Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Facebook, Twitter, and Status Litter

"Susie is: Going to the beach with my Bubby to cuddle!"

"John: has the best Schmoopy ever...I win!"

"Sarah is: beach, swim, lunch with Scotty-too-hotty, spa, massage, drinks with the girls, pack for Jamaica!"

The world today has many problems: The economy, Swine flu, Terrorism...and online status litter. Although I am admittedly well-integrated into the world of online social networking, I rarely find an occasion to provide a stream-of-conciousness insight to my life that has become the Facebook (or twitter) status update.

Any rational person realizes how nausea-inducing some of these status updates are.

First we have the POLDA offenders (Public On-Line Display of Affection). As it is, I'm not a fan of seeing people sucking face while I'm walking through the park or waiting at the bar for a drink. Now they have invaded my HOME!

POLDAers seem to think they can skirt around normal PDA by simply using cuddly phrases like "I have the best Snookums ever!"

Ding Dong, Your Wrong!

I'm not sure if they're trying to publicly validate their relationship by showing people how much they love each other or what, but seriously, when you see someone nearly everyday, what other reason can there be for advertising to the world how "lovey wuvvy" your relationship is?

Yes I have friends that do this and they are solidly on my POLDA-LOVI-WUVI (Public On-Line Display of Affection - List Of Vomit Inducing - Willfully Unacceptable Viral Indecencies).

Although we can still be friends if you are on my POLDA-LOVI-WUVI, you should know that I thoroughly disapprove of your online shenanigans.

Aside from the POLDAers, we also have the people who feel the need to put their daily agenda up for the world to see.

"Jenny: ran 5 miles, was fed lunch by the Awesome Committee, beach, massage, and getting ready for the yacht party!"

Ok...I get it. Jenny, your life is awesome and I'm jealous. These people post daily highlights that make them sound like a retired rock star. Either that, or they post a laundry list of incredibly mundane activities which are even worse to read.

Others prefer to bombard the online community with hourly (or even minutely) updates as to what they're doing/thinking/wanting/hating/eating/watching etc.

How about the sympathy update? Things like "Michelle is having an awful day :(" These always get the desired response of attention with like people responding asking what's wrong and what they can do. If it's a hot chick, there'll be 10 responses with 7 of them male.

Occasionally people use the status update as it was meant to be used: to post interesting blurbs about something cool you're doing that will make others chuckle or take interest.

That's what I usually go for (although my status updates are few and far between). Yes, it's a strict code to live by - but all in the name of lifetime awesomeness!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The 4th Annual 2 on 2 Co-Ed Leroy Invitational

If there's a competition going on, you can generally count on two things with me:

1. I don't care what it is, I want in
2. I will have already begun trash-talking, regardless of my skill level in the chosen sport.

So, when my friend Silvia asked me if I'd be her partner in the 2009 Leroy Invitational basketball tournament, my answer was, "Yes! And we are going to DOMINATE everyone like the Harlem Globetrotters embarrass the Washington Capitals every week!"

In preparation for the Leroy, we needed a team theme as well as creative bios. Silvia left his in my hands since she knows I like to write. I had however forgotten to write them until about 15 minutes before the deadline, so in my haste, I whipped up these beauties:

80's Allstars

Silvia - "Slice n' Dice":
'Slice' leads the 80's All Stars into battle this year with experience, athleticism,
and style. Whether she's sippin on the finest red wine, or dominating people on the court, she's not afraid to rock the neon spandex. This year, Slice has prepared for Leroy ownage by cross training with such sports as kickball, bocci-ball, and sex. Though small in size, she's not afraid to throw a hard, hospital sending foul if you get past her. Don't let the pretty face fool you...Silvia "Slice n Dice" Noriega will eff you up!

Arun - "The Face":
Arun earned the nickname "The Face of San Diego" from his runway prowess, but the name extends to the court as well. He's not afraid to throw the ball in YOUR face. Arun specializes in Trash Talk Distraction (TTD). He gets in your head, does cartwheels, and doesn't get out! Although he is a Leroy rookie, his basketball experience is far from novice. Arun has extensive experience from Freshman year basketball tryouts (after which he was cut). Furthermore, he has an impeccable H-O-R-S-E record and even more impeccable P-I-G record. He plays a nice enough game, but if you touch his most prized possession, his Face, BEWARE - he just might challenge you to a walkoff!

