Dating 101: Top 10 (#2)

July 27, 2014 at 11:43 PM

There comes a time in a person’s life when things like fancy cars, luxurious clothing, and other ostentatious items become unable to fill certain voids.  Humans are creatures that crave companionship as they are social animals by nature.  With that said, there’s some people who go on a single date, assume a date = relationship, and then may end up marrying someone that has a horrible personality and appearance to match.  To avoid such things, here’s a list of 10 things to look for when choosing a man/woman as a partner.  They’re not in a particular order, and will be released whenever possible.

TOP 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR: #2:  COMMON INTERESTS

I like fast cars, top-shelf spirits, literature on personal-development, Japanese and German culture, and martial arts of all kinds.  I don’t want to date someone who has all the aforementioned interests, but I’d never date someone who shares not a single one of these passions either.

I’ve seen success stories with relationships on both sides of this coin, such as couples that were complete opposites whose nightly routine is a heated debate followed by passionate make-up sex and couples that came together because they enjoyed every activity and passion imaginable together from the calm to the crazy. 

However, in the case of the couple that were opposites in opinion to everything imaginable, they had one thing in common which was their feeling of love for each other and their sharing of one possible interest no matter how small.  One opposing couple stayed together because they had a particular fetish no one else enjoyed; another couple had a common rule of always eating dinner together no matter what happens in their lives.  Everyone has something that they share with their significant other, hence why their ‘better half’ is always affectionately called a SIGNIFICANT other.

If your reason for dating someone you dislike or have no interests with is because that person knows a dirty secret you don’t want others to know of or that they’re simply beautiful, then chances are the relationship won’t last unless one person sacrifices everything for the other.  At that point the relationship is no longer a relationship of any sort other than master and slave.

Always try to have that one thing that both of you can agree upon and enjoy in any situation.  Having an ‘escape’ or ‘safe haven’ for only yourself during a fight is nice, but having something both of you can do together that you both enjoy will help enhance the relationship even in the most trying of times.

Dating 101: Top 10 (#3)

July 27, 2014 at 10:37 PM

There comes a time in a person’s life when things like fancy cars, luxurious clothing, and other ostentatious items become unable to fill certain voids.  Humans are creatures that crave companionship as they are social animals by nature.  With that said, there’s some people who go on a single date, assume a date = relationship, and then may end up marrying someone that has a horrible personality and appearance to match.  To avoid such things, here’s a list of 10 things to look for when choosing a man/woman as a partner.  They’re not in a particular order, and will be released whenever possible.

TOP 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR: #3: SENSIBILITY ABOUT MONEY

Obviously on the first few dates, you will be more likely to talk about sexual shortcomings or bad manners than you would about someone’s personal finances.  Nevertheless, you wouldn’t want to date someone who is only looking for a ‘wealthy benefactor’ or someone to pass their debt onto, would you?  Another type of person of concern would be an individual who definitely has one or more legitimate jobs but still spends more than they earn.  These types of people will pay off one credit card with another, borrow from friends and family regularly, and try to talk up their game using material items.  There are also people who are pure-bred con artists, thieves, and government aide cheats.  How do you siphon the good from the bad?  Here’s a few of the many strategies possible just to give you an idea:

#1:  Expensive car, expensive dinner, cheap personality.

If the person you’re dating has ‘wine tastes and a beer budget’, it’ll be very easy to tell based on their regular manners and actions.  Since I used ‘car’ and ‘dinner’ in the title, let’s just address things about these two: 
For the car, do they have trouble with adjusting mirrors or finding controls on the buttons?  If the vehicle doesn’t have a ‘new car smell’ by actually BEING a new car or having a dealership plate and stickers if they say they bought it used, then chances are they paid anywhere from $100~$2000 for a daily rental.  Places like Hertz have various vehicle grades from the usual BMW and Benz to the illustrious Porsche or Ferrari.  Do they park on the street when there’s a private well-lit lot or valet available?  It’s one thing to save money or protect your vehicle by parking a car yourself in proper parking lots, but if your date parks the vehicle a block down the road or on the side of a street for the sake of saving a few bucks, then either they’re being ‘Penny Smart - Dollar Foolish’ or they’re counting up their budget to ensure their card doesn’t get declined.For the dinner, does your date have trouble navigating through the restaurant yet bragged how they’ve been there many times before?  At the very least, a person should always either be upfront about how it’s their first time to the place as well or they should have visited the restaurant ahead of time so they know where everything is.
Did your date place a reservation or do you have to wait an hour?  Unless the date was spur-of-the-moment, there should always be a plan that is structured but flexible.  Not even setting a reservation can be a sign of weakness or simply that they don’t know what they’re doing.
Do they try to act like they know what they’re ordering yet butcher the names or choose a wine blindly?  The fine line between a snob and a poser is that even though both make come off as arrogant, the snob actually knows what they’re talking about with the experience (and funds) to back up their claims. 
Do they drop some tableware at a very expensive restaurant and then pick it up themselves? Do they keep their cloth napkin on the table all the time?  Do they grab the wrong fork or spoon when indulging in hors d’oeuvres? These three questions expose the individual’s level of experience in higher-tier restaurants.  Top-class establishments have waiters trained to immediately pick up anything that’s dropped on the ground and have a fresh replacement at the ready while Mid-tier and lower establishments do not.  Cloth napkins generally go on the lap and more napkins can be requested easily at any time.  As for the proper use of silverware, ‘work your way in’ is the general rule of thumb.

