Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gladiator Ventures and Urban Adventures

As much as I'd like to say that last Saturday was another typical Saturday, it was anything but...

It all started with the City Solve Urban Race. In case you don't know, I discovered the magic of Urban Racing last year. It's awesome. So when I found out about the City Solve Urban Race I knew I had to participate.

For this race though, I decided to switch partners out. I ran the "Great Urban Race" with my friend Darren...he's solid, steady, and you know what you're gonna get from him. For this race though, I teamed up with Jeff. For you regular (and awesome) readers, you know all about this Jeff character...he frequently stars in many of the more bumbling and blundering adventures that I write about. Jeff is a bit of a wild card...I knew by partnering up with him, we'd either DOMINATE the race, or end up in Mexico riding circus ponies.

So when the race started, I had mentioned to my friend Cassandra that in the last Urban Race, I'd worked together with other friends in deciphering the clues. She was under the understanding that we'd be doing the same thing on this day. As soon as the first clue was revealed however, I went running out the door.


Suffice it to say, when we saw Cassandra and Ashley at the end of the race, they weren't too pleased at my selfish abandonment. Oh well...

One of the caveats with Urban Racing is that the only allowable transportation is via foot or public transit (bus, trolley, tram). No bikes, taxis, cars, etc. Being the extremely hardcore individuals that we are, Jeff and I decided to foot nearly the ENTIRE RACE. That equaled about 10 miles of running all over the city.

The strategy paid off as Jeff and I came in with the second fastest time (although we unfortunately were assessed penalty time for messing up one of the clues).

Basically, we DOMINATED (and managed to avoid Mexico and circus ponies all together).

After the race, we were all hungry so Jeff, Ashley, Cass and I decided to go have lunch. BUT, on the way to lunch, we came across a commandeered parking lot downtown with all types of crazy apparatus and cameras everywhere. I looked up and saw the sign:

"Welcome to the Cuervo Games"

We went in to check it out, and someone came up to us:

"Hey do you guys want to sign up? You will be the last team to sign up today and you have about 30 more seconds before we shut down registration"

OBVIOUSLY, we signed up. Basically, the Cuervo Games are four crazy events where we compete against other teams in games similar to the ones on MXC. Once signed up, we were assigned team uniforms and a team manager, who took us to get fitted for knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, and mouth guards.

Good lord I've never done anything that REQUIRED a mouth guard.

Then we had to sign papers saying that if we died, they wouldn't be responsible.


The first event was the "Tahona Tumber." Basically, the four of us each stand on these small platforms as a padded bar goes round-and-round which we have to jump over while remaining balanced on the platform.

Being the superior athlete that I am, I was sure that I would be able to handle the 30 seconds of time we were required to stay up to gain team points. As the tumbler started, I skied high and easily cleared the first jump. When the other side came around, I bent my knees ready to fly over the next hurdle, however in mid air I realized this side of the tumbler was a DOUBLE hurdle - twice as wide. I flailed wildly in mid air to keep afloat.

Apparently wild flailing does nothing to keep one in afloat.

As I peeled myself off the mat to see the status of the rest of my team, I saw three other empty platforms. I turned to my right and saw a big round yellow pad...hey look its still moving! Closer?

Suddenly, my helmet is on sideways and my head is rattling, and laughter from the bystanders watching has ensued....yes, to add insult to injury, the tumbler came around and nailed me in the noggin.

I'm off to a great start.

The next event was the "Barrel Roll." Think "American Gladiators." Basically, there's a giant blowup pyramid that each player has to run up, grab a flag, jump back down, and tag your partner to get the next one. The catch is, "Gladiators" at the top of the pyramid are throwing rubber barrels at you as you try and make your way up.

We're competing against another team as well as the clock. I volunteer to go first and serve as inspiration to my team. I figure once they see me bob and weave my way up the pyramid and fly back down, they'll be inspired to dominate this event!

The horn sounds, and I'm off! The first barrel is hurled at me and I do a spin move and dodge out of the way, all while moving up the pyramid.

I am awesome!

As I revel in my awesomeness and make way for the second step, I realize there's a problem...I can't see the top of the pyramid anymore. Then I realize why. Yes, I am on the receiving end of a face full of barrel.


I eventually make it up and down.

The third event was definitely the scariest: The "Agave Airwalk." Only two team members are allowed to do this one, and you can't be scared of heights. I volunteered, but honestly, I was moderately terrified (and by "moderately terrified" I mean I had to take my mental focus to unrealized plains just to prevent wetting my shorts).

For this event, each partner had to scale across these planks suspended some 50 feet in the air while grabbing rubber agave fruits. Easier said than done. Ashley went first, grabbed a bunch of fruit, made it across, and tagged me...the only problem is I only had about 45 seconds to make it across.

