A Peculiar guy named Geremy

CategoryDaily Life

Happy Peculiar Birthday Shades

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I once heard that silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone, so since 2010 I’ve made it my mission to loudly acknowledge those who wish me a Happy Birthday on August 3rd.

Facebook Greetings
Facebook Greetings

In 2010 I prepared handwritten “thank you’s,” uploaded each one to a Facebook album and tagged each respective person in their personal greeting message. In 2011 I personally acknowledged each person’s birthday greeting by thanking them on their Facebook wall. In 2012 I individually thanked each person via one of my Peculiar week episodes. Now, in 2013 I expect this 28th year of my life to surpass every previous year of my life, so I wanted to usher-in this year of my life by surpassing every prior birthday-thank-you effort with a special “thank you” gesture.

Peculiar Shades

This year, I ordered a collection of special two-tone Peculiar PPL shades in blue (my favorite color) and black/red (my favorite color scheme). Even though these shades are part of the Peculiar PPL product lineup, I wanted each person who said “Happy Birthday” to have one well in advance of its release to the general public. I also selected a special carrying pouch for each set of shades and included a thank you card and a matching Peculiar PPL wristband in each pouch.

Peculiar Shades

The difficult part was finding a way of delivering these fragile items to the 100+ people who I needed to thank. Since each set of shades needed a rigid structure to protect it while in transit, I ordered custom sized boxes to protect the shades without damaging them.

Peculiar Shades

Then after taking note of each person who delivered a birthday greeting via text, email, in-person, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I separated the list into two categories: hand delivery and ship via USPS. The task of collecting addresses to ship each item was quite time consuming and required me to use some strategic, unconventional means of gathering the data. For the people who I was completely unsure of their address, I sent them a message asking them for their information so that I can update my address book. Some people declined to provide the information, which is understandable for such a random request, but most sent it through without any questions.

Peculiar Shades

Then I spent every available moment from August 5th until August 21st printing labels, packaging the items, delivering them to the post office, then tracking each package to make sure that they were successfully delivered. I made sure not to publicly talk about this initiative so that each person receiving the shades would be surprised when it arrived in the mail. Now that 99% of the packages have been delivered (with 2 packages being delivered this week), I am happy to finally let the cat out of the bag!

Peculiar Shades

All-in-all, this entire effort cost in excess of $1,000 to execute, but it was worth every single penny! Here are some statistics for the people (like me) who have an appreciation for data:

  • Hand-Delivered Packages: 51
  • Shipped Packages: 70
  • Packages Shipped Internationally: 24
  • Furthest Package Destination: Warsaw, Poland

I know that it’s outside of the norm to give gifts to other people on your birthday, but that’s what makes me Peculiar and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Maybe next year I’ll figure out a way of mailing brand new cars to everyone!

Reason # 1955 why I’ll probably be an Apple Customer for Life

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It is no secret that I’m an Apple loyalist– in fact, I own the majority of current Apple products and i’ve used Apple as the inspiration for a shirt that I designed. My recent interaction with the Apple store presents a compelling reason for my attachment to the brand and it explains why I’ll likely be an Apple Customer for life.

As stated in a recent entry, my Macbook Pro died and Apple had to perform brain surgery on it. When I took delivery of my machine one week later, I realized a slightly annoying, unrelated issue with one of the built-in speakers. I returned to the genius bar for the second time and calmly explained the new issue to an employee who worked closely with the store manager. They both profusely apologized for the mishap and insisted that I choose any laptop case in stock as a token of their apology. I insisted that the free case was not necessary and I patiently sat at the table as they attempted to fix the damage to the computer.

Shortly after, the employee reappeared and explained that the computer would have to be sent out for repair, but since this was unacceptable by their standards, they insisted that they replace the computer with a brand new machine. I said “this computer is a year old, the warranty expires next week…are you sure?” He responded “yes…and we will upgrade you to the top-of-the-line Macbook Pro Retina model. Give me some time to transfer your existing data to the new machine and we’ll have you on your way!” I resisted the strong urge to jump over the counter and give this man a bear hug and instead I said, “this is unbelievable…thank you!”

Amazingly, this was the second time that this has happened to me and it solidifies my loyalty to a brand that ensures that the customer is always happy! More companies should be like Apple!

Spontaneous Diarrhea??

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Odd Side Effect

This is one of the medications that I’m taking and it has a possible side effect of “…[it] may cause diarrhea…Diarrhea may occur weeks to months after taking the drug.”

So they’re saying that sometime in the future I may spontaneously have bouts of diarrhea without warning??? How is this okay?!?! How do I prepare for this?? When do I stop preparing?

