Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Inspiration

It feels like the Summer Olympics JUST happened! Not that I'm complaining. I love everything about the Olympics, except for the increased amount of time I spend watching TV as well as totally non-athletic sports such as Air-pistol and Equestrian among many others.

In fact, how DOES the Olympic committee decide on a sport? I mean, if Air Pistol can be a sport, why not bowling, billiards, and snowshoeing? How about Golf? That's a truly international sport that, while being generally non-athletic unless your name is Tiger Woods, should be considered based on the other events they allow in.

Do they accept international "games of skill?" If so, then I'm a legitimate contender to represent the U.S. in Checkers for the 2012 Games. Athleticism is certainly not required, otherwise they'd get rid of anything involving target shooting.

Also, what's with the Biathlon? It just seems like a weird combination of two "sports" - Shooting and Skiing. As long as we're doing combinations, why not have Michael Phelps hop out of the pool after a lap, run across a balance beam and dismount with a triple axel?

But speaking of the Olympics, I actually have a friend competing in the Winter Games. She was in the Torino games four years ago, and is back for more this year in Vancouver. Her name is Kikkan Randall and she's competing in the Cross-Country Skiing Sprint and Team Event. Kikkan and I went to middle school and high school together and she's actually the first U.S. Women EVER to win the Cross Country World Cup Skiing!

Make no mistake, I take every opportunity to boost my social status by actively informing people that I'm friends with an Olympic athlete. "I am friends with Olympic Athlete Kikkan Randall...revel in my awesomeness!"

For extra motivation, I've informed her that medaling this year will boost me a couple of rungs up the social ladder...just in case she needs extra reason to medal. I HAVE used my love for Olympics for things beyond social status though.

I've been battling a nagging hamstring injury for the last couple of months. I've tried training around it, but it just won't go away, so I decided to make a drastic change in my workouts until it completely heals. Instead of running, stairmaster, sports, and spin class, I'm doing yoga and swimming.

Now the yoga part is fine because I do that anyways and am starting to get better. Swimming on the other hand is not exactly my forte. I had no choice though because that's the only cardio I can do that puts no strain on my hamstring.

So Saturday, I drove to the gym first thing in the morning to get some laps in. My plan was to do 30 laps in multiple sets. My previous record of "laps in a row without a break" was 10.

When I arrived to the pool, it was cloudy, windy and bitterly cold (55F - the gym is on a roof in downtown San Diego, so the wind chill was exacerbated). I looked at the water with bitter contempt and reluctantly jumped in. I waited for the "pool shock" to settle in, strapped my $5 goggles on, and got going.

2 laps in, I was ready to quit. I've never really had swim lessons so my form needs work, and I probably work twice as hard to move the same distance as an experienced swimmer in double the time.

This was ridiculous. 30 laps will take ages if I have to stop and rest every two laps. I cursed myself in my head and told myself to "STEP IT UP!!!"

I started again, and made it 10 laps. I rested for two minutes, then did a set of 20! RECORD DEMOLISHED! Then, I went at it again and did 30!

By the end of my session, I had completed 74 laps (70 real laps and 4 with me messing around seeing how far I can get holding my breath, trying the butterfly stroke, underwater crawling etc).

With a great workout under my belt, I returned Sunday and planned to do 80 laps in sets of 20. What followed though, was and effort I never, NEVER thought I could do. I started swimming, and after the first 10 laps or so, I was feeling pretty good.

I hit 20 and decided to go ahead and do 30 before resting.

When I hit 30, I figured I might as well do 40 and complete 2 sets in one go.

At 40 I thought "Wouldn't it be cool to say I did 50 laps in a row!?"

At 50 I was thinking that getting to 60 I could rest and finish the last 20 in one go.

At 60 I started getting an idea.

At 70 it started raining and I was developing a side cramp, but there was no turning back and I was going to complete my mission.

100 laps without resting. ONE HUNDRED LAPS BABY!

Keeping in mind my previous record was TEN LAPS, I was and am ecstatic. I love pushing myself, and this was Damn difficult. Honestly, I'm going to swim next weekend, but I'm not sure if I can do this again. Considering how hard I try and how slowly I actually move, 100 laps took quite a while.

We'll see, but this is definitely one that I'm proud of, and makes me think I should do a triathlon after my hammy heals up.

And speaking of my Hammy, I have an acupuncture appointment this week. I've never done acupuncture before, so this should be another interesting experience which could possible make for a good story.

You'll have to wait and see ;)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hollywood Hills & Mansion Mayhem

I knew Hollywood was filled with people in show business, but this was ridiculous. On Saturday I was at a party in a Mansion up in the Hollywood Hills. A good friend of mine who is a professional poker player, resides in this house overlooking all of Santa Monica, and decided to throw a little housewarming party with his Mansion-mates.

Although I suppose "little" wouldn't really be all that accurate.

Now it wasn't quite a "Shabang" as there were probably only about 50 or 60 people within the copious square footage of luxury but the set up was like a true Hollywood mixer. Since the tenants are new to LA, they hired a promoter to bring in quality guests. They also had a bartender and a a DJ to add further party legitimacy.

And for the final and most important touch of legitimacy...they invited ME ;)

In typical Hollywood fashion, EVERYBODY was either an actor, singer, director, or producer.

Ok...while I respect their efforts to try and "make it," it started getting a little ridiculous. Sure their were some people who seemed to have a shot at doing something. One guy I met is supposedly going to appear on "Lost" next month. We chatted for awhile, although he may not like me anymore since a girl I had an "encounter" with who I think might have been his girlfriend. Oh'll be a good story if he ever becomes famous.

It really took some restraint not to laugh though when people started telling me they were producers. Producers?! Seriously? I mean, what the hell does a producer really do anyways? Aren't producers usually people who work in other areas (directing, acting, etc) before becoming producers? To me, moving to Hollywood to become a producer seems a little like taking a job as a Starbucks barista with the intent of becoming CEO.

When people asked what I did for a living, I told the truth...well, at least 75% of it. "Oh I am a writer and a musician."

"Hollywood Arun" failed to mention that he is also an Engineer and soon-to-be student, because that wouldn't be very Hollywood of me ;)

Somehow, by the end of the night, I had like six new phone numbers and emails in my phone, not because I am some sex magnet (surprising, I know) but because everyone in West Hollywood is all about networking. People figure that when I make it huge as a Romantic Novel Writer or Weird-Al-Parody Rockstar, I'll be good to know.

Little do they know that the prerequisite for asking me to pull strings with my future Hollywood Hot-Shot Buddies, is that they be regular readers of my blog.

I like to take care of fellow geniuses and people with great taste ;)

The next day was also activity filled. I peeled myself off the mansion floor the next morning after three and a half hours of sleep, and went to the Santa Monica pier to meet my Mom and some family friends who had just flown in to visit. We drove up to Santa Barbara for Lunch (obviously not my idea), came back, ate at some Sushi place near Staples center where we sat next to actor Beau Bridges, and then went to the Comedy tour kickoff of Russell Peters at the Nokia Theater.

I'm a harsh critic when it comes to stand-up comedy, but that guy is funny (and by "funny," I mean his sense of humor is only 10% less than my amazing wit ;)

Maybe at the next mansion party I should tell people I'm a comedian!