A Peculiar guy named Geremy

Latest Posts

I Think I Rented a Stolen Car…

I

I just returned from a four day adventure in Los Angeles with my compadre Jordan and it started in the most riveting (bad) way.  

I travel a lot, so I’ve got the logistics planning down to a tee:  1) Book the flight using a deal from Secret Flying or Google Flights, 2) Reserve a place to stay from AirBnb or Trip Advisor, and 3) Book a rental car from CarRentalSavers or Costco Travel.  This model has worked perfectly for the hundreds of times that I’ve traveled, but this time I wanted to have a more riveting (good) experience, so I took a different route with the rental car.

I heard about a car rental service called Turo, which was described as “the AirBnb for cars.” I gave it a try because the traditional car rental companies at LAX airport charged upwards of $350 for an Isetta-sized car.  I browsed the listings on Turo and saw a beautiful Infiniti Q60 for just $30 a day, so I decided to go for it.  I should have known that I was in for a riveting (bad) experience when the vehicle’s owner didn’t have a chin in his profile photo.

The flight to LA went swimmingly, except for the part when the pilot wanted to create a more riveting (bad) experience, so he SLAMMED the jet onto the tarmac upon landing, but that okay.  The Uber ride to the car lot also went perfectly because the Uber driver didn’t try to sell us his mixtape or try to convert us to Scientology.  But then when we went to the pick up the car from the lot where it was held, the attendant seemed to be very confused about the car’s existence. 

I told the attendant that I was there for the white Infiniti Q60 and he said “what Q60?”  I showed him the confirmation screen, gave him the confirmation number and I even showed him the picture of the chin-less car owner.  He said “hmmm…. let me look around.”  This is when things got riveting (bad).  

Attendant: “We don’t have that car.”
Me: “Where’d it go?”  
Attendant: “I don’t know.  I’ve never seen it.”  

I immediately called the chin-less man and said “where can I find the Infiniti Q60 that I rented?”
Chin-less: “Someone stole my password?”  
Me: “I don’t know… where is the car?”  
Chin-less: “My password.”
Me: “Password to what?”  
Chin-less: “Let me speak to the Turo boy.”  

I assumed that he was talking about the parking lot attendant, so I handed my phone over and they spoke for about 3 minutes. Then the “turo boy” hung up and told me “someone stole his password.”  
Me: “What does his password have to do with the car?”  
Turo Boy: “I don’t know. Stolen?”
What does that even mean?!?!
 
Me: “Where’s the car?”
Turo Boy: “I don’t know, but [the chin-less man] said that he will find another car and bring it to you at 1:30.”  

No way…I don’t want him to find me another stolen car… I want him to find this car….and his chin.

Instead of causing a riveting (bad) situation for everyone around me, I gently took an Uber to the Budget Car Rental counter and gently rented a compact car for more than twice the price of the stolen car.  When we walked to the parking lot, we found a gentle, bright red VW Beetle with a smile on its little face, eager to join us on our journey.  To make this riveting (bad) situation better, I noticed that this little gentle Beetle had “Turbo” written on the back.  A gentle car with the punch of a turbo!!!  It reminded me of myself in 7th grade when I was known as the quiet kid but still “accidentally” punched Sharif in the mouth when he threw me on the ground and hurt my back.

I was annoyed at this riveting (bad) situation, but then we went to In-N-Out and had a riveting (good) burger that immediately dissolved any ounce of upsettedness in my body. That’s when I was able to put things into perspective and realize that God was probably saving me from another disastrous situation with the car since my last run-in with a white Infiniti Q60 ended with me abandoning the car.

I really enjoyed turbo-ing around the town with the Beetle, and I especially liked the fact that I didn’t have to worry about driving around a stolen Infiniti from a shady, chin-less man who can’t keep track of his passwords.