As I made my way across, I knew I had no time to grab fruit! I made it to the last plank as the announcer was counting down at 5. I was swinging wildly out of control. The only way I was going to make it across in time would be to jump!


Nope. Even though we're harnessed in, it's totally unnatural to take a leap of faith while hanging onto an unstable plank 50 ft in the air. I wasn't about to test the safety features of the harness assembly either.

The fourth and final event was the "Waterfall Climb." For this, the four of us have to scale a rock climbing wall, while water is being fired at us from the top at 8 gallons per second. This posed a particular challenge for me as I have never in my life rock climbed...but after not taking the leap of faith in the last event, I knew I had to perform.

The horn sounded and I was off! The challenge proved ridiculously difficult though. As you look up to find hand-holds, you get a face full of water! I was getting soaked and blindly trying to make my way up the wall. The countdown began. "5....4....3..."

Not again! I need to ring that damn bell at the top!

Leap of faith.

I jumped and managed to grab and ring the bell as the final horn blew. BOO YAH!!! Waterfall Climb done and dominated!

We didn't actually win the Cuervo games, but for a team that didn't even expect to participate, we did pretty darn well!

Just another Saturday...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The High Maintenance Chick

I can smell a high maintenance chick (HMC) from a mile away…it usually has a hint of Versace the small amount of which entering my nasal passage, probably costs more than I want to know. Behind the scent, there’s probably a poor sap who’s shelling out for it.

(Disclaimer: Before you yell at me and send me nasty emails saying “Arun how dare you! I’m an independent woman and I buy my own Versace Perfume! Go suck an egg!” please note that I am not referring to you, and would prefer to defer my egg-sucking to a later date when I forget to add a disclaimer).

I actually have a guilty pleasure I have to admit. When I turn on the Television and start flipping through the guide, somehow my finger always selects “Millionaire Matchmaker” if it’s on. It’s a horrible show, I know and I’m ashamed to admit that I occasionally watch it. But it IS sickly entertaining.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, here’s the gist: This lady has a club known as “The Millionaire Club” consisting of Millionaires who pay a large sum of money to be included. She in return also has a “database” of women that have signed on to date millionaires. In each episode, she has two millionaires whom she works on. First she holds a “mixer” with her two millionaires where they meet a handpicked batch of like 20 women. Then they pick one to go on a date with. The show goes on to chronicle the date.

It’s the saddest display of leeching I’ve ever seen.

I could go on about how ridiculously stupid and idiotic the Millionaire men are, but since this post is entitled “The High Maintenance Chick” I’ll go ahead and reserve my bashing for only them.

First of all, how do these guys ever think they are going to find true love (the goal of the show) from a group of women who are essentially signing up to date millionaires? Many of the guys lament about how they “want a woman interested in me and not my money.”

Great strategy Paco.

I suppose they’re so desperate they don’t care? On a recent episode, the millionaire took his date to some designer store to buy a new “red carpet” dress and diamond studded jewelry.

At the end of the date she proclaimed that she was “totally falling for him.” Go figure.

On another episode, the millionaire flew his pick to Vegas for their first date. At the end of the episode, he proposed to her with a rock the size of Gibraltar.

She accepted…surprise of the century.

But HMC’s appear everywhere. I’ve been unlucky enough to have encountered many in my day. They’re not necessarily mean, but they are so into themselves that they can be utterly repulsive.


A couple of weeks ago, my buddy Abraham – “Abe the Babe” (his self-proclaimed nick name), met some chicks from out of town. He calls me up the day after meeting them:

Abe: “Arun! Hey I’m showing these five Latinas around town today, but they’re kind of a handful. You wanna meet up with us for dinner?”

OK, obviously I didn’t have to think about this too long before making a few suggestions of places for us to go to dinner. He does warn me with the following text message though: “Caution, these are the ‘I’m a hot Latina and you need to take care of me’ type”

Obviously I’m not thrilled about this but I’ve dealt with such obstacles before, and obstacles are worth dodging on occasions when you are surrounded by chicks.

So I meet up for dinner with Abe and the five chicks. The group is three sisters, and two friends of one of the sisters. Everything is going fine: they’re laughing at all of my jokes, generally eating out of the palm of my hands, and two of the sisters are giving me “the eyes”. When the bill arrives, my thinking is:

A. Obviously I will pay for myself, and

B. So will everyone else considering I had just met them a couple of hours ago, and Abe has only known them a day and a half.

Apparently they didn’t get that memo. The three sisters don’t lift a finger to pay. I guess since Abe was gracious enough to show them around all day, he has earned the privilege of being able to pay for their meal.

I immediately cross them off my list.

After dinner, they head over to their hotel downtown to change and Abe and I go back to his pad to have a couple of drinks and bring some tasty beverage selections over to their hotel to enjoy before heading out. When we arrive at the hotel about an hour and a half later, we hear a cacophony of commotion from inside the room.

