Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Great Urban Race

I think it's fairly obvious that I like adventures.

You can imagine my excitement when my friend Jenny told me about the Great Urban Race in San Diego. Actually, they have Urban Races in pretty much every major city in the country, and the top finishers automatically qualify for the National Finals. Unfortunately, in my rookie attempt, we did not manage to qualify, but Darren and I, Team "Kick Your CompAss" (I came up with the name) finished 109 out of about 500! For first timers, it was a pretty damn good effort.

I know what you're thinking: "What the heck is this Urban Race, Arun!?? Is it another marathon? Is it a charity event like Relay for Life? Is it an Urban Modeling Walkoff?!?"

For those of you who are familiar with the television show "The Amazing Race" apparently its like that. Basically, The Great Urban Race is a citywide race/scavenger hunt. So all participants are part of a two person team. Each team must have coordinated costumes, usually either something outrageous or the official race shirts. Teams are also allowed to work together.

So Darren and I teamed up with six of my other friends in our "Alliance of Power and Good Looks." All participants met at Dick's Last Resort Restaurant in the middle of Downtown San Diego where we all received an envelope of clues. When the race starts, everyone opens the envelope and are presented with 12 clues we have to decipher.

The clues are things like trivia questions, logic puzzles, word scrambles, riddles, etc. Once you decipher the clue, the answer is usually a location in San Diego that you have to go to and perform a task, take a picture of yourself doing something, or collect specific evidence of completing the task. The kicker is that no private transportation is allowed! No bikes, cars, ore taxis. You are ONLY allowed to use your feet or use public transportation.

Some of the tasks we had to perform included:

  • Going to a boxing studio where we had to take a lesson (which as some of you may know I need a little work

  • Proposing to a total stranger

  • Finding an obscure crafts shop and braiding a bracelet

  • Finding an obscure Chinese restaurant and making origami

  • Locating a roaming St. Judes rep and taking a picture with her after making a $5 donation.

  • Riding Go-carts around a track

  • Eating Pancakes from a specific pancake house

  • Getting a temporary tattoo from a specific tattoo parlor

The list goes on, but we were basically all over central San Diego. In fact, it was hilarious seeing the expression of random residents who didn't know what was going on. Imagine, you see people running all over the place in no singular direction, everybody's got different costumes on, yet we all have race numbers. Suffice it to say, we were inundated with confused looks and inquiries. Because I like to stir the pot, I even did a couple of "Loop-de-loops" around unsuspecting citizens to further confuse them as to what the hell is going on.

When we finally finished our last task, we sprinted the last mile to the finish line where we were sure we were in the top 25! When we arrived to the approximately 200 people (100 teams) who finished before us, our hopes were a smidgen dashed.

Oh well. Next year!

Afterwards, we were all exhausted. Nearly four hours of running around the city under the hot sun (I love San Diego) will do that to you, so we dialed up a little Pizza and Beer to recover!

I highly recommend participating in this event. For those of you in the States, it's there's probably one in a city near you. Check it out, and if you do well, I'll see you in next years national championship!

Friday, October 9, 2009

First Date Blunders

Last week I was having dinner with a bunch of friends, and the conversation steered to "First Dates." It's always an awesome group conversation because everyone's got at least one funny story, and everyone has an opinion on what's right and wrong. The one thing that always perplexes me is how much pressure people put on the experience of the first date. Before writing this, I googled "First Date mistakes" to make sure I wasn't rehashing a bunch of articles. What I found was an overwhelming amount of "Do's and Don'ts" that would make any guy go nuts.

Even worse, a lot of them are filled with bad advice. I don't claim to be an expert, but I do OK ;) and I know what things are just completely BAD. So instead of overwhelming you with a huge checklist of things to think about, I'm just going to tell you who you shouldn't be.

Timmy Try Hard
Timmy has good intentions but he blows it right away by trying *too* hard. Timmy dresses in his Sunday Best, and shows up with flowers. I'm all for looking good and being nice, but unless you're going to the opera on Valentine's Day (and the only reason you should be going to the opera on a first date is if you're singing in it), leave suit and flowers at home. Also, there's no need to go to a dimly lit hugely expensive restaurant where you'll be surrounded by married couples celebrating their anniversary. I suppose if you're extremely ugly and prefer dim lighting, or worse, your date is extremely ugly, this could be a legitimate option, but otherwise, nix the the fancy schmancy first date spot.

Freddy Pheromone
Freddy is of the same breed as Timmy, but I feel like he deserves a blurb of his own. You definitely want to smell good when you're out, but you don't need to smell good from 20 feet away nor does the car need to turn into some kind of flowery-musk gas chamber of death.

1 spritz = "Ooh this guys smells hot!"
3+ spritz = "Good Lord, are covering up a missed shower?"

Tommy Trickster
Apparently there's a group of men who attempt to "trick" girls into going on a date with them. I was unaware of this until it was explained to me by multiple girls. Apparently Tommy calls and sets up a "hangout" under the pretense that there will either probably be other people, or that its strictly platonic (hence the term "hang out").

You see this is very tricky. I can call up my buddy Jeff and say "Hey, let's hang out!" But, I will never call him to "GO out." I GO out with girls I'm interested in. I hang out with friends. That's generally the accepted definition, but Tommy Trickster ropes them in with the ol' hang out, and tries to do the "Go out transfer of Magic."

Uh-uh. They are on to you.

Nicky Nicealot
Poor Guy. He's not sleazy, mean, or even try-hard...he's just clueless. Nicky is classic "boring date guy." First of all, he has no plan. I'll be the first to admit, I can be pretty indecisive about some things, but on a date, especially a first date, a guy has got to make a decision and have a plan!

Sometimes girls will get tricky and ask YOU (the guy) out. One might think the pressure of planning then falls on her shoulders.

Ding-dong, you're wrong.

All this means is that they may suggest an activity, but you are expected to be the decider for any subsequent activities on the date.

The second mistake Nicky makes, is he conducts the "Nervous First Date Interview". "So, where are you from? What movies do you like? What hobbies do you have?" Then he follows it up by doing the extra gentlemanly things. Again, I'm all for being a gentleman and opening doors and such for company, but some things are a little excessive.

Pulling the chair out for a girl before sitting? Running around, opening the car door, then running back to the driver's side? If I don't intend to do these things three weeks from now, why should I put on a show and do them now? It's a little excessive.

I'm probably gonna get blasted for some of this stuff, but it all sounds nice when it's not you.

Sammy McSexYouUp
Sammy might be the worst first date. I've seen him in action from afar. He bear-hugs his date as she keeps her arms pressed up against the front of her body in a desperate attempt to create some kind of buffer. He goes for the kiss and gets the ol' head turn from her. Sammy specializes in the 2am drunken girl pickups, but in the first date, where some semblance of intellect comes into play, he's out of his element. It's like chopping an onion with an axe: just a little too much to handle.

So that's the list. If you avoid turning into any of these amazing men, you might have a shot at a second date. As obvious as they seem, you'd be surprised at the lack of informed men roaming the streets of your city. BTW, feel free to share your bad date story. They're always good for a chuckle ;)