesn't mean you won't encounter one someday. Just remember to continually improve your game, so that on the fateful day you may be in a Game-Killer's presence, you have the tools to overcome and defeat him! Good luck.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Arun Hangs Out With/Cons the Real World/Road Rules Cast

This has got to be the longest, most descriptive title I've ever used. At first, I was going to think up one of my normally clever titles, but this seemed appropriate and intriguing enough to make people want to read.

I have to be honest. There is rarely a dull or boring moment in my life. If I see one approaching, I generally find either something productive to do, or some trouble to get into. Hey, they (and by 'they,' I mean 'me') don't call me "Adventurous Arun" for nothing!

So last Saturday, Bruno, Frederico, and I decided to head over to the Yardhouse to hang out and have a couple beers. We hang out upstairs for awhile and decide to go check out this lounge area downstairs. Unfortunately we have to wait in line for about 10 minutes to get in.

As I'm standing in line, I'm joking around with Frederico, doing my fake Australian accent and he is hysterical with laughter. He tells me I HAVE to do the accent to the first person I talk to once we get in the lounge. No problem. I have a few accents in my repertoire that I can do pretty well, and one is the Aussie.

Bruno then turns to me and says that he saw some camera's around and that he thinks the current Real World/Road Rules cast is at the bar! At first I didn't believe him, but then I saw Susie from Road Rules walk out holding some guys hand! Now I'm not huge into Road Rules or Real World, but I will admit I've seen quite a few episodes over the years, so I am familiar with some of cast members. Apparently the current cast is made up of veteran Real World and Road Rules cast members.

So I get into the lounge, and the first thing I notice is the completely unnatural seen caused by the Road Rules cast and crew. They're at some booth drinking, but they're surrounded by cameras, extra lights, and a boom-mic on a poll. There is no way anyone can act "natural" under these conditions. Bruno tries to get over to the table but there are actually security guards on either side, not letting anyone "unauthorized" in.

Meanwhile I, staying true to my word, go up to this cute girl and start talking to her in my full-on Australian accent. She is completely charmed. In fact, I wasn't really acting any different than normal other than doing the accent, but then I had to create an elaborate story to explain my supposed background growing up in Australia and how I came to San Diego etc.

This girl totally loved me. In the process of being from Australia, I also pretend to have no idea of what the Road Rules or the Real World are because they're "not that popular on Aussie Tele!" An entertaining conversation ensued:

Me: "Me Mate Bruno told me those blokes are on the Tele"
Her: "Yea, they're practically famous here in the U.S.!"
Me: "I di'int recognize them, but it has gotta be great to be famous in this country!"
Her: "Arun, you are SO HOT (I told you she loved me) and you could totally be on the show!"
Me: "That'd but absolutely amazing!"

At this point, the Road Rulers leave the booth to go drink and dance.

Her: "You HAVE to meet them!"

I was actually beginning to like this girl. She was super enthusiastic and was all about getting me to meet all the Real World/Road Rulers. So, no joke, we literally go up to each one and she introduces me as follows:

Her: "This is my friend Arun from Australia and he wants to be famous! Isn't he HOT! (did I mention she loved me?) He could totally be on the show, couldn't he!?!

I would then politely interject and tell them that I didn't really know who they were, but that I think its cool that they're so entertaining to Americans. Interestingly, the think the cast members liked me so much because I (supposedly) didn't know who they were and was completely oblivious to their "fame."

So we ended up kind of hanging out in the lounge for a little while and I even danced with (and got a peck on the cheek from) Kina! (She was one of the only ones that I recognized). In fact, she was thoroughly fascinated by my "Australian background," and I think slightly enamored by my charming yet oblivious nature.

We ended up taking pictures with all of them with, though I don't have any because it was with other people's camera's. Don't be shocked if you see a picture of the Road Rulers with good ol' me giving a rye smile somewhere in the middle, floating around on myspace.