Note: The profile photo that the man used was a photoshopped photo of himself and he doesn’t actually lack a chin. However, I don’t know how I looked at his profile photo and thought “YES! That’s the trustworthy chin-less face that I’d like to rent a car from!”

Diet to the Extreme

D

When I was a teenager, I ate everything and didn’t gain a pound. When I was in my 20’s, I ate everything and gained a few pounds, but then I would play for 15 minutes all of the added weight would magically disappear.

But when I turned 30, I’d eat a slice of lettuce with a drop of French dressing and as soon as it made contact with my tastebuds, I would immediately gain 45 lbs. Even if I worked out every single day for the rest of the month, I’d lose two of the 45 pounds and then the remaining weight would stay with me forever in the weirdest places, like my elbows.  Turning 30 was a trap!  Don’t turn 30…skip it.

A few weeks ago, my sister suggested that we diet for a month and I agreed because I’m a supportive brother and I want her to share with me if she ever won the Mega Millions jackpot. So 14 days ago we started a strict eating plan based on the keto diet.  With the diet, you’re instructed to limit your carbs and calories so your body can destroy your fat like how Godzilla destroyed that train that one time.

I thought that I’d be so weak that I wouldn’t have energy to blink, but I was surprised when the opposite happened.  I find myself feeling full all day with 1/4 of the food that I usually eat and the best part is that a few wonderful people have volunteered to help me prepare meals.  One of those wonderful people is my mom who has apparently become an expert at making delicious keto meals.

During the last batch of meal prep, my mom created the meals (pictured above) which consist of cauliflower rice, salmon with peppers, spinach, zucchini, curry chicken, broccoli, curry shrimp, and mushrooms.  Do you remember the first time you played in snow?  Or do you remember receiving your first tax return check?  Her meals taste like that…like happiness!

A few months ago, my dad did the same diet and he lost so much weight that people thought that he was my older, more stately brother, but despite its results I remained a skeptic. Now that I’m 14 days into the process, I can’t believe that I didn’t try it earlier.  I’ve committed to remaining on the diet for another 10 days and then I’m going to spend a week binge-eating like a king. I am going to fly across the country to get the best cheeseburger and then I’m going to eat it and regret nothing. If I happen to gain 100 lbs from binge eating during that week, it’s fine because my friend Keto’s has my back!

If you want to track my eating adventures in 14 days, follow me on Instagram and watch my stories.  They’ll consist of lots and lots and lots [and lots] of food. 

I can’t Believe Judy’s Gone!

I

In 1969, I was negative sixteen years old and Eddy Howell released a hit song that began with the lyrics, “when you told me she was going, I couldn’t believe she was the one!  But I listened without knowing!  Oh yes, she’s already gone.  I can’t believe Judy’s Gone!”  Little did Eddy know, those lyrics would later reflect what happened to Big Booty/Bluety Judy, my [former] electric car known for her curves.

Judy and I started our car/human relationship when I picked her up a year ago on March 24th and I made sure to treat her like the special gal that she was. I got her new 22” AG Luxury Wheels so she can look pretty as she drove down the street, I tinted her windows so she could have some privacy, and I had new aluminum sport pedals installed so she would feel comfortable, but what did she do in return???  She failed me!  Time after time during our brief 10 month relationship, Judith showed me that she wasn’t in this for the long-haul and she continued to punish me.

Here’s the list of issues that I faced within the first two months of owning her: Doors wouldn’t close, displays froze, wouldn’t charge, rattle noises, broken camera, messed-up tires, broken air conditioner, loose body panels, rear windows and lights wouldn’t work, loud clunking noises when I raced people accelerated hard, and sometimes the motor would let out a high pitched noise that sounded like Mariah Carey when she sang “Emotions,” two minutes and forty six seconds into the song.  

I’ve owned Teslas since 2013 and had enough experience with their vehicles to know that this wasn’t typical.  This was an isolated case of Judith trying to repay my good deeds with not-so-good issues. She was playing with my emotions!  I give to charity!  I pay my taxes on time!  I floss regularly…not only before a dentist appointment! I didn’t deserve this!!  

