Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Road Back to School

It's pretty tough making the definitive leap of deciding to go back to school, and then actually acting on it. Sure I had been planning on eventually going back to further my education, but "eventually" meant that I could postpone it indefinitely while living in the relative comfort that I do now.

The problem is, I'm driving in third gear right now. Sure it's a nice, cruising, riding comfortably, and I'm eventually getting places, but I'm driving a Ferrari gosh darn it (a mighty good-looking one I might add ;) and I want to kick it up to fifth gear and have some fun!

So what are some of the reasons I'm doing this?

Well, the big one is that Engineering is not for me. In fact, I routinely tell people "Engineering sucks!" I guess it would be more accurate to say, "Engineering Sucks for Me!" Basically, nothing about engineering really caters to my personal strengths.

As most of you know, I'm very much a "people person." I thrive on interacting with people on a daily basis, and honestly, I'm pretty good at it. As an Engineer, I spend most of the day in my office working on this and that. Everything is done on a computer, and most of my interactions with people at work are centered around making some piece of equipment work that I really couldn't care less about.

Engineers are the "worker bees" of the colony. They go through a lot of processes and work to make the perfect honeycomb, but in the end they're recognized as just another worker bee.

On the other end of the spectrum are people who are great, passionate Engineers, who love what they do. My good friend Mark is a great example. When I met him in Middle School, he was the only person in class who owned a graphing calculator and everyone fought over whose turn it was to play this racing game he had programmed on it.

In college, he was a Programming Guru and was highly instrumental in helping me pass my programming classes during my first year. Thank God he's also patient, because I was utterly useless in the beginning (and he might contend that I'm still quite useless, but lets stop talking about things I'm not good at).

Quite simply, he loves computers and technology, is great at focused, applied thinking, and his career as a Software Engineer caters to his strengths.

When I was a Supervisor at Tennis Warehouse, I really excelled. My job was to create employee-work cohesion, maintain high productivity, and train all employees. The job basically catered to my strengths (except for the fact that I had to string hundreds of rackets in between all of this (stringing sucks), and the pay wasn't close to what I make now).

I'm a big fan of leaving my comfort zone to find something better. Sure it's a risk, but so is driving in fifth gear :)

So what am I going to school for? I thought about this for awhile and eliminated choices for a variety of reasons.

Med School - Too much undergrad work required (especially science). It would take two years alone just to take the classes required to apply to med school. The thought of two years of just Biology and Chemistry sounds dreadful. Then, I would have to hope I do well enough on the MCAT to offset my below Med-school average undergrad GPA. THEN, if I didn't get in anywhere, I would have to go to some podunk Caribbean medical school. The time, money, and personal investment is not worth it to me.

Law - Lawyers work far, FAR too much. My career is not my life and lawyers toil in hours of paperwork for a long time before doing anything interesting. Sure they get paid a lot, but it's not worth the hours you put in while you're young.

Psychology - A nice combination of money and people if you get your PhD. HOWEVER, I don't think I'd want to deal with disturbed or depressed people EVERYDAY. What a downer!

Politics - I've never been all that passionate about politics and it takes years of kissing ass and lackey work to become a bonified politician. If I could be an International Ambassador tomorrow though, I would.

Journalism - Sure I like writing, but I don't think I'd want to do it all day, everyday. Not enought interpersonal interaction, and the pay is sketchy. I would love to be a News Anchor, but that's another position that would take awhile to get to, especially for someone with no experience.

BUSINESS! - This is what I'm going to do for a multitude of reasons. First, there are a lot of different focuses that interest me; namely marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. Second, with an MBA, you can enter a VARIETY of different industries, from health care, to non-profit, to technology, to finance. Thirdly, I would get a pay raise (assuming a graduate from a highly reputable school). Fourthly, there are positions with lots of communication required. And last, I would have the option to get a PhD in business and become DR. ARUN!!!

Technically speaking, I suppose I already have an honorary doctorate in Female Attraction (granted by "Arun's School of Awesome Living"). I guess that's why people (and by "people" I mean no one in particular) always call me "Dr. Love."

Teaching as a professor sounds AMAZING! Other than the bulk of the work being interacting with students, having summers off plus winter break sounds AWESOME!

