I left France because I needed a break from speaking French. Now I’m in England and I’m reviewing my way through the country, while speaking English!
I left France because I needed a break from speaking French. Now I’m in England and I’m reviewing my way through the country, while speaking English!
When my mom was young, she was attacked by a dog, which made her eternally scared of them. This was especially tough for my dad and I since we both liked dogs. But back in 2010 my mom decided to come to a compromise and allow us to get a pocket-sized “dog” that some might call a guinea pig.
The guinea pig’s name was Groffy and he was extremely well trained. He’d leave his cage, walk around the house and return to his cage when he wanted to eat or rest. After a year, Groffy unexpectedly passed away and everyone in the house was sad. That’s when Tommy entered our lives.
Tommy the guinea pig was intended to fill the void that Groffy left, but Tommy was completely different. He didn’t care about cool tricks, he never wanted to leave his cage, and he didn’t know how to use his house and he’d sleep on its roof. Tommy was basically the guinea pig version of me. He was the oddest animal that I’ve ever seen, but he was odd in a special way.
He’d also scare easily, so when I was stuck in bed from my foot accident, I used a robot camera to check on him, while hilariously freaking him out in the process.
Three years ago, I read an article that suggested that Tommy had all of the characteristics of a female guinea pig. Since I’m not too skilled at identifying the man part of a guinea pig, I assumed that the article was factual and I told the family that Tommy was actually a girl. That’s when Tommy became “Tommy the Female Guinea Pig.” Months later, I purchased a female friend for Tommy and he demonstrated his male characteristics by constantly trying to…um…make little Tommys with her. So she had to be given away because we lived in a nice Christian household.
Tommy eventually got a male friend, Sylvester, and their friendship quickly grew. They would wait for each other to eat, they’d sleep at the same time, and Sylvester would freak out when Tommy was missing from the cage. In April of this year, five years after we got him, Tommy started demonstrating signs of old age and decreased wellness. When I took him to the [super-duper expensive] vet, she prescribed medicines to try to cure his illnesses and prolong his life a little longer. When it became evident that Tommy would be going to guinea pig heaven, Sylvester refused to leave Tommy’s side and he spent most of the day staring at tommy and helping him maneuver with decreased vision.
Tommy eventually passed away at the ripe old age of 6 after living a wonderfully exciting life. Sylvester was somber for about a week and a half, but then I rubbed his belly and gave him a slice of watermelon and now it seems that he forgot that Tommy even existed. How rude…what kind of friend is he?!
This episode of Geremy’s Peculiar Snaps spans several months and feels almost as long as an episode of Family Matters!
In this episode, I traveled to Maine, California, and Chicago, I stumbled on an active shooter situation, and I asked about Gentlemen’s clubs.
Have you ever met someone who was passionate about fruit? So passionate that they treated each piece as if they’re a brain surgeon and successfully slicing fruit was a life or death situation?
During my trip to California last month, I witnessed three inspiring examples of extreme passion: 1) A Burger Joint, 2) A Doctor of Fruit Preparation, and 3) A Massive Museum.
When I landed in Los Angeles, the first and most crucial task was to go to In-N-Out burger and max-out on my daily allotted calories. In-N-Out is a fast food restaurant chain that specializes in a simple menu (burgers, fries, and drinks) prepared with great quality. The only problem that I’ve found is that they haven’t opened a restaurant on the East Coast (please fix this, In-N-Out). Not only is the price ridiculously low for the quality of meal received, but they know how to make an amazing burger, especially compared to the terrible excuses for burgers that I’ve become used to in New Jersey.
I went to In-N-Out nearly every day while in California and each time it was filled with people. Their burger tasted like they took a calf, raised it to be an upstanding citizen of the farm, then sent it to a good university so it can be filled with the hope of a bright future, then humanely killed it so it can be assembled into the finest burger for Geremy’s consumption. Not only was the food great, but every worker seemed like it was their life’s dream to grow up to be an In-N-Out burger technician. In-N-Out was amazing and I was inspired by their passion for burgers.
To balance-out the millions of calories eaten at In-N-Out, I found a stand to buy fruit. This was when I discovered Joe Mendez—a man who cut fruit as if he is an international champion at the game Fruit Ninja. Joe always had a long line at his fruit stand, but when it was finally my turn I realized what all the hype was about.
I was new to the fruit stand scene, so I ordered something simple: “Give me a medium sack of fruit.” I didn’t know if he heard me because he didn’t look at me at all. In fact, Joe never looked at anything besides his fruit ever. Even when he went to his van to get more fruit, he continued to stare at his fruit. This man loves fruits! Since I didn’t use the typical fruit-ordering vernacular, I stood out as a fruit stand newbie and he probably recognized this.
He heard my vague request and immediately went to town. He arranged a symphony of fruits for my “sack” and he sliced them with a level of care and determination that led me to believe that he was a surgeon in a past life. While he was assembling my fruit, he handed me a few slices of mango to eat while waiting. The amazing thing was that even when he handed me the mango, he never stopped chopping the other fruits with his two hands…I think he had a third arm that came out of his back and handed me the mangoes. I don’t know.
