Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Relay For Life

I woke up dazed, confused, and exhausted. I had no idea where I was, what time it was, and why it was so damn bright outside.

It all started a few months ago, when I committed to joining my friend Mern's, Relay For Life Team. Relay For Life is basically a 24 hour event that goes on every year in different cities, to raise money for the fight against cancer. The theme is basically, "cancer doesn't sleep, and neither do we." The day consists of various activities and games, with all meals donated from different restaurants. There are a couple of very touching tributes to cancer survivors and to those who have passed. The main goal of the event is to have at least one person (or in our case, five)from your team on the "walking track" at all times for the whole 24 hours.

I participated last year and had a lot of fun, but didn't end up staying for the whole thing. I succumbed to Saturday night temptations and the comfort of my bed. This year, my goal was to stick out the whole 24 hours! How hard could it be?

So Saturday morning rolls around and I wake up early feeling nice and refreshed! I decided that since I'm going to be missing my Saturday afternoon basketball, I'll go get a run in before heading to the event. I got a nice 7 miler in, and went downtown to the beautiful Embarcadero, ready to walk, play games, eat good food, fight cancer, and hang out!

I am awesome!

The whole day was great. I dominated the "balloon toss" event, finishing second (we should've won first but the other team had some kind of ultra-indestructible super balloon!), and our team spirit was amazing!

I am still awesome!

I succumbed to the pressure though in The bubble gum blowing contest and crashed out with some disappointing blows. This however was not my fault as I refuse to believe that "Double Bubble" is regulation bubble blowing gum. Everyone knows that Double Bubble starts get jaw-achingly hard within seconds of chewing and becomes nearly unblowable! Give me some Bubblicious or Bubble Yum and I'll show YOU some real bubble blowing ability!

Lost some awesomeness points, but we all know it's the fault of a certain cheap bubble gum.

Everything was hunky-dorie until night started to fall. Once the sun went down, I started to get sleepy and my legs were feeling the punishment of playing football and walking all day. Me, being the incredibly astute planner that I am, brilliantly decided to run that morning which made everything doubly worse. I was dragging my feet on the track and my enthusiasm was weening.

Awesome Arun had left the building.

I thought the 1:00am game of basketball and the 2:00am making of smores would rejuvenate me, but I was wrong. I glanced at the track, and it was baron. Our team had a couple of people walking, but a lot of others had scurried into their tents to sleep. There was no way we were going to suffer the same fate!

The worst was the 1-5 am stretch. It's dark, I'm tired and sore, and there are still NINE hours left! I was soooo tempted to go home, shower, and come back, but I knew if I even saw my bed, I'd be tempted to "test it out."

At one point I tried to get some sleep and actually drifted off for a few minutes, but when my friend Lillian came over to cover me up and take off my shoes, it woke me up and I couldn't really fall back asleep! So instead of lying there, I rejoined some of our people on the track.

When the sun finally came up, it felt amazingly rejuvenating! Dawn is easily my favorite time of the day, and I just love the crisp morning air! My enthusiasm was back, and my walking pace increased! They even had a yoga instructor come that morning to do some stretching and poses with us!

I am awesome!

When the event finally wrapped, we all went to breakfast. Everyone was ordering up Mimosas and Beer, but I was trying to be a good little guy, and was innocently sipping my OJ. But, when someone suggested going to Dick's Last Resort for the Sunday Beer special, I could resist.

One round became two, which became three, which became trouble. By Sunday afternoon, we were all deliriously exhausted and a little drunk. We trooped over to Mern's condo downtown and proceeded to belt out crazy Karaoke.

I dominated Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"

Eventually, our temporary high from the morning + booze started to wear off, and people started crashing. Mern's roommate Brad somehow fell asleep on the hard wood floor with his head nestled between Mern's nightstand and his bed. I took full advantage and snagged Brad's bed.

Some time later (I had no concept of time on this day, but it was probably about an hour) I woke up dazed, confused, and exhausted. I had no idea where I was, what time it was, and why it was so damn bright outside.

I gathered my things and exhaustingly stumbled 1.5 miles through crowds of downtown people under the bright sun, to my car. When I got home, I think it was about 4:30pm, but I didn't really want to sleep and screw up my sleep schedule. I tried surfing the net, but I couldn't focus.

