The Daring Deer

Don't Stand There, Deer!

Dear Deer,

I came home last week and saw you standing in my front lawn as if you were a member of my family. I especially took offense when I flashed my headlights at you to make you go away and you defiantly stood there, challenging me to a stand-off. You might recall that after our 30 second standoff, I opened my car door and you sprinted away in fear.

Yup— I showed you who’s the boss!

You fearful deer. Please tell your peers to steer clear of my air, otherwise prepare for a scare!

Love, Your Friend,

A Peculiar Update!

Since the launch of the website on March 19th, I’ve been fervently working to build the best possible clothing brand. I did not have any prior experience with building an e-commerce site or a clothing company, so I had to do a tremendous amount of research to bring myself up-to-speed! This meant that I’ve had long days and short nights, but when I reflect on the progress that has been achieved, it’s all worth it!

Here is a sampling the milestones accomplished thus far:

  • Tested and finalized our unique t-shirt packaging
  • Designed individual t-shirt hangtags
  • Tested the quality and resilience of different t-shirts and made a final product selection
  • Registered the company with the Federal Trade Commission
  • Finalized the pipeline of product designs for the next three months
  • Registered a company mailing address for shipping/receiving of goods
  • Selected a high-quality screen printing shop and submitted the first t-shirt order
  • Started social networking initiatives on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr (updates coming soon)
  • Ordered custom wristbands to be included with every t-shirt order
  • Exceeded pre-order estimates with no formal marketing initiative

In building this brand, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t sacrifice quality in the interest of boosting profits, so when there’s a question of quality vs cost, quality always wins. For instance, the final t-shirt I selected was the most expensive option out of the 20 types considered because it was significantly better than the competition. In addition, I didn’t limit the number of colors in the design in an attempt to reduce screen printing costs. This meant that the profit margin was reduced, but I care more about building a high-quality brand rather than settling for average or “good enough”.

As of today, I am very happy with the result of the first month of Peculiar PPL. I will be shipping the shirts beginning next week and I’ve got many new ideas that I can’t wait to implement. The blog, Twitter and Facebook will be updated soon with ongoing status updates of new developments. In the meantime, feel free to buy a shirt and be Peculiar!

Dana the Trainer

My Wii Fit kept making fun of me by saying things like, “Geremy, it’s been ONE HUNDRED and EIGHTY days since we’ve last seen you!” “Geremy, if you were three inches shorter, you’d be perfectly round!” “Geremy, you have the body of a 147 year old!” Listen Wii Fit, I don’t tolerate insults, especially ones from a small, white plastic board! As a result, I headed the gym and got a membership so I could silence the comments from my judgmental Wii Fit game.

As part of my gym membership, I was entitled to one complimentary personal training session and fitness analysis. I assumed that this session would consist of a buff dude named “Sid” with gelled hair, shaved legs and a barb wire tattoo telling me how his perfectly sculpted muscles can grow at the sound of his voice, but I still had my assistant schedule a session so I could get my money’s worth. After he scheduled the session, my assistant informed me that I’d be meeting with Dana at 6am on Tuesday morning.

Meeting w/ the Personal Trainer

Dana?!? I get a female personal trainer?? This is great!

When Tuesday came, I dragged myself out of bed at the ungodly time of 5:32am and I rolled myself over to the gym. The only thing that fueled me to go to this session at 6:32am was the fact that a lovely lady named Dana would be consulting me on personal fitness for thirty minutes. I walked up to the spot where I was supposed to meet her, but I didn’t find any lady who looked like a Dana standing around. Eventually I asked one of the muscular men behind the counter, “excuse me, where can I find Dana the personal trainer?” He replied, “hi, I’m Dana, your personal trainer!”

You’re not a woman! I’ve just been bamboozled!

Immediately I lost all interest in hearing about my tired, out-of-shape body, but I stayed because I was too sleepy to drive home. MaleDana and I sat and had a preliminary discussion about what I was hoping to achieve by going to the gym, to which I responded, “I want my muscles to have muscles and I need my body fat to be at 0.1% by next month!” Unlike the Wii Fit game, he didn’t point and laugh–he just progressed with the fitness test. Maybe MaleDana wasn’t so bad after all.