The three cast members I actually hung out with were Derek, David, and Kina. I was actually surprised by how nice all of them really were. Turns out they're in the current season of Road Rules 2007: Viewers' Revenge.

So did I ever come clean??? No freaking way. I was in too deep, and coming clean would have made me look like some kind of a no-good, lowdown, con (even though technically I was a con). Truthfully, I wasn't planning on being Australian with all the Road Rulers, but since this girl I met was introducing me to everyone, I couldn't break character, so I just had to roll with it!

I actually wanted to get the girls phone number, but didn't for three reasons.

1. There was no way I was going to come clean. It was too late for damage control!
2. I didn't want to lead this charade any longer. I can't imagine having to do this damn accent for a whole date!
3. She definitely had potential to be a clinger.

FYI, this is actually the first time I've ever totally conned someone into thinking something about me that I'm not. I occasionally fake the Indian accent, but I always come clean once everyone's had a sufficient laugh. I actually felt bad doing it to the girl for so long, but in retrospect, I do find it quite awesome that everyone believed me! I've decided not to do it any more, unless I'm talking to someone I have very little interest in, in which case "Australian Arun" may make another appearance.

It's funny how randomly this all unfolded, but what fun is life without a little bit of randomness!? I'll going to try actually watch this Wednesday's episode of Road Rules. I don't think I made it on camera, but there's a chance my Australian counterpart did!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Six Ridiculous Inventions We Use Everyday

In you haven't been able to tell from reading any of my previous posts, I like to observe common everyday occurrences, and then make you all aware of how quirky some of them are. Well in today's edition of Daily Remedy (although I suppose its more like "Every-two-or-three-daily Remedy") I'm going to point out to you six inventions parts thereof, that have managed to stay in our lives over the years, despite there uselessness or inefficiency.

Usually these types of inventions are either temporary fads, or eventually get phased out. What types of inventions are these? How about: The Pogo-ball, Moon Shoes, Crystal Clear Pepsi, that Twirly-Bop thing women were supposed to use in there hair to get some crazy new doo, robot vacuum cleaners, Jolt, and a plethora of "Made for TV" items that you buy at Wal-Mart and never use.

Occasionally, some of these inventions slip through the cracks and somehow manage to remain in our daily lives. Its kind of like having gum on the bottom of your shoe. You know its there, but you also know how much of a pain it is to remove it, so you let it be. Everybody knows subconsciously how half-baked these inventions are, but no one really acknowledges their absurdity...that is until NOW! Yes, friends. I, Arun "Observer of All," am here to make my contribution to society. As a public service, I bring to you Six Ridiculous Inventions that have managed to weasel their way into our lives and stubbornly stick around.

1. The Revolving Door. You see them everywhere yet they must be the most inefficient door ever! You go up, and first of all you need to time your entrance and slip into one of the little slots if there's traffic going through. Its like you're playing freakin double dutch, and you have to time your entrance just right so that the jump rope (or the door in this case) doesn't catch you. Then, you need to keep up with the pace of the person in front of you. If the person in front is pushing to fast, the door nails you in the heals. The door's not that easy to push either. Its such a large apparatus that it actually takes some effort.

Then there's the bozo's who don't know it's ONE person per slot, and they jump in the same slot as you! Now you're awkwardly crowded in this little slot with someone stepping on your heals. Apparently normal doors were just not cutting it, so they (The Man) decided to make this huge piece of crap to irritate rational people like me!

2. M&M Minis. I loooove chocolate, and from a pure taste standpoint, I really like the taste of M&M Minis, but seriously. What were regular M&M's so big for us to handle that they had to make Minis? Great! Now instead of being able to stuff only 30 M&M's in my mouth, I can stuff 50! Brilliant! I challenge you to find one human mouth in this world than cannot comfortably accommodate an M&M.

I mean, I understand the concept of candy bars releasing bite size versions (also known as "fun size" which doesn't make sense to me because for me, "fun size" = "King Size") for portion control or whatever, but M&M's are already bite size! Actually, for a normal person, 20 M&M's is bite size. Somehow this useless addition has remained in the checkout line right next to its normal sized counterpart.