Before he handed me the bag, he squeezed 3 limes in the bag and poured some red dust on my fruit. I was almost outraged. I thought, “I didn’t ask for red dust and lime!!” Right as I was about to ask him to wash the fairy dust and sour juice from my fruits, he handed the bag to me and said, “Five dollars.” Five dollars for a sack of fruits?!?! This is the deal of the century! I gave him the money and walked back to the car, only slightly annoyed by the two unwanted additions to my otherwise perfect bag of fruits. As soon as I sat in the car, I tasted the first piece of fruit and OHMYGOODNESSITWASAMAZING!
The juxtaposition between the tart taste of the lime juice and red glitter powder with the sweet fruit made my tastebuds quiver with excitement. I don’t curse, but this bag of fruits made me want to use a few expletives. Joe was a wizard of his craft and he knew how to chop a glorious bag of fruits. For comparison, fruits from another stand were purchased and it couldn’t even come near the excellency of Joe’s fruit creations.
Since my stomach remained delighted by the food offerings in LA, I needed to go somewhere that my mind could be delighted as well. I visited the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa, which were both created by a ridiculously rich man named J. Paul Getty who worked in the oil industry but was passionate about art. He loved art so much that he would invite his friends over to see his art, but then his collection grew so large that he bought a separate estate just for it. That estate is the amazing Getty Villa, which can be visited for free…thanks Paul!
Eventually, the massive 64 acre didn’t have enough space for the collection, so a second 110 acre location was opened—complete with waterfalls and a monorail. This second location, the Getty Museum, was also free for the public to visit and is one of the best museums in the United States, if not the world. I visited these two sites and the passion shows in every corner of both estates…lots and lots of passion!
This was the second time that I visited the museum. The first visit can be seen in this video clip at the 4 minute 12 second mark.
When I thought back on these three places that inspired me, I realized a few common trends:
Passion Shows – When someone is really passionate about something, you can see it in their work.
Passion Energizes – When I visited all three places, the people working there were filled with energy. It was obvious that they loved with they did and they did what they loved.
Passion Attracts – There were no shortage of people at Joe’s stand, at In-N-Out or at the Getty Museum, even though I didn’t see a single advertisement anywhere for them. Customers and visitors were naturally drawn to these places because of passion and a job well done.
Consistency – Each place consistently delivered excellent results. This made me want to visit more and more.
Focus – They focused on what they did best: Fruit, Burgers, and Art. They didn’t try to be all things to all people.
Not motivated by money – These three experiences were the three most underpriced things that I encountered during my visit. The weren’t motivated by money, but by their passion.
The two biggest lessons that I learned were that I need to have an unwavering pursuit of my passions, and I need to book another trip to LA ASAP!!
Today marks exactly 5 years from the day that I launched Peculiar PPL. Happy Birthday, Peculiar PPL…you’re finally old enough to go to kindergarten!!
While the brand is called “Peculiar PPL,” the company is called “Peculiar Enterprises, LLC” because the overall mission was always bigger than just creating and selling great products. My vision is to equip and inspire Peculiar people–which are the people who have an unwavering drive to positively affect the world with their unique skills. When these people are empowered, they make a positive change in the world, which benefits everyone.
Here’s a deeper look at the Peculiar Enterprises Strategy as I envisioned it six years ago:
Phase 1: Create a clothing brand to better understand Peculiar people
Peculiar PPL doesn’t seek to be the biggest brand in the world, but I’d like it to be the most important brand in the world. Instead of trying to individually reach all 7+ billion people, I’d like to just appeal to the few million change agents out there. These are the people who move first and then the rest of the world follows. They’re leaders, pioneers, deviants, and independent thinkers. They’re the ones who can massively impact the world in a great way when they’re inspired, motivated, and given the tools and support that they need.
Selling products through Peculiar PPL is my way of reaching trailblazers and understanding their needs via the things that they purchase and their interaction with the brand. A key part of “phase 1” is providing the products that enhance a Peculiar person’s daily life. This is why I started with the # 1 thing that they use every single day of their lives: clothing.
Instead of trying to create the cheapest shirts, I focused on limited edition, high-quality shirts with inspiring messages on them, packaged in a very unique way…like meat at a supermarket. Then I moved onto other products that Peculiar PPL use frequently, like dress shirts, pens, notebooks, bottles, and cell phone cases. The focus of all of these products is to maximize quality, not minimize costs.
The brand is currently still in Phase 1 where I will continue to create more and more products that will appeal to Peculiar people, enhance their work and inspire them to do more great things. As I continue to learn about Peculiar people, we will eventually enter into Phase 2.