So in preparation I've been studying for the GMAT. I need to do awesome on this test to get into a top tier University. This is one of the reasons for the lack of posting recently. I have quite a few things going on between work, studying, the ebook I'm releasing next month, and a new project that I might be starting with a friend next week.

But have no fear! More adventures are coming and I, Dr. Love, will not abandon my faithful following of readers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Beauty and the Creep

An article I wrote a few months ago for a small local publication.

Beauty and the Creep
Just Because Men Like Tools, Doesn’t Mean We Have to Be Them
-Arun Srinivasan

By day, she’s the girl-next-door. By night, she’s a feisty minx whose bite only the calmest and coolest of men can withstand. No, she’s not a one of a kind girl…she’s most girls.

I, nor any other man, will ever completely understand women--big surprise. They are a complex gender with even more complex behavior. Some of these peculiarities are evident during their everyday living however; the level of confusing behavior gets magnified during their frequent “nights out.”

Most men have grandiose visions of going to a bar, meeting a beautiful woman and living happily ever after. What’s wrong with this picture? Sure, bars and clubs are places that attract a lot of beautiful, single and flirtatious women but there’s a catch, these aren’t the same “nice girls” that we meet during the day. A lot of guys mark 10:00 p.m. as the start of “Wabbit Hunting Season” and are about as effective as Elmer Fudd hunting Bugs Bunny.

So why is it so difficult for most men to meet a beautiful, intellectual and “nice” girl at a club or bar? Well, there are two problems. The first is that women put up the infamous “force-field of bitchiness” that is extremely challenging for any normal guy to break through. This brings me to the second problem: A lot of normal guys all of a sudden become “Sleazy McSleazerson” as soon as they enter a bar. Normal, friendly behavior all of sudden transforms into excessive ogling, pick-up lines and, most popular of all, buying drinks for random girls.

Rule number 2493 in “Arun’s Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness:” Never buy random girls drinks!

Before I continue, let me share a short anecdote from a recent weekend outing.

It’s Friday night and I’m out with a buddy and some female friends of mine when we all decide we're feeling a little parched. My buddy and I go buy us a beer (our Friday thirst quencher of choice) and I watch as my friend Trish, newly 21, tests the power of a woman at a bar. She spots an open space at the bar and approaches. As with any bar, there are men all around her. Trish is an attractive girl and the man next to her takes note of her presence. Within 30 seconds he’s offering to buy her and another female friend a drink. I never learned his name, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just call him “Tool.”

Obviously the girls must’ve been a little interested in Tool, right? Think again.

What does he receive in return for his generosity? Eight minutes of fluff conversation with one of the girls, then back to being Mr. Lonely…for a few minutes. Later we see the same thing happen with Tool and some other girl. Trish, having finished her drink, decides to go back for seconds and the conversation goes something like this:

Trish (to Tool and other girl he is attempting to mack): “Hey! Lets all get Jaeger shots!”
Other Girl: “That sounds great!”
Tool: “Uhh, Ok!”
Trish: “I need another drink too for after. Do you want one (to the other girl)?”

Trish and the other girl, who don't even know each other, exchange a knowing look. Somehow women can communicate to each other telepathically even if they’ve never met. A prime example of this happening is when some guy is talking to a girl and she wants to bail out, also known as, "be saved." All she has to do is make eye contact with a woman, any woman, in the bar and she will come to the rescue, but I digress.

Other Girl: Yea!
Trish (to the bartender): We're gonna need 3 shots of Jaeger and two cocktails! Thanks!

And who do you think pays? Yes, our poor, naïve friend Tool sitting at the bar. So what happens afterwards? Eight minutes later he's sitting all alone waiting for the next girl he can wine and dine.

Part of me wants to feel sorry for him, but the reality is that he embodies his name and is foolishly being a complete tool. If you let yourself be taken advantage of, it is going to happen! The sad truth is, 70% of guys at bars are regular guys turned idiots or tools, or some combination of the two.

Let me break it down. When a guy offers to buy a girl a drink, what he's really saying is, "I'm not interesting enough or confident enough to talk to you on my own, but I figure if I buy you a gift, you'll think I'm nice and want to stay and talk to me and eventually we'll live happily ever after."