"Ok, I'll just take a 20 minute power nap, then I'll be ok." I blinked my eyes, and the clock went from 5:00 to 11:00. Actually, when I woke up, I had no idea what time it was. I wasn't sure if it was the same day, middle of the night, or the next day. I think everyone's had one of those confusingly long naps.

Is six hours considered a "power nap?" I was pissed because I thought I'd screwed up my sleep cycle by sleeping too long!

I decided to watch some Olympics, but despite my six hours of rest, I still couldn't stay awake! Screw it...Sleep Schedule be Damned...I'm going to bed! Apparently I needed it because I was out until Monday morning.

Overall, it was super fun, but yes, incredibly exhausting. Naturally, I've decided to probably be on the Relay for Life Committee next year! As a chairperson, I'm already committing to making some drastic changes! I will be adding the following events: A dance off, a karaoke contest, and a walkoff. (I plan on winning the "Relay for Life Triple Crown of Awesomeness").

Oh, and I'm buying some damn Bubble Yum for the bubble blowing contest.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It seems like no matter the form of communication, we just can't escape spam! Play the video below as you continue just sets the mood :)

I suppose it all started back in the day with a good ol' can-o-meat called spam. Seriously, who eats spam? I've actually never tried it before, but somehow canned, rectangular, mystery meat doesn't sound all that Mmm Mmm Good.

Then one day, a computer nerd was so sick and tired of being harassed by unwanted, unsolicited email, that he decided to call it the worst name he could think of!


Take THAT! Ha!

Unfortunately, this vile name-calling did not derail the "spammers." In fact they increased their efforts, so much so that most of the mail and communication we get, is in fact spam.

Think about it. I don't know about you, but when I get the mail from my mailbox, I end up throwing most of it away. Although I suppose it is comforting to know I qualify for 653 different credit cards with 0% APR.

Then, today at work I get a call. I pick up and some stupid recording is already in progress with some guy telling me about uber cheap tech support. Later on, I'll probably get a call from a volunteer party worker calling on behalf of Joe Congressman asking if I can be counted on to pledge my support in November. I really hope this isn't how they gather national statistics because I always just answer "yes" just to get them off the phone.

On the internet, as we all know, it's rampant. Luckily, our emails have filters to catch all of the amazing offers for free porn, money, vacations, Viagra, and my personal favorite, penis enlargement.

"Gigantor" is plenty big, thank you very much.

Then I log on to myspace, and see that I have new friend requests. Low and behold, it's three amazingly beautiful women who all happen to want to be friends with me! Now when I first joined myspace, I used to think they were legitimate friend requests. After all, it's only natural that three supermodels would want to be friends with me :) I was wise to their scheme though when I went to the pages and saw that they each were waiting for me on their "special naughty web cam."


Even worse is when you scroll down to look at the comments on their page and see Joe Douchebag write, "Wutz up Hun? Get back at me" and Terry Toolbag with "Hey Gorgeous. How you doin?"

Jeez, Get a clue.

Actually, sometimes I worry that my friend requests to people might get rejected because they'll automatically assume that someone so devilishly handsome must be myspace spam :)

But I always wonder who is coming up with these schemes and sending them out? Usually with phone and email spam, its just people trying to get free advertising, marketing, or sales. They play a pure numbers game. If you call 50,000 people a day, you're bound to get a couple of idiots.

But what about the EXTRA diabolical guys? I want to meet that guy from Nigeria who is the heir to an incredible fortune, but needs MY help because it's all in a Nigerian bank. Apparently my email address just seemed like someone he could trust with his entire fortune to hold the money in my U.S. bank. As a token of his appreciation, he's going to give me 20 million bucks! What a nice guy. All I have to do is give him my bank account number.

Oh I'll give him something alright, and it's not exactly my bank account number.

The other type of spam that's everywhere on the internet, are those containing viruses. This is a real mind boggler. Who does this? Some nerd sitting in his room bent on world DOMINATION? He probably has posters of Cobra Commander and Lex Luthor hanging on his bedroom wall in his parents basement.

When is it going to end? I don't know. All I know is, Weird Al (see above) certainly hit the nail on the head with his song (even though it's about the meat, not the nuisance). Spam is everywhere!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Fever

Yes, it's that time again. All of my projects begin to fade to the background and very little progress is made. Sleep deprivation begins to make its way into my life. Fun activities are trumped by the comfort of the couch.