Then I had to participate in a battery of tests as if I were a lab rat testing out a pre-clinical formula of a new drug. He hooked me up to multiple machines and I felt like I was the Six Million Dollar Man. When it came time to get my fitness report, MaleDana processed my test results and generated a report that said that I’m average in terms of fitness, strength and air flow. However, according to the computer, my flexibility is below average because I refused to fully bend over and touch my toes in MaleDana’s face to prove how flexible I am. If that’s the basis of measuring my flexibility, then I’m happy with the “inflexible” grade on my fitness report card.

Overall, the session was very enlightening and I left with valuable information that will help me to become a large, fit muscle mass within the next 10 months. Most importantly, I learned that not all Dana’s are created equal— some are male, some are female and some are massive, behemoth personal trainers with arms the size of the Tropic of Capricorn.

The Long “Adventure” to Baltimore

On March 25th I contacted my friend and asked about her plans for the weekend. When she told me that she was free, I suggested that we go for a walk on Saturday morning…a walk to New York City. She said, “what?!? WALK to New York??” I nonchalantly replied, “sure! We’ll leave tomorrow at 7:11am. Dress warm!”

I knew that she didn’t believe me because: 1) It was about 38 degrees outside, and 2) I am notorious for avoiding long walks. Within minutes of her agreeing to the hangout I hatched a plan that was supposed to throw her for a tremendous curveball. I planned to take a bus from New York to Baltimore, MD and use a ZipCar to explore the city for a few hours before returning home.

The Bus Trip to Baltimore

When Saturday came, she had no idea what we were doing or where we were going, but yet she blindly followed me without asking aquestions. Luckily I’m not a kidnapper because if I was, this would’ve been my easiest kidnapping ever! We left New Jersey at 7:11am, took a NJ Transit bus to New York City and then took a BoltBus to Baltimore. Two hours into the bus ride, I asked, “do you want to know where we’re going?” She replied, “nope, I trust you!” My inner mischievous child was just dying to test the extent of this trust, so I did.

When we got to Baltimore, I decided to make us walk for two miles instead of taking public transportation. To make things worse, I took the weirdest, shadiest streets to see if she asked any questions. 12:36pm – Still no questions, even though we were in the middle of nowhere!

The Mini Cooper Rental Car

Hangin w/ Mr. Cooper

We finally arrived at the ZipCar pickup location, but instead of telling her that I reserved it for the day, I sprinted to the car, opened the door like a car thief and yelled, “LET’S TAKE THIS CAR!!” She stared at me with a surprised expression as I started the engine and started to drive way. I asked, “are you coming with me??” Then she reluctantly entered the car. 1:02pm – Still no questions, even though it appeared that I just stole a car.

Baltimore Inner Harbor

World is ending!

The Amazing Waterfront Properties in Baltimore

Eventually I revealed to her that the car was a rental, which calmed her nerves a bit. Then we grabbed food and explored the city for a few hours. When the time came to catch our returning bus, we returned the ZipCar to its parking space and searched for a local bus to take us to the BoltBus. Unfortunately my lack of patience caused me to make us board the incorrect local bus, which took us through the roughest parts of Baltimore. To make the situation worse, the passenger next to me stared at the side of my head with a look of hate in his eyes for about five nonstop minutes. When he finally took his attention off my head, he began to psychotically whisper sweet nothings into the ear of the lady seated in front of us. The more that she tried to move away from him was the louder that he spoke. Eventually he was yelling nasty nothings at her and I knew that I needed to get away from him before he started to psychotically whisper at me.

We returned to the BoltBus in the nick of time and finally returned to New York for the last leg of the journey back home. Just when I thought that we were home free, we missed the last express bus to NJ. The only remaining alternative for the night was to wait 1.5 hours for the last slow local bus, which traveled at walking speeds to take us home via the longest possible route.

The day concluded at 1am with me being utterly tired from our little escapade. When I asked my friend why she wasn’t nervous throughout the trip, she said that she knew that I planned everything and wouldn’t let allow anything bad to happen. Little did she know, we almost got attacked by a drunk pervert on a bus, almost got stranded in Maryland and almost spent the night in a New York City bus station. We’ll just keep those parts of “the adventure” a secret…at least, until she reads this journal entry.