3. Moving Walkways. Actually, its not the walkway itself that I have a problem with, but its the "standing lane" on the walk way that's ridiculous! What, is walking so much effort that we have to have giant belts to usher people around to save them the energy? I think walkways are a good thing to have in large airports, especially when you're in a rush, but seriously, do we really need to have two lanes? And then, when you're actually in a rush, you have to squeeze past the lazy bastards standing on the walkway, who also are usually "width challenged", which makes for no simple task.

4. Tylenol Regular Strength. How is this still on the market when Tylenol Extra Strength is available for the same price? I'm willing to bet 95% of sick people would go for the "extra strength" variety when they are sick. In fact, just to make sure I was justified, I checked the recommended dosage and it is the same for both. So why would anyone take Tylenol Regular Strength to feel twice as good, when you can take Extra Strength and feel four times as good?

5. White-Out. Honestly, who the hell uses white-out anymore? Yet, go to the office supply section of Walmart and there's five different types to choose from. Do you honestly think you're going to fool someone by making the blunder blend in with the paper as if nothing ever happened? Rather than simpling drawing a strike through the incorrect word, someone felt like it would be better to have the ability to put some goop on the paper, wait for it to dry, then write over the goop in order to hide a mistake.

All this is assuming that you're writing on totally white paper which is rarely the case. Most people write on ruled paper which happens to be off white, thus rendering the whole purpose of white-out useless! How are they still in business?

6. Automatic Hand Dryers. After going to the bathroom, it's normal habit to wash your hands. Somewhere along the way, someone decided it was to much waste to use paper towels for drying. Instead, they invented an annoyingly noisy and energy consuming hand dryer. This may be the OUTRIGHT WINNER for dumb inventions.

Seriously, you finish washing, hit the button, and have the wait five freaking minutes to get any semblance of dryness. If you actually want your hands to be completely dry, you have to hit the button three times and stay there for a good seven minutes. I can probably count the number of times I've actually waited under that damn dryer to completely dry my hands, on one hand.

Its funny because, after washing, almost everyone hits the button thinking, "Hey, maybe THIS time the dryer will actually do something and dry my hands!" Inevitably, they give up and leave after ten seconds.

What's even more absurd are the hand dryers that they sometimes have mounted up high in locker rooms, for hair drying after showering. Are you kidding me? Who's gonna wait a freaking hour for their hair to dry under that thing!?!

I'm sure I must be leaving off other totally ludicrous inventions. Leave a comment and let me know what I'm leaving out. One can never have too much material to rant about!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Six Great Places to Shop Online

I'm not a huge online shopper, but I do VERY heavy research whenver I buy anything online. Occasionally, I'll buy through a cheap, unknown dealer if I'm purchasing something I'm fairly certain I won't need to return, or have to deal with the company about in the future. Overall though, I've found a few companies that stand out in terms of product quality, cost, customer service, and return policy.

1. Tennis Warehouse (and related Sporting Goods Companies). Having worked here for two years, I am EXTREMELY familiar with the policies, prices and customer service. I can honestly, and unbiasedly say that Tennis Warehouse is the most secure, cheapest, and customer service friendly company I know of. TW's training program is complete such that every customer service rep becomes a tennis expert (or has immediate access to an expert) when you call. You can literally ask any tennis or tennis product related question, and they will answer it for you.

The prices are also unmatched. TW guarantees to match the lowest price you can find (if they're not already the lowest). NEVER buy tennis related items from retailers like Sports Authority, Sports Chalet etc. Having seen the cost of items, as well as TW's prices, the markups at these places are OUTRAGIOUS!!! You can expect the same quality of service from TW's subsidiaries Skate Warehouse, Inline Warehouse, Tackle Warehouse, Running Warehouse, and soon to come spinoff (though a technically unrelated company) Golf Land Warehouse.