It's the Olympics.

There's just something about the Olympics that I can't get enough of. Think about it. It's every major worldwide sport pitted in a Battle Royal, all condensed into a couple of weeks, sandwiched by two spectacular shows! For the life of me, I can't figure out how any of this gets organized. For that matter, how in the hell did they even start the Olympics? I imagine it going something like this:

Joe1: "Wouldn't it be cool if we had an international melee of athletic madness where the best athletes in the world all came together for seventeen days to compete for the ultimate honor?"

Joe2: "Great Idea! Let's do it!"

Joe1: "Ok well, let me get on the phone with the national leaders around the world and pitch them the idea. Then we'll all get together and figure out some fair rules and who's house to do it in."

Joe2: "This is brilliant. But how do you expect to convince them?"

Joe1: "Well, maybe if I come up with a cool name like The Olympics and offer really big gold coins to the winners, they'll be enticed."

However it started, I'm glad Joe1 came up with the brilliant idea! The great thing about the Olympics, is I get a chance to watch a ton of other sports that I wouldn't normally watch. On NBC, there's swimming. I flip over to USA and we have wrestling. Turn to NBCKorea (this is where digital cable turns out being awesome) and I get handball, then over to NBCManderin and an intense battle of Badminton is in progress! (Which by the way, I always thought was "BadmiTTen" until I saw it spelled one time in high school).

The Olympics are consuming my life! On Sunday, I was particularly tired after a long Saturday night, so I plopped my self comfortably on the couch with my snacks (watermelon, figs, and celery sticks with humus of COURSE!) all within arms reach. I watched basketball, then fell asleep. Then I woke up to the beauty (and I mean both the sport and the players) that is women's beach volleyball...and went back to sleep. I was awakened minutes later by the slamming of pingpong balls. Somewhere along the line I dozed off only to be rudely summoned to consciousness by a scream of "GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL!" Gotta love soccer.

As an aside, for anyone who hasn't seen it (or even if you have), go to THIS LINK and watch the Men's 4x100m swimming relay. The best, most exciting swim race I've ever seen! But I digress.

Some of these sports are just unfathomable though. Take gymnastics for example. I don't think I could even PRETEND to do any of the events in the Men's Gymnastics. To start, the vault and high bar are totally out of the question. There's no way in hell I'm throwing my body wildly through the air while spinning and then hoping (praying) to land on my feet. The Rings, Pommel Horse, and Parallel bars require insane quantities of strength which I OBVIOUSLY possess but prefer only to use in dire situations. The floor exercise, with that springy floor, has always looked fun, and I'm currently in training, practicing cartwheels with my legs straight before attempting to land a double pike with a twist followed by a rebound Arabian.

Speaking of Gymnastics, this may actually be my favorite event. I stayed up entirely too late last night watching the Ladies Team competition. Damn that we (USA) only took Silver! I was rooting for us hardcore, but, as patriotic as I was, it's tough to root against the cute little 10 year olds the Chinese had in the Gymnastics.

And then there are the WTF "sports". Can anyone say "Air Pistol?" I somehow find it difficult to consider it anything near a sport when a bunch of Chubbies in jeans are standing around aiming a gun, apparently firing (you can't tell since there's no recoil. All you hear is a click), then promptly looking down at their computer screen to see where on the bulls eye they hit.

Fencing is also a lot more boring than I thought it would be (VERY borderline "sport").

Judo - Lots of grabbing, but the scoring is too confusing to follow. At least it's a sport

Equestrian/Pentathlon - Anything on horses should be thrown out. This isn't the "Horse Olympics" for Pete's sake.

Rowing - Yes it's a sport, but still, boring as hell.

Sailing - Why not then have jet-skiing and hot-air-ballooning as sports as well?

Everytime I watch though, I keep on thinking about how cool it would be to win a medal in the Olympics. Aaron and I then lament about the possible ways we could get into the Olympics. One way would be moving to Guinea and representing them in "Air Pistol" (how hard can it be? Although I would be (as should any air pistol medalist) embarrassed to claim a medal in that "game")

Another way would be to petition to allow a "Male Rhythmic Gymnastics" event, and wow the world with my ribbon twirling abilities.