My Foot Fought with a Lawnmower and Lost

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On Saturday I took my trusty lawnmower out to cut the grass of my investment property and as I was finishing the job, it stubbornly refused to move forward. While I struggled to move the mower, my foot somehow slipped underneath it, which caused the mower blade and my right foot to engage in a painful, unpleasant rendezvous.

This would be a good time to say that this story is not for the faint of heart. If you get queasy at the thought of injuries, it would be best to leave this entry and read one of my other posts, like the 2012 in review post. For everyone else, we will now proceed to the rest of the story…

The lawnmower shredded the tip of my sneaker and everything inside of it—namely, my toes (link to disgusting photo of sneaker) and I was horrified at the result of the interaction. I quickly dragged the lawnmower inside and called my mom’s cell phone as I ran/limped to my car. My conversation with my mom was simple and straight to the point: “Hey ma, the lawnmower just cut off my toes and I’m going straight to the hospital. You can meet me there.” My mom, who was presumably quite scared at the information that I just shared, gave the phone to my dad. After I repeated the same phrase, he said, “we’ll be there soon, but you shouldn’t drive…call an ambulance!” I quickly estimated that an ambulance would take about 10 minutes to get to me and the hospital was about 10 minutes away, so I responded “my car is faster than the ambulance… I’m going to drive.”

Now, I’m pretty sure that Tesla didn’t intend for their voice control system to be used in such dire situations, but it was quite helpful when I said, “navigate to the nearest hospital” and directions immediately popped up on the screen. Twelve minutes later, I arrived at the hospital, ran through the emergency entrance (with extreme pain shooting down my foot), and approached the receptionist’s desk. I pointed to my badly frayed sneaker and exposed bones and said “I got into a really bad accident with a lawnmower and need medical attention as soon as possible, please.”

The lady behind the desk slowly said “ohhhkaaayyyyy, whaaaaat’sssss yoooourrrrr naaaaameeeeee?” I responded, “first name is Geremy… G as in green – E – R as in red – E – M as in Mary – Y.” She said “Ok, that’s J-H-R-A-L-I… last name?” I said “sorry, no, it’s Geremy with a G…G-E-R-E-M-Y.” She said “Ok, G-E-R-A-R-D… last name?” Usually, I wouldn’t mind this playful banter back and forth, but in this particular moment, I had a foot that I needed to save. My conversation with the secretary would’ve taken much longer if a nurse didn’t pass by the desk and say, “OH MY GOODNESSS, WE NEED TO FAST TRACK HIM NOW!!”

In the next 30 seconds, the nurse put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the emergency room with the speed of an F16 fighter jet. While we speedily traveled to through the ER, I explained the situation to her— “I was mowing my lawn and the lawnmower decided that it wanted to mow my foot instead.” She said, “please never mow your lawn again… I’ll pay for a landscaper for you!” Then she put me on a hospital bed, hooked me up to an IV and assembled the best medical crew that I’ve ever encountered in order to conduct the “SAVE GEREMY’S FOOT” mission.

The Operating Room

They contacted a podiatrist to come to the hospital while they simultaneously prepared the operating room, assembled a few nurses, and took X-rays of my feet. At the same time, my parents arrived at the hospital and saw my weird foot situation. I knew that it was really bad when my mom couldn’t stop staring at it and my dad couldn’t stare at it at all. While the staff made preparations to operate, I used the opportunity to shoot a barrage of questions at the doctor. My questions included, but were not limited to:

  • I’ve got a trip planned to California this week, can I still travel? (No)
  • Can you upgrade all of my toes to titanium toes? (No)
  • Is this the worst case that you’ve seen today? (Yes)
  • Are you upset that I’m bleeding all over your bed right now? (No)
  • Am I supposed to be screaming and crying right now? (Probably)
  • I’ve got to play the drums tomorrow.. do you think that you can patch me up in time to play it? (Are you serious?) Very serious. (No)

YES! This is the foot that you're looking for!

After the doctor answered about 50 of my rapid-fire questions, they wheeled me into the operating room and wrote “YES” on my foot to make sure that they operated on the right one. I mentioned, “I should probably use the bathroom before you start… I don’t want to urinate all over your table while I’m passed out.” They responded, “we’ll give you a bottle to use,” but before I could say “I’m not going to urinate in a bottle in front of 10 people,” I woke up in the recovery room and it was all done.

The next morning, the doctor said that although the injury was bad, I would’ve lost half of my foot if the blade impacted my foot 1 inch closer to the heel. In the end, they were able to save 4 of my toes and they had to severely shorten and modify one toe in order to avoid losing it altogether. With such a serious injury, I am quite thankful to God that I will still be able to walk after a few weeks of recovery and all I lost was my vacation, parts of my toes, and some blood.