2. Eastbay. I've bought many a pair of athletic shoes from here. They seem to always have the best prices for athletic apparel and constantly have bargain sale items. Everything I've ordered has come quick and in immaculate condition. Customer service here is also great.

3. Costco. . Everyone knows that Costco has the most ludacris return policy ever in they take EVERYTHING back! The great thing is, Costco generally carries upper tier items (though usually not "cream of the crop") at fabulous prices. Buying from Costco is essentially "no risk" because you know if you don't like it for ANY reason, they'll take it back for a full refund! Most people are unaware that Costco does a lot of sales online.

4. Nordstrom. For higher end clothing, Nordstrom offers exceptional customer service. Sure the prices are not the best, but the return policy is great, and I've found the customer service to be incredibly helpful. Nordstrom's policy is to accept returned items that could have been bought there without question. They've even been known to hand deliver special order items to peoples homes, and send 'Thank You' cards to some shoppers.

5. Eddie Bauer. The best thing about Eddie Bauer is the 'lifetime warranty' on their items. I bought a backpack here, and after a couple of years, it started breaking down, so I brought it back, and they let me exchange it for a new one of the same (or lesser) price! The beauty of it is, I can do the same with this backpack!

6. REI. Same deal as Eddie Bauer, everything has a lifetime warranty, so if buy say a $1000 bike, and it craps out on you in a year, take it back and they'll give you a new one! Lifetime warranties are awesome for items you frequently use!

So there you have it. A little list of six places that you can feel safe ordering from, that won't screw you over. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dancing Machine

I love everything about music and one of my favorite offshoots, is the art of dance. Yes friends...I have been known to bust a move or two. Now I'm no Mr. Wiggles or Riverdancer, but growing up, I loved dancing and was a big time student of Michael Jackson (yea yea, hold the jokes).

Over the years, I've made a bit of a specatacle of myself, all in the name of Dance Fever! Sure I go out and do a couple of moves here and there, and occassionally participate in a "battle" if I'm in the mood, but those have been only sideshows compared to other occasions where I've popularized (and only slightly embarrassed) myself in front of the masses!

If we look at this chronologically, I suppose the first improptu show happened when I was about 11 or 12. I had this habit of always practicing my dance moves in secret whenever I found a suitable floor surface. I found one of the best floors to slide around on was at Costco! So when I thought no one was looking, I'd do a couple of spins and maybe work on my moonwalk.

Well at the time, I was taking this french class at the University, and apparently my French teacher was at Costco the same time that I was on one particular dance-happy occassion. I soon found out that I had had an unknowing audience.

The next day in the middle of class she recalls my little performace in her thick frech accent:

Her: "Hey I just remembered. I saw you at Costco yesterday!"
Me: "Oh yea?"
Her: "What in the world were you doing?"
Me: "What do you mean?" (I seriously didn't know what she was talking about)
Her: "I saw you gyrating and then doing some sort of Elvis Dance!" (Starts to demonstrate by doing some crazy cross of air humping, ice skating, and the hokey pokey).
Me: (awkward laugh followed by me thinking "What the hell are you doing!!! Those aren't my moves! And Elvis? ELVIS!?! Those were freaking Michael Jackson moves!")

Suffice to say, having a room full of college students laughing at her god-awful interpretation of my Costco dance moves was not a highlight of my dance history.

I got over it soon, and harnessed this embarassment into further popularity (and possibly embarassment). In eighth grade, all my friends knew that I liked Michael Jackson, and when a mini school talent show came up, I was goaded into signing up to do a performance of Billie Jean. There were no prizes or anything. It was for sheer entertainment.

The show was supposed to be for my "team" (In my middle school everyone was on "teams" of about 150 students each who shared core class teachers). I was the last act and, other teachers having heard about this little show, brought there students in to catch the end, just as school was ending. So now, instead of performing in front of 150 people, it was now more like 300 people. Great.