When a woman is offered a drink by a random guy, she's thinking, "Score! Free drink courtesy of Toolbag (Tool’s twin brother)! All I have to do is stay and make small talk with him for eight minutes and I'm out of here! And if he turns out to be a creeper, I’ll just throw the ‘save me’ eyes out there and be on my merry way! "

But Tool is not the only lost cause in the bar. Oh no! Even worse is Sleazy McSleazerson. Sleazy doesn’t hide his feelings vocally OR physically. In an effort to show how loving he his, he gets close…VERY close, during conversation. Sometimes he gets carried away with his expression of love and throws around phrases such as “Oh Baby Oh Baby Ohhhh Girl!” which loosely translated to normal speak means, “Hello. I think you’re very pretty and would like to talk to you about making children.”

When Sleazy is not feeling particularly talkative, he heads to the dance floor. He specializes in the “Bump and Grind” and has evolved it to the even more advanced “Air Hump.” Amazingly, he enjoys success amongst women who are ten or more drinks deep.

Jimmy ShyGuy doesn’t enjoy the same success though. He’s too scared to talk to women and generally likes to guard a nice piece of wall while intently monitoring the crowd. For some reason, he thinks beautiful women are most apt to attack his piece of wall and gazes at them a little longer. As soon as they look back though, he looks away lest they figure out he’s on to them!

Then there’s Neil Nice. Girls don’t mind him at first. He’s non-threatening, but rarely does he have the weapons to break through the aforementioned “Force-Field of Bitchiness.” Some women do let him through, but even then he’s just too nice and too boring. Many times, Neil conducts the on-the-spot job interview: “Where are you from? What do you do? What do you do for fun?” There’s no better way than to rebuild that force-field than by conducting the uber-exciting bar interview.

Neil is not always boring though! Sometimes he’s fascinating, but in the end the niceness kills his chances at romance. He thinks by first becoming bosom buddies with a girl, he can hop from the “friends ladder” to the “relationship ladder.”

No dice.

Once a girl has placed you 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 slicken up those upper "relationship ladder" rungs nice and good, and hanging on after the leap is nearly impossible.

Occasionally, a not-so-normal guy enters the bar. He has social savvy and charm. Let’s just call him “Arun.” He’s interesting to talk to, observant of body language and has an inherent charisma that draws women in. Rare though he is, he does exist.

The women of tomorrow are incredibly lucky. According to Darwinism, only “the fittest beings survive and replicate.” This means that Toolbag, Sleazy McSleazerson, Jimmy ShyGuy, and Neil Nice probably won’t be having a lot of children and Arun Jr.’s will be charming all of the women of tomorrow ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Somehow, I feel like the only person who actually has to work today. But, I guess it's all a matter of least I have a job!

It's crazy to think that tomorrow, The United States will have our first black President when only 45 years ago, Barack Obama would have had trouble entering many restaurants in Alabama and drinking from public water fountains in Mississippi.

How fitting that the Inauguration is the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

We all know about Junior's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, but how many of us have actually heard the entire thing? I think this speech should be REQUIRED viewing for every American. Not only is it powerfully patriotic, but his speech is a demonstration of world class oration.

Watch the ENTIRE THING. His vocabulary is extensive, his use of metaphor cuts deep, and his delivery is compelling. It's just a superb example of brilliant and powerful public speaking. Notice that when he goes into the "I Have a Dream" section of the oration, he stops glancing at his notes. It's amazing that he delivers such a resonating message extemporaneously!

Anyways, spend 15 minutes of your day off (or, if you're like me, 15 minutes while you're at work :) watching this video. I've seen it a few times now, but I still get goosebumps when I watch it! It's well worth it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My First Acoustic Performance!

I mentioned in this post last month that I performed in an open mic. Well I finally received the recording and decided to post the three covers I did.

If you've read this post with song I wrote and recorded you know I like to sing, but I was SUPER nervous and my voice is really shaky in the performance. I think I did OK considering I haven't performed in front of people in years and NEVER played guitar in front of a large crowd. Hey, you've got to start somewhere, right?