Tesla repeatedly tried to fix the issues but could not come up with permanent fixes.  This left me with a problematic Judith who reminded me of one of those kids that you see on the show “Scared Straight” who came from a good family but made some bad decisions.  I couldn’t find an inmate named “Carlos the Killa” to scream into Judith’s grill to scare her into working right, so I had to take the next best option— I filed a case to have her classified as a lemon.  After a few weeks of negotiating, Tesla and I settled the case where Tesla gave me a full refund for the vehicle, and I had to return the car to them within three weeks.  

Now, Judy’s gone and I’m waiting to decide what my next car purchase will be.  I loved my Model S, but am not in love with the updated design.  I loved the Model X more than any car that I’ve ever owned, but I wouldn’t want to encounter the same issues again.  I want a 2009 Mercedes SL63, but a two seater convertible isn’t a great idea for me right now. So now we wait…

During the ten months of ownership, Judith was fun and I kinda miss her in the same way that you kinda miss your crazy ex who made your life a nightmare when you were together so you had to file a restraining order on them.

I miss you, Judith.  Come back.  Never mind.  Don’t.  You’re crazy.  Crazy in an exciting, “I hope you don’t kill me” kinda way. 

My Tesla Model X Named Judith

M

In March 2016 I found out that Tesla came out with their Model X car and my local showroom had one. I saw it and liked it, but left it alone because it wasn’t the right time for me.

Twenty months later, I had a few minutes to spare before my appointment at the Apple store, so I stopped into the Tesla store with hopes of quickly test driving a Model X. Instead of quickly driving the car, they said “do you want to take the Model X for a few days?” I thought that the employee was joking, so I stared at him for a few moments. He stared back. He was serious. So I was serious. “Sure!!” And just like that, I found myself driving around in a super-bright red Tesla Model X.

I couldn’t get the car out of my mind, so when my sister asked me for my Christmas list the following week, it had one item on it: The Tesla Model X. Did I expect her to buy me a car? Not really, but you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take. I didn’t get the car for Christmas, but I kept hope alive!

Then in February I made the bold claim that I was going to get a Tesla Model X by the end of the year. At that moment, I had no idea how I would get it, but I knew that it costs nothing to dream and everything not to. Then one day I found myself in a snow storm where my car was stuck on the highway. The thought crossed my mind that “if I had a Model X, I could probably drive through all of this snow with no problem.” Somehow it made sense in my mind to take out my laptop, tether to my phone’s internet connection, go on the Tesla website, and reserve a Model X online while stuck on the highway in the snow. I didn’t have all of the details figured out, but I didn’t want to get trapped in “analysis paralysis” and cause overthinking to make me miss a potential blessing.

A few weeks later, my Model X was delivered, I named her Judith and I immediately planned a makeover for her. Now it has been five months of owning Judy and I’m still in disbelief that everything came together this quickly and smoothly. From dreaming about a car in January to owning my favorite car in my favorite color with my favorite wheels in August, I’m amazed and elated.

Welcome to the family, Judith!!

Here is a video of each of the moments described above:

The Five Dollar Challenge

T

Can you turn $5 into $100 in two weeks?? Well, I know some people who can, and they’re my kids! Well, not kids that I own, but kids that I teach.

At the beginning of the Summer most teenagers look for a job, but I wanted my kiddies to think like business-owners instead of employees. So, I created a challenge where they had to start and grow a business in two weeks. In order to keep things fair, I had a few rules:

  1. I will provide the initial $5 investment to start. No outside angel investors, seed capital, piggy-bank cash or any other kind of money is allowed.
  2. Everything must be legal and ethical. Don’t get locked up trying to start a small-scale drug cartel or gambling ring.
  3. Do not spend any of the money on yourself. The initial $5 is an investment, not a gift, so don’t spend it on a Wendy’s 4-for-4.
  4. Every penny spent or earned must be accounted for on an accounting spreadsheet.

