How Hard Can You Concentrate?

My friend Dustin introduced my to slacklining. I think he got it in Israel when he was playing pro basketball over there. (Figures, 6'9" white Jewish guy right?) This is a great sport and if you you tube this you can find many great videos. I would include links but it seems that no one ever clicks the links I put into my blogs. The rope is made of nylon and is basically constructed like a huge tie-down. The same kind you use for your dirtbikes in the back of the truck. The rope is maybe 2-3 inches wide and slices down the middle of your foot. The rope is wrapped around two sturdy objects a reasonable distance apart and is tightened until you can launch a small child from it 30 feet in the air.

The only way I can do this is to focus into the distance at some unseen point and zone out. i have to concentrate harder than I do most other times in my life. Each step feels like a hike over an ever growing mountain. The middle of the rope is the toughest but if you keep your body balanced the rope mysteriously will not sway as you might think. I need to apply this concentration to other areas of my life. I always describe it to people that are watching me with "…just as you feel you are going to fall, you can hang at that balance point, and you will stay up despite everything you thought you knew about gravity." If you don't think you will fall, then you wont.

One drawback to this sport is the setup of the damn rope, it just doesn't go fast and it is slightly scary ratcheting something to 10,000 pounds of pressure and then having it slip in front of your face.

One of the Hardest Things I have Ever Done: Mulholland Challenge

The Mulholland Challenge has proven to be one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. It is a 108 mile cycling race through the Santa Monica mountains of Southern California involving 11,500 feet of climbing with grades often over 6% and reaching 18%. Also on this particular day, the weather peaked at 105 degrees to make things that much more exciting. Here is a great quote from the people that put on this masochistic event…

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Forced Cat Abortion is Not a Crime

I have this cat named Mussolini. This cat was birthed from a whore and apparently turned out to be a whore her self. I determined she was pregnant right around the time I noticed the giant nipples on the belly and the nest she had made deep in the innards of my California king bed. In human years, Mussolini was pregnant at the ripe old age of 12 or 13 by my calculations. An unwanted pregnancy to say the least. But what can you do? Well it turns out for an extra $15 dollars (biowaste), you can get a two-fer special to have your cat neutered and aborted at the same time. Thanks to the help of the Swedish roommate Johan, this procedure was performed on Mussolini.

Now the way i see it, I didn’t need to deal with kittens. They are a hassle and a mess and no one can deny that. So a forced cat abortion+neutering, although a new concept for me, seemed like a reasonable choice. It turns out that not everyone would agree with my sentiments.

Now lets introduce any girl that found out about this cat cleansing. Every girl considered this to be murder and were vehemently against cat abortions. I became less of a human for doing such a cruel act in their eyes.

So here is the new way to find out if a person is really for or against abortions. Adopt a cat and get it pregnant by letting it go outside, cat’s will travel for days to get nailed when the heat is on. You gotta have the cat for at least a year to make sure people have an emotional attachment to it. Then force an abortion and all of a sudden the truth comes out.

I mean, Bob Barker made a living advertising the annihilation of cats and dogs. If we spayed and neutered all of them, who’s having babies? Just the feral cats, propagating their inferior seed while the clean well bred cats are being stripped of their reproductive abilities? Coincidentally, I think, the movie Juno was in theaters at the same time which seemed only a little ironic.

Read the update here…

I Have Now Performed a Hit and Run

On the way to yoga this last Monday, I am riding the fixed gear down Orange Ave. This road is a long residential road that can be quite busy and there are many stop signs down it’s length. The best part of riding this fixed gear for me is to go faster than cars. To do this efficiently I end up running many stop signs which can get you in trouble with Johnny law but I have been lucky thus far.

As I approach a stop sign, I pass a line of stopped cars, none of which have their indicator on so I decide to fly on by. Well the car at the front starts to turn right and I had roughly half a second to realize I was going to hit this car as I was doing close to 35 km/h. Prior to this moment I had envisioned myself cushioning myself against the car and just turning with it to avoid any crashing but when it came time to actually enact this escape plan, it failed miserably. I hit the car hard above the front right tire and flew over the hood. Fortunately I didnt have my clip shoes on otherwise the bike would have flown with me. I layed in the middle of the road in front of the car with many other cars around and bright beams in my eyes. I propped myself up, smiled, and went to get my bike. The guy came out of the car asking if I was alright and saying something about me coming out of no where and I should be more careful. I looked at him and ignoring the pain in my knee and foot and his frustrating comments, smiled and shook his hand saying I was cool and I was sorry to get in the way. He wanted me to stay to inspect myself and bike but I knew I was in the wrong and I jumped on my bike with a crooked handlebar and ripped grips and bolted for the gym. Didnt get his number or name or anything. My first Hit and Run. Yoga soothed my nerves for the next hour…

Lesson learned? I have now flown over two hoods in my day and I stood right up each time so I think I am cool to hit cars from now on. With this being said, I resolve to still not put brakes on my bike and pedal faster and harder next time to avoid a crash.

So that’s what an MBA is…

I would date the feeling to about June of ’07. A feeling I always described to people as being antsy. To solve this I chose to take a GMAT prep course with my room mate Justin. Nine classes at three hours each requiring roughly 7-15 hours extra homework and study per week during that time with the intentions of taking the proper test several weeks after course end. Ahhh those college days with books and libraries and coffee’s and all that. Bang a 680 on the test and then wander off to Argentina, England and Paris for some self exploration and shinanigans.