Or, Aaron and I could always convince them to include the Cone Olympics or the Pool Olympics in the next summer games. Afterall, it would be a waste to not include a person so insanely confident in this athletic abilities (providing I don't have to use them in any current Olympic events) in the next Olympics.

And by the way, I always have a soft spot for India since that's the proverbial "homeland." Turns out India just won it's FIRST ever individual gold medal!!! And what sport was this amazing feet of athletic prowess displayed in!?!?!?

Air Pistol.

It had to be freaking Air Pistol.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Five Ways to Improve Your Focus

One of the abilities that I take pride in (and to be fair, I suppose there aren't a whole lot of things that I DON'T take pride in) is my ability to really focus on certain tasks when they need to get done. In fact, I think if I had to go back to school, I'd be a much better student. In school, I rarely had the mental discipline and focus to hunker down and study for long periods.

Instead, I just relied on my super-human intelligence and devilish good-looks to get me through :) (Ok, Ok...I know looks have nothing to do with mental focus, but I couldn't resist)

But, over time I realized that their are few things I have learned and do now that have definitely improved my ability to be focused and thus more productive.

1. Set short term goals. Long term goals are great, but they go largely unfulfilled (Can anyone say "New Year's Resolutions?"). If you start setting weekly or even daily goals, the end result is much more tangible and thus much easier to focus on getting done. (BTW, I swear I wrote an entire post about this, but I can't seem to find it).

2. Prioritize Your Life. This goes hand in hand with short term goal setting. Make sure you determine your priorities in life, and start acting on them! It's much easier to focus on something that's important to you. This means you'll be banging out any high priority activities! Health and lifestyle are two of my biggest priorities right now, so I spend a lot of time and energy focusing on exercise, eating great, planning fun activities, building my career...and yes, girls.

3. Self-Impose some deadlines. One of the reasons I like making daily goals, is that they come with a built in deadline...they have to get done THAT DAY! Making deadlines and writing them down is a great way to force yourself to get things done without procrastinating.

4. Start Working out. I know it's hard to see the correlation between working out and focus, but bare with me. A lot of people who start a gym program, struggle early on and then eventually quit. They don't quit because they have any particular physical limitations. It's because they lack FOCUS!

Once you've gone to the gym for a while though, you not only have enough focus and determination to get yourself INTO the gym regularly, but your focus improves dramatically WHILE working out. You learn how to DIG DEEP and push yourself further than your initial threshold. When I'm lifting weights, my body might be screaming to stop by the eighth repetition, but I'm so focused that I'm able to do three more. Similarly, last week week I went for a 13 mile run.

I wanted to quit after six.

Actually, my BODY wanted to quit, but I was focused and wanted to go on. The last three miles were absolutely BRUTAL, but I dug deep, focused on my breathing, and plowed ahead.

The next day, my only focus was on the deep pain in my legs.

Intense exercise is a great way to practice your focus with a "mind over body" mentality. Additionally, your mind really feels refreshed after exercise, so your ready to do some more focusing!

5. Be in the NOW. I know I used to have trouble focusing on tasks because I'd always be thinking about my plans for later or about things that happened earlier. At the very least, commit an alotted time to perform the activity, and let go of everything else that has happened or might happen. Be in the PRESENT and focus on the task at hand!

*BONUS!* Combine Activities and Add Incentive. Sometimes focusing on things that need to get done isn't always fun. One way I am able to convince myself for finishing activities is by combining things I have to do, with things I like. For example, I have a lot of writing projects going on right now. By the time I get home from work and working out, I'm usually pretty tired. Sure I like writing, but admittedly, it's also tempting to sit on the couch and watch TV.

Instead, I go over to the coffee shop and treat myself to a nice cop o' java as I do my writing. I like the atmospher as well as the coffee. This provides me with an incentive (since money from these isn't immediate) to do my writing.

Plan rewards for yourself for getting things done! If you finish your taxes a month ahead of time, go buy a nice shirt! If you run an extra mile, reward yourself with a little extra dessert!

They say the best reward though, is the reward of giving. So, as you're doing these tasks with intense focus, and planning rewards to give out, keep in mind that I enjoy massages, ice cream, and exotic vacations :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Butt Slappers and Switch Hitters

Isn't it interesting that, from the title alone, I could be talking about either baseball players, or homosexuals?