Regardless of the condition of my toes, I will not let it ruin my stride. It’ll take more than two major foot injuries to slow down my progress. I’m motivated and I’m going places…even with my partially amputated toe! Through it all, I can sum up my experience with one word: Grateful. Grateful to be alive, grateful that it wasn’t much worse, and grateful that I’ve got a wonderful support system (including my brother, who texts me every few minutes to see what I need).

Need Anything??

The Breakup and The Upgrade

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When it came to haircuts, I was satisfied with my biweekly Saturday routine that I’ve faithfully adhered to since 2003. It was simple: drive for 33 minutes to the barbershop, wait a maximum of 10 minutes to get into the chair, get a haircut in 20 minutes, give a 50-70% tip*, and leave. But a few months ago, my [now ex] barber seemed to forget the routine that we’ve had for the last decade.

I drove for 33 minutes like I usually did and walked into the shop like I usually did, but this time I waited like I never did. After thirty minutes passed and I was still waiting, I thought that this might be a test of patience and I accepted the challenge! Then 90 minutes passed and I was still waiting in the same seat for my turn. Just as I decided to break my routine and return to the shop at a more convenient time, the barber told me, “don’t worry, you’re next!” Apparently I wasn’t next because two additional people got haircuts while I waited: a toddler who cried the entire time and a baldheaded man (true story…he had no hair at all, but yet he still got a “haircut”).

By now, it was two and a half hours after I’d arrived and my hair was approximately an inch and a half longer, due to all of the waiting. When I believed that I was the next person in the queue, a guy walked into the door and said “hey, can you give me cut really quickly” and he magically ended up in the chair next. That’s when I left and decided that it was time for a new barbershop.

While I walked to my car, I did a quick Yelp search for highly-rated barbershops within 15 minutes of my house and within 1 hour I’d identified a new shop, drove there, selected a new barber and finished my haircut. Not only is this barbershop much closer to my house, but the shop is nicer, the barber’s attention to detail is impeccable, my overall haircut cost is cheaper, and I’m significantly more satisfied with the outcome of my hair. It simply took one difficult experience to get me to realize that I’ve been settling for ordinary for 10 years when extraordinary was available to me in a much more convenient package!

Now I am happily acclimated to my new barbershop and I am grateful for the one difficult situation that pushed me out of my comfort zone and caused me to look for alternatives. If it had not been for the one aggravating experience, I would have never thought to seek improvements that were available to me the entire time!

*the amount of my tip was inversely proportionate to the amount of time I waited to get a haircut

Daily Highlights

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Happy 2013! I am one month into the year and everything has been going wonderfully! My outlook on my year has been great because I made the choice to place my focus on positive experiences that happen each day, rather than the negative ones that tend to have more of an impact. A new practice that I’ve adopted this year is to spend a few minutes each night reviewing each day. After reviewing the day, I place a note on my calendar containing all of the positive things that happened, which range from “got a free sandwich at Starbucks” to “placed an order for a new car.” This has been helpful because when I’m having difficult moments, I can flip through my calendar and and remind remind myself that every day of my year has been amazing and life is good!

Every day has at least one highlight and with the right perspective, anyone can identify it. This reminds me of a story about a cat and a dog that lived in the same house with very different outlooks on life

          Excerpts from the Dog’s Diary…

          8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
          9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
          9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
          10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
          12:00 PM – Lunch! My favorite thing!
          1:00 PM – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
          3:00 PM – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
          5:00 PM – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
          7:00 PM – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
          8:00 PM – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
          11:00 PM – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

          Excerpts from the Cat’s Diary…

          Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

          They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

          The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

          Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am. Ugh!

          There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage..

          Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow—but at the top of the stairs.

          I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

          The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now…

Thanks to my positive outlook (much like the dog’s), I’ve seen my attitude, outlook and demeanor change for the better, which has contributed to a better overall quality of life! I strongly encourage others to try the same practice and take note of the results!

2012 Year in Review

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As I prepare to move into 2013, I wanted to take a final look back on my personal highlights of 2012. I’ve edited these moments into one “Facebook Timeline” style video, which is viewable below.

The Tesla Model S Makes me SICK

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…literally!

Tesla Model S

Two months ago I was blessed with the opportunity to test drive a Tesla Model S—the world’s first mass-produced, fully electric supercar. Shortly after entering this phenomenal car and getting a brief walk through of the futuristic features, I put the vehicle in gear and silently drove onto the highway. Immediately, I had three stunning realizations: 1) This car is fast   2) This car is FAST 3) THIS CAR IS FAST!!

When I floored the accelerator, the car leaped from 0 to 60 miles an hour quicker than I could blink (under 3.9 seconds). Before I knew it, I was traveling at 80mph and the built-in speed limiter on the test drive vehicle ushered me to slow down. This was a euphoric experience so I repeatedly sped-up and slowed down until the 20 minute test drive was over.