Well, I ended up getting the crowd into it and definitely being the most entertaining. I mean, you've gotta give props to a Chubby kid who's on stage in front of possibly the meanest age roup of people (Middle school kids) busting some moves right!?! I vividly remember walking through the crowds of people on the way to the bus pickup, getting high fives from random people I didn't know.

The legacy had begun.

Fast forward four years, and I'm a Senior in high school. I was actually moderately popular during my Senior year. Well, turns out there's a lip syncing contest, and immediately everyone I went to middle school with is pushing me to compete.

Honestly, the performance was one of the biggest rushes I've ever had. It was in an auditorium, so I was on stage with special lights programmed and "Billie Jean" blasting over the loud speakers. I came out and saw it was standing room only! 1000+ people in the audience! I came out and the crowd was electric. If that was not good enough, they seriously errupted when I did the moonwalk! I ended up winning second place, and I think the status I gained from that performance got me the "most spirited" senior class superlative.

From then to now, I've had some other moments. Freshman year in college, I did a speech about the history of breakdancing and proceeded to do a little demo with the class. Recently, I also won an impromptu "dance off" at the Shout House. There's two more little stories though.

So there's this upper class club in San Diego called Aubergine in San Diego that I went to with Aaron and Darren a few months ago. On the dance floor area, there's a stage in front with the DJ in the middle and a Go-Go dancer on each side. Well at point during the night, Darren and I noticed the Go-Go dancers were missing. We both looked at each other and new what to do.

Aaron meanwhile was talking to some girl. The conversation ensues as follows:

Girl:"Oh my God! There's two guys dancing up there!"
Aaron:(not looking at the stage) "Two guys?!? What the hell is going on?!? There's not supposed to be guys up there!"
Girl: "Well there are, and they're really rockin out!"
Aaron: (Turning around) Well they need to get off the sta...wait I know those guys!!! That's Arun and Darren!"

I don't know what happened after that, but she must have fallen in love with him by the mere fact that he knew US! I meanwhile was bustin my ass to "Welcome to Jamrock" on one side of the stage, high fiving the DJ.

Late night dancing can get crazy, but clubs and bars aren't the only place for them apparently. Last Friday night at about 2am, me and a big group of friends walk into Hoboken Pizza in Pacific Beach. People are getting rowdy, and the next thing I know, people are dancing on tables! The song changes and they're playing Journey!! (I'm a fan). Me being the type of person who likes to instigate craziness (see Football Fanatics )I hopped up on our table, pulled my some friends up, and started getting down!

To conclude, don't ever be afraid to dance anywhere. I've demonstated it can be done anywhere from a store, to a classroom, to a pizza place. The next time you get the urge, drop what you're doing, and bust a move!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

It's interesting how so many people accept common cliche's to ring true in their life without ever challenging them. You always hear the old phrase, "You can't have your cake and eat it too!" So many people seem to think that in order to reap the benefits of one thing, you have to sacrifice something else. But why not just have the best of both worlds?

One of my main goals in life in general IS to too Have my cake AND eat it too! I don't believe that you always have to make a sacrifice and choose the greater of two goods. Call me greedy, but I want both!

In some areas, I feel like I've accomplished this, but in many others I'm constantly working towards getting the best of both.

Most people feel like you can't eat junk food and lose weight. Well I eat junk (about 1 day per week) and have managed to stay pretty fit despite not having one of those "I can eat whatever the hell I want and still be thin" types of bodies that we all hate.

To counteract the beer and pizza, I do a lot of exercise. But, most people hate exercise right? Well, I mostly do exercises that I enjoy, namely playing a lot of sports. It doesn't even feel like "hard work" when I'm playing basketball or tennis, even though I'm getting a great workout. Not only am I having fun while I'm playing sports, but I'm counteracting all the "fun" I'm having going out and partying!

Here's a couple of examples of things I'm working on. A lot of people feel like they need to make the sacrifice of going to work, a part of life most people would love to avoid, in order to make money. I actually have a pretty cool job where I really don't mind going in, but believe you me, most days I'd rather just stay home.

