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.


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.


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, 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'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 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 :)