Suffice it to say, the competition was intimidated when these bios came out in the pre-tournament program.

So Sunday arrived, and Silvia were decked out in our Sunday Best - for some people this means a suit and tie, but for me it is ultra short shorts, an old school Jersey, and a headband. The crowd went wild when Silvia and I arrived.

The tournament went well and we were on a winning streak! All was looking good until I we ran into Big Ben, or more appropriately, Crazily Tall Ben. Silvia matched up fine against his partner, Michelle, but something about 6-2 Arun matched up against 6-9 Ben seems a tiny bit lop-sided.

This may come as a surprise to you, but he blocked several of my shots. Equally surprising may be that I managed to block exactly zero of his.

I will conveniently spare you the details of my ass-whipping, but we did manage to wind up on one side of the winners podium!

I still went home a winner though! At the post tournament barbecue, I'm pretty sure I managed to win the title for "most tacos consumed." Sure nobody else knew there was a contest going on, but since going home a loser was not an option, I conveniently neglected to inform everyone as I stuffed my face :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Confidence Scale

On the confidence scale, there is definitely a pretty small area in which “Healthy Confidence” falls. It may come as a surprise to you that I push the upper bounds of healthy confidence to extremes never tested :)

On the high extreme are people who are supremely over-confident. There’s a whole myriad of problems that accompany this issue. Over-confidence leads to getting into situations that are way over your head. Over-confident people think they can handle anything and everything, and never admit that maybe they are not the expert. As you can imagine, a lot of different problems can happen when you think you know what you’re doing, but really have no clue. Overconfidence/arrogance are a recipe for disaster as well as people not liking you.

On the other end are people who have an extreme lack of confidence. This can manifest itself in two ways, both of which can be annoying.

The first, and less annoying way, are the people who don't think they can do anything. They're favorite response when asked to do something is "I'll Try" or "I'll try my best!" The lack of confidence then perpetuates because, how in the hell are you supposed to do anything well when you can't envision success?

You can't!

The accumulation of failure or minimal success just reinforces the low self esteem.

The other types of people who lack confidence are those who try and hide it or make up for it by showing an overly confident facade.

There's a guy I play basketball with, lets call him Mo, who suffers from this "I'm the best, and you're going hear about it" syndrome. Generally, he's a nice guy and we get along...mostly because I don't feel the need to call him out on a lot of the "Bovine fecal matter" that he comes up with.

For example, last week he's going on and on about how he goes up to Riverside and he has like a harem of women who are all over him. Not quite the exact story, but that's the gist. I know that this is all nonsense, but I like humoring him to see how much more stuff he'll make up.

Mo: "Damn Arun, I went up to Riverside last week cuz this girl's been callin me...when I came back, she wasn't a virgin!"

Me: "Gee Mo, you've got a lotta game man."

Mo: "I've got me a lotta girls up there dawg!"

Then later on the basketball court, he's not exactly having a stellar day. Conveniently, he jams his finger. While it's entirely possible that he jammed his finger, the whole rest of the day he's looking at his hand shaking it around....and not playing very well.

Mo: "Wait till next week guys when my finger's better! Imma ball y'all up!"

Again, a truly confident person doesn't want anyone to know he's hurt. When Michael Jordan, Pete Sampras, or Tiger Woods played hurt, they never used that excuse.

A healthy confidence means you don't feel the need to brag about yourself on a constant basis. I don't need to tell the world that a very cute girl asked ME out last night because I earn respect not by the company I keep, but by the way I behave. (although I suppose I just told you all :)

I've talked ad nauseum about the The Power of Self Confidence before, but I think a lot of people fool themselves into thinking they're confident when they're really not.

One shouldn't have to tell people you're confident. It should naturally show. That's not to say I'm 100% healthily confident as I still get butterflies and thoroughly enjoy tooting my own horn (and a quite good-looking horn it is if I do say so :), but at least I realize it!