A couple of weeks ago, I worked from home for a day, and it was amazing! I went to my coffee shop by the beach with my laptop and was so productive that I didn't even work a full day. Plus, I was able to hang out with some friends in the afternoon, enjoy the beach sun and not really have to plan around a full work day. I decided I want this to be my typical work day.

Now I can't get away with working from home all the time at my current job, which is why I am constantly scheming up other sources of income. Currently I about to start work on a new website which, if successful, should pull in much more income than this site. Don't worry though! Your Daily Remedy will still continue to go strong! The site is a totally different concept than this one.

Am I going to be able to sustain on just the web income from the new site? Almost certainly not (especially since I want to be incredibly wealthy) but its a start, and definitely a step in the right direction of building the "Arun Empire" as well as being able to work from home on my own time.

On a completely different note, I was talking with my Roommate's girlfriend the other day about my dating life. She pointed out that a few months ago, I was dating quite a few girls but that recently, I've kinda tailed off. Well this is very true, and as I thought about it, I realized that I'm just really ultra selective.

When I first moved to San Diego, whenever I'd meet girls I got along with, I'd end up dating them. The problem is, I realized I was wasting my time (and money)going out with so many girls because most of the time, I knew right away that nothing special would ever really materialize. Either they were really attractive but had personality issues I couldn't handle, or they were pretty cool, but I was not attracted to them.

Now when I go out, I actually talk to even more people but a lot of the phone numbers I get, I don't even bother calling because I don't feel any special "spark" in the first meeting. Am I being to selective? Maybe. But I do enjoy being single and I want the super attractive girl WITH an incredible personality, great energy, and a positive outlook. Is that too much to ask for?

On related note, one of the things I do now, is exchange phone numbers with people (yes, usually girls) who I meet just to sort of "social network." I like having a lot of friends and I've found that the more friends you have, the more adventures there are to BE had. The only problem is, its hard exchanging numbers with girls without them thinking that you have some sexual interest in them. Last week I met some girls that were totally awesome. I wasn't attracted to any of them, but I thought it'd be cool to hang out with them on like Sunday Funday or something.

I've found one of two things can happen though. Either they think I'm interested in something so they don't return my calls, or they ARE actually interested in me which means I have to cut them off because I'm not really interested in anything more than just hangin out. I'm still working on a solution to this, but I'd love to hear any suggestions of avoiding this akwardness.

Back to the topic at hand, I think the a huge part of life, is about "Having your cake and eating it too." I am constantly trying to have the best of both without sacrificing the other and I see no reason why it can't be had. Sure many of these "give or take" situations are difficult to find a solution for, and may take some time, I feel pretty productive and fullfilled spending a lot of my time going for that.

I would encourage all of you to not be content making sacrifices you don't have to make and actively seek a solution to have it all! No, I don't have it all yet, but I do have a nice piece of Brazillian Pugime Cake in the fridge at home with my name on it, that I intend to eat with delight!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Three Foods That Get a Bad Rap

As someone who's been on both sides of healthiness, I take great interest as to what I'm putting into my body. No, that definitely doesn't mean that I only put good things into my body, but at least I know how they affect me. I've done a lot of research over the years, and have made my own conclusions based on factual information as to what I exactly I should be consuming, and how much. Tare a few foods oft scrutinized by the public, which are actually OK to consume on a regular basis. With that, I bring you a little list of four misconstrued foods which are ok to eat!

1. Coffee. Most people have a negative view of coffee when it comes to your health. Yes, in certain religions coffee is even banned from consumption! This is all because of that little drug called caffeine. Yes, caffeine can be hazardous to your health if too much in regularly consumed, but this is true of any drug! But, in moderation, coffee has excellent health benefits. First of all, if you have some before working out, you'll actually burn more calories! Since caffeine is a stimulant, your metabolism actually goes up! Also, studies have shown that coffee contain antioxidants that help prevent type-II diabetes and cirosis of the liver (important information for you boozers out there). AND, coffee has NO calories, so you won't get fat either! Obviously too much is no good, but a few cups a week is actually BENEFICIAL!