So the challenge was simple: Use $5 to start and grow a business within two weeks. The business owner that earns the most profit gets to keep all of their money, as well as half of everyone else’s money. Also, if anyone chooses to continue their business after the challenge is over, I agreed to be the first investor to add additional capital in the business.

Participation was optional, but four people stepped up to the challenge. I’ve never done this challenge before, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured that the big winner would earn $40 at the most.

Two weeks later, the four new business owners presented their results:

Business # 1: Personal Assistant and Home Cleaning Service
In this business, she helped others do tasks that they didn’t want to do on their own. From cleaning pet cages, to painting toenails, she did it all and she did a stellar job. She cleaned houses, helped family members, and was eager to be of assistance for two weeks. Her prices were “pay me what you feel it was worth” and she chose not to spend any money at all to make sure that she earned a profit from day 1. Total profit $94.

Business # 2: Car Wash
This person used the $5 to buy car wash supplies from Dollar Tree. Then she recruited some of her friends, borrowed a hose and went door to door within her housing development to ask her neighbors if they would like a car wash. She washed 9 cars in one day and also received money from tips. No wages were paid to the friends, which probably creates a labor law issue, but I’ll leave it up to them to sort out. Total profit: $56.90.

Business # 3: Hydration
At first, he sold snacks around the neighborhood, but sales weren’t going as quickly as he wanted, so he switched his strategy. He bought a case of 40 bottles of water at Costco for $2.50, refrigerated the bottles, and went to the basketball court every day to sell the bottles for 50 cents each. Total profit: $21

Business # 4: Graphic Design
He started a graphic design business where he created digital art for people online. This included creating logos, photoshopping graphics and creating vector graphics. He got a customer who agreed to pay upwards of $100, but the money didn’t come through on time and he was left with the $5 that he started with. Total profit: $5…kinda

The winner was business # 1 who went home with a total prize of $135.45. But the strangest part of the entire thing was that no one cared about the money at all. The winner didn’t care about how much money she earned and no one else seemed to mind that they didn’t earn any money. They enjoyed the experience and were so proud of what they created in two weeks that the money wasn’t important.

I am very proud of each of them! Within a matter of days, they came up with a business idea, a marketing strategy, and they ran the bookkeeping and operations of a company that they created themselves. They were very driven and they didn’t try to sabotage each other. At first, some of them were discouraged since the sales weren’t coming as quickly as expected, but in the end, they all made something amazing that they could be proud of.

So let that be a lesson to parents— if your kid ever says that they want a summer job, just hand them $5 and tell them, “you have two weeks…start something!!” If they don’t come back with at least $50, feel free to lock the refrigerator and charge them rent until they start bringing home the bacon. That’s free parenting advice from Geremy.

Weird Beard

W

Remember my beard experiment? Well, it’s over now…

I thought that I would be very uncomfortable with facial hair, but I didn’t mind it at all. My level of comfort remained the same throughout the entire experiment and the goal of removing myself from my comfort zone never happened.

Here are some photos of me during different stages of my beard…
This was about seven days into the experiment with just a slight five o’clock shadow

A few days later, that shadow grew into this and I felt like I looked 10 years older.

Then this happened and I was debating on whether I wanted to keep it at this length, or go full Rick Ross/ Rick Rubin.

At this point, my facial hair was growing so quickly that it required regular maintenance and pruning. I used beard pomade, beard oil, trimmers, combs and other beard-scaping tools. All of this was consuming too much of my life, so I ended the experiment and went clean shaven again.

So now I’m back to no facial hair. When I learn how to have facial hair with minimal grooming, the beard might make a reappearance, but for now it’s gone. Too much maintenance required!

And that’s the story of my weird beard.

A Peculiar guy named Geremy