Hope you enjoy! (and feel free to add a rating on youtube :)

No Woman No Cry

Waiting on an Angel

With or Without You

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 Resolution Knockout

Oh brother.

Another year gone, another year older. As has become a tradition with me, its time again to review my resolutions from last year, and make some more for this year. In general, I think New Year's Resolutions are stupid because hardly anyone ever sticks to them. They're way too long term, and people set the bar entirely too high thinking they have plenty of time (a year) to get there. Then they make the same resolution all over again next year with no new plan in place to achieve it.

And they say we learn from our mistakes.

I know what you're thinking. "Well if New Year's Resolutions are so darn stupid Arun, then why do you waste time making them you big fat hypocrite!"

Ok, I may be big and fat courtesy of my copious holiday eating, but hypocritical I certainly am NOT (and I don't appreciate the name-calling either)!

"In general" they are dumb, but I break up my goals into daily, weekly, and monthly goals to make them attainable, thus they become more useful.

One of the problems I realized with the resolutions I made last year, is that they were far too general which makes them difficult to focus on and equally difficult to evaluate. Regardless, here goes the evaluation:

1. Increase my Output
I'm going to give myself a 9/10 on this. There were some projects I wanted to finish that didn't get done, but overall, I generated a lot more tangible output in addition to what I normally do (and did the previous year). This includes two ebooks, a new web page, another short blog, written articles, work on Relay for Life, and new Music gigs.

2. Begin to delve into the world or Passive Income.
Again, too general. Delve into passive income doing what? Didn't do anything here much differently than last year. 3/10. Don't really know if I could've done a whole lot here though. In fact, I actually LOST some dough in the stock market. This goal kind of took a backseat as I worked on other projects, and I think steady passive income flow needs to be a singular goal which could very well accomplish nothing in just a year, but possibly pay off in the very long term.

3. Make long term goals clearer.
6/10. Well I did learn that I want to do something else other than BORING engineering. Now the question is, what? I'm pretty sure I have a solid path scoped out, but now it's just a matter of making sure it's perfect before diving in. Didn't give myself a great score yet because I seriously have no idea where I'll be and what I'll be doing a year from now.

4. Become Healthier.
TOO GENERAL ARUN! But, I will still give myself a 9/10. I dropped some weight at the beginning of the year and became healthier that ever!

And now for 2009's Resolutions!

1. Get in optimal Marathon shape:
I'm running a marathon in May (my first one!) and I'm not gonna just fiddle faddle my way through it. I want to be awesome which means I'm gonna have to drop 10 or 15 pounds and ramp up my running training! I'm not particularly looking forward to the training (but seriously, who does?) but I've gotta do it!

2. Make the San Diego Downtown Relay For Life Awesome!
I am the Team Recruitment Chair and the biggest contribution for making Relay awesome, is having a ton of people! Last year we had 18 teams. The general model the American Cancer society advocates is an 18 % growth per year which would make it 21 total teams for this year.

Screw the model!

I'm shooting for 45 teams this year! That means if you live near or in San Diego, you have to get involved...if not for Cancer victims, do it for ME!

3. Launch my Ebook
This has taken quite a bit longer than I thought it would. I have two ebooks written, the main one as well as a companion book, but writing the ad copy, modifying graphics, and setting up the website is taking some time. This year, I'm going to launch the book and dedicate some time to advertising and making "The Social Charmer" awesome! I haven't decided what "awesome" constitutes yet, but I suppose I'll know when I get there ;)

4. Increase my Musical Opportunities.

After I played in my first open mic I suddenly felt a new inspiration to perform music again! Since the open mic, I played with my friend Chad Cavanaugh at Mondo Gelato in San Diego and have started writing new music. I want to create an entirely original set to play in front of people.

5. Increase my Writing Opportunities.
I wrote for a couple of publications this year that didn't really pan out as I had hoped. I'm going to look for more opportunities (including possible another ebook?) to keep writing!

6. Begin my Educational pursuit.
It's time for me to hit the books and get a degree that lends itself to a career I love. No more mulling around on my Safety Net. It's time to get busy on my next career!

So there you have it. A pretty ambitious list, but I've already started attacking it and am really going to try a score perfect 10's for next year's evaluation!