I walked through a grad fair on the UCI campus during the waning days of senior year. I walked to a table that had Barcelona on the front of it and figured I had some leverage due to my recent travels through Europe. Thirty months later I decide that school was what I needed. Get to take advantage of one of the best cities in the world to grow as a multi-cultural human being. I could finally develop my spanish skills so I can say jokes in Spanish. Goto what turnsout to be one of the best international schools in the world and ranked very well according to supposedly legit sites. (Found that out after I made the decision for that school funny enough.)

My plan was to first make contact with the school. Through email I was able to get in touch with a very pleasant Dutch admissions associate who said he would be in San Francisco and could I meet him there. I think I bought the airplane ticket before I responded to him. So to make this meeting a formal interview, I had to submit my application.

The application took close to 16 hours I would say including “pondering time.” The trick to a good essay is one that can be read and leave a lasting impression on the readers mind. Stay on prompt but all the time dropping little knowledge bombs like your cycling habits or current work success or new internet idea. The questions they give you do not allow you to say enough, so you have to put a spin on the questions to get everything in that you want.

I flew to San Francisco for the interview. All I knew was I had a 1:30 appointment in this huge posh hotel in downtown. So I wandered the lobby just hoping I would see someone that looked Dutch. Fortunately I googled the man I was meeting and I had found a picture of him so I could spot him in the crowd and walked straight up to him, I thought a good first meeting. We talked for a roughly 70 minutes even though he said he had an hour which I was pleased with. I felt I had nailed the interview except for one question where he asked me what I knew about the school. Now, I had spent several hours the night before researching the school and how to interview and all that so I thought I came into this locked and loaded. But I stumbled. My volley was to ask a question back at him so he could inform me and I was happy to listen. It ended with smiles and laughter but I had furious thoughts in my head about why the school needed me to verify they were so good. Why was it not enough for me to simply just “want” to go? Oh well it was out of my hands… A heli-boarding trip to Canada cleared my self perceived frustrations with my interview performance and/or essay quality.

Since then I have been told that I am on the waiting list and can expect to hear from them in the middle of May. I didn’t even know there was a wait list option, I thought it was No or Yes only. So I did a lot of reading on google and decided that I had to be proactive during this wait list process otherwise fall into the pile of wait list names. First contact was an email I sent to them trying to involve the fact that their school was the one for me in an effort to try and cover up the bad interview question mentioned earlier. I also tried to make it very clear that I would jump at the opportunity to attend the school and should I be pulled from the wait list, it will be a guaranteed accept for them. The idea here being to step on those other applicants who have applied to many schools all at the same time and may have accepted at other schools that didn’t wait list them. Second has been to research the classes that I would like to start with and who i could contact to help me with that. Next is to prove to them that I am continuing to challenge myself in as many ways as possible from both a personal and professional point of view. That will be in another blog.

When you apply for business school the one thing you will get out of it regardless of the outcome is a life plan at least for the next five or more years. Currently I have applied to one school, and I plan on applying to one more which is due in 11 days. And I have already disregarded my own advice from earlier and haven’t given my referrals the paperwork yet. Note to self: Do that tomorrow. But I feel good because I know what I want to do with myself and worst case it doesn’t happen this year and I do it next year. Give me one more year to save money and develop a better application for the next year. Whats funny is that putting this off one more year still doesn’t get me close to this absurd average MBA age of 28 or more.

So How About Those Bikes in the Garage?

It has become very obvious to myself and all those around me that I have this infatuation for bicycles right now. I justify this lust with the osteonecrosis that I have in my hips which has rendered me a non-runner. Cycling has quite simply stopped me from going mad with frustration ever since I had to give up soccer and other running related activities. Fortunately for myself it is possible to stay fit with a degenerative bone disease.

I spent several months building a fixed gear. It began with a trip to San Fran where I spent the days walking the streets gazing at these fixed gear bikes. All the while I had Robert describing to me why the people that ride those things are horrible horrible people. His reasoning had something to do with the fact that he lived on the dubious part of town, and the bikes seemed to crest the hill from the fancy part of town. He never really could explain his hatred, I attributed it to his awkward body structure that probably disallows him from participating in bike riding.

From there I spent the days painting the beast and trying to figure out how to make a fixed gear work with a vertical dropout. Bike nerd talk, but basically the tire cannot go back and forth to adjust with the tension in the chain. Apparently rather dangerous to do. Now I can reach speeds of 60+ km/h and frequently have to take random turns since I cannot stop due there not being breaks.

I view the scenic mountains of southern California on this tank. 1996 Honda CR250 gets me through dangerous times at pismo and more. My ass is currently sore (in a non homo sexual way) from riding this thing so much recently. Everyone is worried that I ride this monstrosity to work everyday at speeds in excess of 160 km/h.

Anyone got a mountain bike frame that would be good for a single speed climbing bike?

The South American Dream

The urge began during a trip to Argentina to visit my co-bro Roberto. It took shape as I went through the admissions process for ESADE. And it blossomed with a photo gallery provided by Roberto. I want to immigrate to South America. This would happen after an affair with Europe for 20ish months of course.

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