Moral of the rant: Be yourself, believe in yourself, and the result will be a more confident person. And, start a blog so you can tell people how awesome you think you are so you don't feel the need to in person. (although, come to think of it, I quite the ego-maniac in person too!)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dim Sum's and Training Runs

So here is a little email transcript from last week that my friend Mark sends out to my little running group:


Hi all,
How about 7 am at the SDAC on Sunday for a relaxing 22?



Isn't "a relaxing 22" an oxymoron? Somehow I don't think I'll be finding this all too relaxing, but count me in.



So the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon is on May 31st which means yesterday was supposed to be our longest run before tapering back to save the legs before the race. Well it turns out the sort of "leader" of the group, Mark, couldn't make it, so our friend Gary decided to step up and chart a nice route for us to run and get our mileage in.

The problem is, it's difficult to be precise when your running 22 miles. I glanced at the route he had planned for us, but at a glance, it's difficult to tell a few miles difference.

I should have looked harder because after 15 miles or so, EVERY MILE COUNTS.

So we take off from downtown San Diego and begin our run through the city. It's amazing how much ground you can cover while running for many hours at a time. We seriously ran ALL OVER the city! For those of you who know San Diego, our route was something like this:

Downtown -> Petco Park -> Hillcrest -> Balboa Park -> Friars Road in Mission Valley ->Marina Blvd -> Mission Bay Park -> Sea World -> Old Town -> Liberty Station in Point Loma -> Harbor Drive -> Downtown!

The problem was, Gary underestimated the mileage on our route. Rather than going for a "relaxing 22" we ended up going for a BRUTAL 25! That's right. TWENTY FIVE MILES!

What makes this especially painful is that, unlike how I will prepare for the marathon, my legs take a beating throughout the week. On Wednesdays, I do lower body weight training including squats and lunges. Tuesday and Thursday I do a spin class. Wednesday I play basketball, and Saturday I play outdoor basketball generally for at least two hours.

Now I'm no mathematician, but when you add in a 25 mile run that seems like a formula for PAIN.

Apparently my math was correct.

About 15 miles into the run, my legs started to hurt. Cardiovascularly, I can go for days, but these long runs are all about training the muscles for endurance (and in this case, your mind).

By about mile 18, I was just repeating in my mind, "four miles to go Arun. Four Miles! 32 more minutes of pain!"

Little did I know I still had more than an hour of running left.

The last few miles were absolutely brutal. I desperately wanted to walk, but I wouldn't let myself.

"Will and Determination. Will and Determination" I kept repeating those words to myself along with a few other colorful choice words that I don't think need repeating :)

When we finally arrived back at our starting point, I think the worst part was stopping. I soon as I stopped, my legs started aching like hell. It took almost an hour for the constant pain to subside.

I've definitely gained a new respect for endurance athletes. It's just as mental as it is physical, and resolving to push through the pain barrier is the only way to successfully compete. Sunday's run was physically one of the hardest things I've done.

Afterwards, I called my friends up to go get some authentic Chinese Dim Sum. My super awesome Garmin running watch registered me as having burned 4200 calories!

I suppose I earned a decent meal.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dim Sum, you basically sit at a table while servers bring these carts around with different types of chinese food. They're all small portions, so you can try a wide variety of foods as they bring by new stuff every few minutes.

Now the problem is, all of the servers were very, VERY, Chinese. What I mean is, they weren't exactly speaking the Queens English. This was a problem because none of us had any clue what was in the food they were bringing. Each time we asked, they politely answered, but I had no clue what they were saying.

I'm usually very good at understanding through accents, but this was too thick for even me.

Arun: "What's that one?"
Server: "Ahh, that swee pow baahng"
Arun: "Come again?"
Server: "Swee pow baahng, eet vei goo!"

I was so hungry after the run that I didn't care and we just started choosing things based on how they looked. Turns out "swee pow baahng" is "sweet pork bun" - actually very good.

In fact, everything was awesome.

Despite the pain of the long run, there's nothing like eating a great meal afterwards. And if there's one activity at which I'm a naturally gifted athlete, it's eating!