2. Chocolate. Oh how I LOVE chocolate! Turns out, chocolate actually contains many things that are GOOD for you! First of all chocolate contains a compound called phenyl ethylamine which helps raise your mood (no wonder I'm so damn happy chowing down on cocoa). It also increases levels of seratonin in the brain which is comfort elevating chemical. Believe it or not, chocolate also contains antibacterial agents which prevent tooth decay!!! (Ok ok, so if you eat milk chocolate you totally counteract this, but I'm on a roll!) Oh but I'm not finished. Some chocolates also contain oleic acid which helps raise your HDL (Good) cholesterol).

Ok now before you go out and start binging on chocolate, these are properties of cacao (main chocolate ingredient) so you wanna buy as pure a chocalate as you can find. Don't go stuffing a Snickers bar down your pipe because it has chocolate and nuts.

And speaking of chocolate, there's a place in Anchorage, Alaska called "Alaska Wildberry Products" that claims to have the "largest chocolate fountain in the world." I've seen it, and its pretty damn big. In fact I wanted to stage an "accident" when I was there and "accidentally" plunge into the fountain of my dreams, but my sister wouldn't let me.

3. Splenda (and some other artificial sweetners). I hear the same old argument all the time. "That stuff causes cancer!!!" Yea, well, a lot of things cause cancer if you consume enough of them. Hell, nearly EVERYTHING is a carcinogen at a some level. You find me one person who has developed cancer from consuming too much splenda and I'll find you a flying pig. In fact, the FDA has even confirmed that there is no evidence that splenda (or any other artificial sweetners on the market for that matter) are a cancer risk.

The whole misnomer stems from a 1970's experiment in which sacharine (the sweetener in Sweet n' Low) caused cancer in lab rats. They were however exposed to an obscene amount of sacharine! It's literally IMPOSSIBLE to continuously consume this amount of sacharine on a daily basis. Yes, it is not "natural" and some people have objections to that, but scientifically, there are no difinitively proven negative effects to its consumption.

I am a huge fan of splenda. I have a major sweet tooth, so I use it whenever I can. I drink only diet soda since I HATE drinking my calories. I love Crystal Light. I use it as a sugar substitute in coffee, or when I make smoothies. If I die of cancer, it won't be because of sweeteners, and at least I won't be fat!

Yes friends, I know todays entry was not full of my usual wit and charm, but I had to make a point! I'll leave with this little anecdote though from this last weekend which sort of relates to this post.

So I'm at a Bar called Moondoggies this weekend with my friends Bruno and Frederico. We meet a couple of chics, and in the process of conversating, one of them tells me to feel how hot her arm is. Apparently she got sunburned and said her skin was "hot." my knowledge, heat has nothing to do with sunburns, and I don't think the skin surface temperature actually raises too much, but whatever...I let it go.

I told her she shouldn't spent so much time out there and a debate ensued which went something like this:

Her: "That's not true! The Sun's natural! It's good for you!"
Me: "Sure in small doses, but too much sun is obviously bad for you."
Her: "No! Anything natural is good for you. I believe in nature's power."
Me: "So you don't think that your skin peeling and skin hurting is a sign of too much sun?"
Her: "People are very ignorant to the powers of nature. I don't believe anything natural can be bad for you"

At this point I began to get frustrated with not only the fact that I was wasting my time talking to this person, but that she certainly thought I was of inferior intelligence not to know that the sun has no negative effects. But, no one beats me in an argument...especially one this ridiculous!

Me: "Well did you heard about the deaths of the frat pledge who died of water overdose or the lady who was trying to win a radio contest?"
Her: "Oh yea!"
Me: "Tell me, Is Water natural?"
Her: "Uhhh....yea"
Me: "What about River or Lake water? Why don't you go drink that and let me know how you feel?"
Her: "Yea, I guess they do have bacteria."
Me: "Isn't that natural???"

Game, Set, Match Arun.