Tesla Model S

My mind was blown and I’d fallen in love with a woman named “Tesla Model S”…who manifested herself in the form of a car…a beautiful car with thousands of lithium-ion batteries sitting between her wheels. But then the after-effects of the test drive started to rear its ugly head and this newfound Tesla enthusiast wound up in the doctor’s office.

Whenever I stood, the entire world spun and I could barely stay balanced, so an emergency trip to the doctor was necessary for me to make it through life. A few quick tests led my doctor to diagnose me with “Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo,” which happens when the crystals in your inner ear rapidly shift and breaks free into the inner ear. In other words, the rapid acceleration of the Tesla caused my ear crystals to send confusing messages about my body’s position to my brain. The doctor then instructed me to do “the Epley maneuver” until the dizziness went away.

Even though the Tesla Model S makes me sick, I’m willing to be dizzy every day of my life if it means that I can drive it everyday! So if you see me looking drunk coming out of a Tesla Model S, it’s not because of a flask filled with something strong…it’s because the car makes me SICK!

Geremy’s Peculiar Week on the Way

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Next Episode of Geremy's Peculiar Week

The next episode of “Geremy’s Peculiar Week” has been finished for about three weeks now, but it has not been released due to the fact that I am an obsessive perfectionist when I create things. As I was doing the final renders, I decided that I disliked all of the audio tracks that I selected for the video and I needed to re-edit the episode in its entirety. If my obsessiveness doesn’t create any more roadblocks, this episode should be released by the end of the week.

A couple of things that you will find in the next episode: zip lining, and birthday cake, and Disney World, and the Hudson River, and glass blowing, and A CAMEL. The video will be about 3 minutes long, will include some highlights from my month and was shot almost exclusively with my iPhone.

Now back to editing…

Geremy Jr, You’re Fired! Team of Assistants, You’re HIRED!

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In October of 2010, my life became a lot more productive when I hired a new personal assistant who handled all of the mundane, tedious tasks that I didn’t want to think about. He increasingly became a key part of my life since he allowed me to be productive while I attended to more important things. Unfortunately, after twenty months of working together, his effectiveness decreased and so did my tolerance for less-than-stellar results paired with slow turnaround times, so I gave him the proverbial “boot” and fired him.

Thirty minutes of life without a personal assistant passed and I couldn’t bear to expend any more brainpower on the dull administrative tasks that I’d delegated in the past, so I began a search for a replacement assistant. After one hour of copious research on a few replacements,I finally arrived at a wonderful new team of assistants who have been making my life much more productive and peachy than it ever was before.

During my first week as a customer with my new assistants, my tasks have included the following:

  • Find out the cost of the sewer taxes for my property and the details to submit payment
  • Research the cheapest, best quality helium tank online, purchase it, and have it shipped to my house
  • Find a few options for a transparent case for my new Macbook Pro w/ Retina Display
  • Schedule my next dentist appointment and place all relevant details on my calendar
  • Review and proofread an editorial that I will post online
  • Find the next Snarky Puppy concert near my house, place the details on my calendar and invite my cousin to the calendar entry
  • Find a place with great reviews that can produce 2″ x 2.5″ rubber stamps for me and let me know the cost
  • Call Mercedes Benz to find out the cost and part number for my driver’s door rear speaker grill
  • Purchase brake sensors for my Lexus LS460L that cost less than $130 each

Each task was completed within 30 minutes, with the majority of tasks being completed in 10 minutes or less. This was significantly better than my prior assistant who would sometimes take 3 to 4 days to get mentally prepared to think about thinking about starting each task.

One completed task that made me happier than our guinea pig eating a piece of watermelon was the last task on the list. I’d requested that Fancy Hands locate front and rear brake sensors for my car to get rid of the elusive “BRAKE PAD WEAR” message on the dashboard, which remained after I completed my brake job earlier this month. I requested that the dealership not replace the sensors after they informed me that these sensors cost $300 each to replace. When I did my own search, the cheapest price that I could find online was $200 for the set. My new team of assistants responded to my email within 20 minutes with three locations where I could purchase the sensors for between $110 and $130 for the pair. Then they took things a step further and called my local auto supply stores and located a place that sold the sensors for $11.99 each. ELEVEN NINETY-NINE in US currency! Then they took the liberty of reserving the part at the store for me to pick up the following day and then placed a reminder on my calendar for me to drive to the store and make the purchase. It took me 30 seconds to send the email and as a result, they saved me over $500!

There were numerous additional stellar experiences that I’ve had since signing up and I am happy that I took the plunge to get rid of “Geremy Jr” and start a new relationship with a team of assistants whose happiness is dependent on my productivity and satisfaction!

A Peculiar guy named Geremy