Phase 2: Use the learning from Phase 1 to expand Peculiar Enterprises into other areas
The expansion areas include (not in any particular order):
– Transportation: Air travel, Auto travel
– Food: Restaurants, Cafes, Packaged food products
– Business Management: Business consulting, Business finance management, Personal finance management
– Knowledge: Seminars, Lectures, Schools, Content creation
– Media: Book publishing, Music production, Video production
– Real Estate: Interior design, Home construction, Commercial construction
– New Ventures: Venture capital, Business incubator
– Other Services: Concierge, medical center, Car wash, Delivery service
I’ve got a very unique way of approaching each of these areas, and everything is in the service of Peculiar people. For instance, there will be a “Peculiar Air” private jet service for Peculiar people. Also, there will be buildings across the world where Peculiar people will go to do their work and be effective. Those buildings will include offices for people who are working on important projects or for people who are starting their new ventures, restaurants where they can get healthy food options, studios for people to create content, and libraries filled with resources to teach and inspire. Everything will be created with the unique needs of Peculiar people in mind, and will be unlike anything that exists today.
Phase 3: Help others create products and services to reach Peculiar people
Phases 1 and 2 are there to show that Peculiar people can make a massive impact in the world when they are appropriately served. Phase 3 will be to help large brands focus a percentage of their efforts on helping Peculiar people.
Imagine Apple creating a Certified Peculiar iPad, or Tesla releasing a Certified Peculiar Model III, or Google releasing a Certified Peculiar software suite. The intention of the third phase is to take everything that was learned in Phases 1 and 2 of the plan and sharing it with companies who want to meet the needs of the people who positively impact the world. If other companies don’t want to do this, then it’s fine…Peculiar Enterprises will do it ourselves.
So that’s a high-level view of the planned future of the company. It won’t be easy because it has never been successfully completed on a large scale, but my life’s mission is to add value to those who multiply value to others, and those people are Peculiar people.
To celebrate the 5 years of Peculiar PPL (and to reward those who have read this far into this post), I’m announcing two things today:
1) A $5 credit on PeculiarPPL.com, with free shipping.
Every customer can get $5 off each purchase with free shipping on PeculiarPPL.com for the next 5 days (through March 24th) by using the code 5ive. You can use the credit to buy something for $5, or you can buy the t-shirt or bottle that you’ve always wanted. Either way, each person can use the coupon once, so have fun with it and tell all of your friends…you can even buy something and ship it directly to them and seem like the best, most thoughtful friend ever!
2) Launch of the Peculiar PPL Ambassador program
The ambassador program was created to get feedback on future products and to reward those who spread the word about the brand. You can visit TeamPeculiar.com to read all about the program and apply.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the brand along the way! It has been an exciting five years and I’m looking forward to an exciting, Peculiar future. If you want to stay tuned-in to the developments, Like us on Facebook, Add us on Instagram, and Follow us on Twitter!
It was early February when my cousin and I ventured out to Nassau, Bahamas in an attempt to explore more of the world. Our most notable experiences fell into three categories:
After arriving to the estate, our check-in procedures included allowing each dog to sniff our butts for approximately 30 seconds so they can verify that we aren’t bad guys. We passed. After that moment, the dogs stalked us until we pet them. After repeating the process time after time, we memorized the drill—leave the house, pet the dogs, get in the car, drive away.
On the third day, I went to read by the pool when all of the dogs gathered around. I pet two of the dogs and then I returned to reading. Thats when I noticed that each dog was viciously gnawing at their skin.
They had fleas. Probably ticks and other Bahamian parasites also.
I ran inside and washed my hands 5 times, then I took a shower, then I considered soaking myself in bleach. The selfish dogs betrayed our trust!
Nassau had many great options for quality food. Not only were the foods tasty, but every restaurant provided pepper sauce so spicy that it felt like molten lava charring your esophagus. I enjoy the feeling of charred esophagus in the morning.
3. Jet Skis in the open seas
The Bahamas Islands are known for their great beaches and clear water, so we seized the opportunity to see more of the sea by renting jet skis, or as I like to call them: boatercycles.
The last time I rode a boatercycle, I was 17 years old and I almost got devoured by a shark when my boatercycle flipped over. This time, I had one goal: Don’t get eaten by a shark.
Initially, I was the slow-grandpa-driver of the boatercycling world. I rode slowly because I didn’t want to catapult myself into the shark-infested (in my mind) waters. Then after a few moments, I got the hang of things and started to ride like a normal human. Then I decided that I’ll ride as fast as I can.
As soon as I accelerated to the maximum speed, we got the signal that our time was up and had to return to shore. This was probably God’s way of protecting me from a high speed incident that ends with me getting eaten by a random shark.
Note: I’m currently alive, for anyone who is wondering if a shark ate me.
Nassau was very nice and I’m looking forward to future trips to the other Bahamas islands, like the adorable pig island. With all of my recent travels, I can finally agree with the saying, “an investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” These unique experiences expand my mind, give me new ideas, and teach me valuable lessons…like learning to avoid flea infested canines.