None of them are even close to being ready.

But, one of them opens the door slightly. Hey, maybe I’m wrong! An arm pokes through the cracked door and grabs the bag of beverages from Abe’s hand, pulls it in, and shuts the door.

Oh heeeeeyyyyyallllll no!

Girls from behind the door: “Come back in another hour, we’re not ready!”

Now I’m a little pissed. Abe has been more than generous with them, and they’re milking every single ounce of restraint from me. But, oh well, it won’t ruin my night. We head to Darren’s pad, hang out with some other friends, and return in an hour and have a drink with the girls before heading out.

At the first venue, I’ve narrowed it down to one of the five that I will up the charm with. Although I obviously am not a fan of The High Maintenance Chick, given the present company I don’t have much of a choice, plus I DO enjoy a challenge. It’s time to transform from “Normal Charming Arun” to “Super Charming Arun!” So, after about twenty minutes of chatting with the one HMC, I relish in the fact that she has offered and is buying ME a drink…sometimes it’s just too easy ;)

My ego rises yet another notch off the scale.

We venue change again to a place where there is more dancing. I’m dancing the night away with said Latina HMC until the place starts closing down and we have to leave. At that point I get a text message from Abe:

Abe: “Hey, ‘Andrea’ (one of the sisters) and I decided to leave. She doesn’t want her sisters to know. Keep them entertained and we’ll be back later.

Now the sisters are asking “where is Andrea?!” The Latina blood is starting to boil and I’m frantically trying to extinguish.

Me: “Ummm, I think she and Abe went to go get a drink somewhere.” (I thought this was a pretty good explanation considering I had roughly 2.5 seconds to come up with it).

They apparently don’t like this answer.

“She wouldn’t leave without telling us!!! You’re lying! Where is Abe!? Call him!”

I get another text, this time from Andrea. “Hi Arun, tell them everything’s ok and I’ll be back at the hotel later. I just wanted to hang out with Abe alone.“

I show them the text and they’re still not satisfied. They’re acting like Abe is some kind of a kidnapper which is obviously not the case. Darren and I spend the next five minutes trying to convince them that Andrea was smitten with Abe-The-Babe, and left to, ummm, watch movies and snuggle. Then one of sisters says something that puts me in stitches laughing: “Well we’re leaving! Get me a cab and give me money for us to get home!!!”

Moohoohahaha! This is the joke of the century and I can’t stop laughing. There’s no way in God’s Green Earth that I am giving this girl a dime. She obviously doesn’t know me. My laughter makes her even madder, and the angrier she gets the funnier I find the whole thing. (BTW, their hotel is a whopping 5 blocks away). Meanwhile, the “friend” that I had been charming is red with embarrassment. They march off in a huff as she is profusely apologizing trying to give me her phone number.

I accept it (just to be nice) and promptly delete it.

The next morning, I have breakfast with Abe, and drops a little mini-bombshell on me.

Abe: “So this morning when I was dropping Andrea off, she was acting a little weird and being all quiet. I asked her what was wrong and she said, ‘I have to tell you something’. Then she takes a ring off of her right hand and puts it on her left ring finger.”

“Umm, I actually married.”

And the plot thickens!

I would be willing to bet that her husband probably has more than a couple of bucks to his name and a bank account to which she is married. Obviously she doesn’t find HIM all that satisfying.

So from this story, I think you can see there are several reasons why I generally choose to avoid The High Maintenance Chick;

1. They’re always late. They need to look flawless which takes hours. On top of that, The High Maintenance Chick thinks the party doesn’t ever start until she arrives…even if she’s just meeting you for coffee. One of my pet peeves is people who are chronically late. It’s disrespectful and indicates that you obviously don’t value the appointment.

2. They lack athleticism. I love sports, and high maintenance chicks almost ALWAYS lack athleticism and don’t play sports. I once dated a girl who didn’t play sports because she “didn’t want to get hurt.” These sports included running long distances…really.

3. They accumulate regrets and don’t appreciate experiences. High maintenance chick always seemed to be irritated with the world because things are going on around them, infringing on their world of material perfection. At the same time, The High Maintenance Chick has no appreciation for grand experiences because she EXPECTS grand experiences.

4. They always expect men to pander to their whims. If you don’t pander, you don’t stand much of a chance.

5. They expect people they don’t know to pay for everything for them. It’s not even about the money. Even if I had a bajillion dollars, a chick that demands I find a cab and pay for the five blocks of travel, is asking for a face full of laughter.

Hey, some guys don’t mind them, but count me out. I’ll take my independent, confident, sporty, “I-don’t-need-no-man-unless-his-name-is Arun”, woman over the HMC any day of the week ;)