This same girl chastised me earlier for my love of Splenda.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Handshake

One of the funny things I find myself often pondering, is the daily things we do that we don't put much thought into, but are actually quite complicated when you really think about it. The latest of these random ponderings, is the intricacies of the simple handshake.

I know what your thinking. "Common Arun! Only someone completely incompetant would find a handshake complicated! You're reaching on this one!" Bear with me as I take you into the wonderful world of handshaking etiquette and style!

Before I begin, I feel it necessary to define a few terms that ALL handshakers should be aware of:

Straight: Also known as the handshake grip, this is your "ordinary" handshake grip with your fingers straight ahead and thumb pointing up at roughly a 45 degree angle.

Clutch: This is the "cool" handshake with the fingers extended at a 45 degree angle up in which each shaker grips the "shakees" hand around the thumb region.

Delayed Release: This is generally a secondary addition to a "straight" or "clutch" in which each shaker curls his four fingers around the others four fingers before releasing.

Straight-five: A variation of the popular "high-five" except you go in as if going in for a straight, but instead of squeezing the others hand, you give him friendly hit a la a high five.

Now if your still with me, I've only defined some BASIC positions of handshaking. There are so many more! With all of these variations, its only natural that there'd be some confusion right?

For example, suppose you haven't seen a buddy in a long time. Generally this length of separation might call for a hug, but we all know that this isn't a common practice among guys. In this case, you go for the clutch and then pull in for the chest bump, meanwhile reaching around with your off hand to give a pat on the shoulder.

This however cannot be accomplished if you go in with the "straight" handshake and attempt a pull-in. Do this looks like you're trying to pull in your buddy to whisper sweet nothings in his ear...definite no-no.

My personal favorite is the clutch with a delayed release, followed by the the knuckle-touch. The only problem here is when people leave you hanging on the knuckle touch and you look like an idiot!

The thing is, people are so inconsistant when it comes to doing the knuckle touch as a finisher to a handshake. Its always a gamble and you have to guess one way or another. I can't tell you how many times I've gone in for the knuckle-touch and been left hanging! There I am with my hand balled up in a fist just sticking out there doing nothing! The question then is, do I try to be slick and put the fist away hoping no one saw my knuckle touch get blown off, or do I call the offending party out: "Hey man! Where's my knuckle pound!?!"

As purely a courtesy, I always go in for the knuckle touch as a handshake finisher to save the other party from the embarassment of being "left hanging." Yes, this does result in me being left hanging by those who don't practice the knuckle-touch finisher, but I'd rather it be me, than for for me to be the one causing emabarassment.

One of my favorite variations that I like to do when I'm saying goodbye to girls I've just met (if we haven't established enough of a rapport yet for a hug) is to go for the clutch followed by a delayed release. Now the beauty of the delayed release is that you are now perfectly in "thumb-war" position. So I go right into the thumb war! Guys, you should try this one.

I'm also, with girls, a fan of the high-five. I'm not a big fan of handshakes when meeting girls in a casual setting because generally, girls hands are so small and they usually don't give a real firm shake, so I feel like I'm gonna break there hand. Normal handshakes also feel too formal. So when I don't go for the fancy-schmancy shake, I do the high-five. Somehow high-fives are always fun, especially when you get perfect contact.

Now the crazy fun is when you take these handshake variations, and start using them in places where people wouldn't expect you too. For example, sometimes when I see people I know at work in passing, I'll automatically go up for the high five. Or, if I happen to be introducing myself to like a clerk or barista at a coffee shop, I'll go in for the handshake, but then shift into the clutch with a delayed release (and possibly a knuckle touch if it looks like they know what they're doing). This immediately ups the comfort level beyond what a normal handshake would've done.

So practice up on your handshakes! Knowing the variations can be very handy (get it? "hand"-y). Practice your skills, invent a few of your own (I've got a couple of crazy ones) and share the love! Know your situation and which shake is appropriate for that situation!

Oh the versatility of the everyday handshake!