Last weekend, a good friend of mine passed her "Professional Engineering" test, so a few of us used this as an excuse to go out and celebrate (as if I ever need an excuse). We wanted to do something a little different. Me, being one who's always up for trying something new, suggested a brand new club in San Diego called "Universal." The pictures looked cool, and it is in a different area of town than most of the other clubs.

It's in Hillcrest.

For those of you who don't know, Hillcrest is the area of town where the San Diego Gay Population congregates. However, Universal is NOT a gay bar, so we're all game.

When we arrive, everythings great! We get in, hang out, the crowd looks nice. As the night wears on however, the crowd starts changing. More and more guys start rolling in, and the quality of attire goes up exponentially. After a while, I took a look around and realized it: we were surrounded by players "batting for the other team."

I went to the bathroom and was a little shocked to see a FEMALE bathroom attendant! Well, I guess there's a first time for everything. But I was curious...I wanted to see what her voice sounded like. I asked her her name and was half expecting her to say "KENdra" or "ROBERTa." Instead she came at me in a high pitched, very female voice with, "Hi, I'm Cha-Cha!"

Seriously? CHA CHA!?!? Oh yea, it's NOT a gay bar.

When I came out, I bumped into Jay, my flaming gay hair-cutter.

Jay: "OH MY GAAAAWWD ARUN! How's that lovely hair of mine doing?!"

Apparently since he cut my hair, he now has ownership over it.

Jay: "You should come by, and I'll shape it up for you!"

As Darren and I walked through the crowd, we both caught some very wandering eyes...and voices. "Oh My GAAAAWD! Your eyes are beautiful!" exclaimed one guy to me as his friend fawned over Darren telling him how "model" he is. At first I was eating it up. Why should I deprive someone the pleasure of telling me how amazing I am? :) Soon though, I knew he had "hidden agendas."

I'd appreciate it if you keep your agendas safely tucked away, thank you very much. Obviously we ejected.

Although I was moderately popular amongst the gays, Darren was a downright STAR! He was getting hit on left and right. And when I say "hit on," I mean that in both the figurative AND literal sense. Yes, at least two guys slapped his backside! Now, Darren's a well dressed, somewhat "metro" guy, so I could see how gay people might like him, but this was ridiculous. The reactions he was getting were like a professional female model walking through any normal club. By the end of the night, Darren was standing in conversation with a girl, with one hand behind his back protecting his backside from abuse.

At one point, I saw a very cute girl staring at me. Obviously I went over to see what's up.

Me: "Hey, do I look familiar to you or something?"
Her: "Oh, I was just telling me friend who's single, how handsome you guys are!"
Me: "Oh is THAT all? (giving a rye smile)"
Her: "But we assumed that you guys were 'together'"
Me: "What!?!"
Her: "Well you're both dressed well, you're groomed, walking next to each other, and YOU DO have a ponytail! (I had my hair tied back that night)"

I thought for a moment, and realized I couldn't argue with any of the facts presented...they were all true!

Me: "You mean my MANLY strut doesn't just scream testosterone and masculinity?!?"
Her: "Ummm...I don't know...maybe?"
Me: "Maybe? HA! MAYBE!?!? Well I'm going to go and work on my MANLY walk while using my power tools, watching football, drinking beer, and talking about cars!"

We then made our way to the dance floor to bust some moves...but this didn't last for long. I now know how girls feel. There were dance floor predators all around, just waiting to "pounce and grind." No Thank you. I was outa there in a few minutes.

Overall though, the night was actually really fun. There was a fair share of women, and they were all EXTREMELY receptive, especially when they found out we weren't gay. In fact, I made it a point to almost always be in conversation with some girls to sort of deflect anyone from hitting on me (but more likely Darren - He who is worshipped by the gays.)

Problem is, girls don't really do much to deflect gay attraction. Gay guys have TONS of girlfriends! Darren and I went for late night pizza next door with two very cute Latina girls whom we assigned the task of "Man shielding" us. Luckily it worked. Whenever any guy came up to start a conversation, and it appeared they were "looking for something more" one of the girls would just throw an arm around us. Boom! Problem solved.

Gay people are nice but, in Darren's case, they sure are persistent.