#2: Suit/Dress doesn’t even fit their body type.

I have people messaging me a great deal when it comes to fit and finish of proper attire, but let me start by saying this: if you can’t tell whether or not their outfit is tailored or just-bought, then chances are you’re still safe.  It’s really only when things are blatantly obvious that you should have cause for concern, such as uneven sleeves at the wrists, bulky shoulders/straps, or the typical “it looks like s/he’s swimming in it!” remark.  I could care less if a woman was wearing a newly-released Valentino gown and a man being a walking Gucci catalogue — if their wardrobes don’t fit their body, they will always be seen as either replicas or hand-me-downs (neither of which anyone truly wants to be judged as wearing).

#3: Wallet/Purse that resembles a Poivron Farci.

If your date’s wallet is stuffed full of cards and coupons like a bellpepper, then that’s a big red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.  It symbolizes disorganization if it’s full of business cards (that aren’t their own), anything from frugality to being a cheapskate if it’s full of coupons and discount cards, and a complete S.O.S. if they have more than three credit cards at the same time.

The average person may violate one of these rules or simply have a stuffed wallet yet know where everything is.  This is usually fine, but if they start muttering “where did I put it…” repeatedly or say “umm, try this one” when handing a card to the waiter, be very concerned and be prepared to stand firm and only pay for your share of the meal.

#4: After a few dates they discuss “helping each other out”.

If your date starts asking for favors like “my [insert item here] just got [insert damages here] by the [insert commonly-hated gov’t entities here] and I need [insert $ amount here], can you help me out?”, start being suspicious.

We do have those once-in-a-while situations that are beyond our financial control such as locking your keys and wallet in the car, being mugged, or you need someone to post bail for you (this last one I hope you never ask your date for whether innocent or guilty), etc.  Nevertheless, if someone were to ask me for such a favor, the first thing I would do is to offer to help them get a lift to their residence or to a family member or friend who could help instead.  If they truly have no one to turn to except you and they make it difficult for you to say ‘no’, then insist you’ll go with them if you pay the amount yourself and get a receipt as well with a promissory note they’ll pay you back in a certain amount of time.  If they start getting antsy/anxious/excited/offended or they need to ‘make another phone call’, then assume they’re trying to con you and that they either need to change their story or they need to call a friend to pretend to be someone collecting the debt. 

#5:  They’re financial extremists.

If they demand to merge your finances with theirs before marriage or they don’t want you ever poking into their finances at all, they’re either wanting full control or their spending is out of control.  Asking one another for a FICO score is one thing (I find it positively refreshing), but asking for bank account information, number of savings accounts owned, or dodging a simple ‘how did you pay for this?’ question should raise a great deal of concern.

#6:  Rich on the first, broke on the fourth.

The tell-tale sign of someone living on the edge in a paycheck-to-paycheck situation is that they’re spending money on needless items or social outings during ‘the first’ (payday) but then trying to be frugal or complaining about lack of pay by ‘the fourth’ (last week in the month).

People who have some financial stability will not have intense spikes in financial complaints or activities.  Exceptions to this rule are when your date calls you up saying you two are going to celebrate a big contract deal and you’re then sent off in a new saloon to a yacht party or new restaurant.  The other side of this is that they complain they need to cut back on a luxury because they screwed up at work and had pay docked or a contract fell through.  Either way, the spike may happen, but the rest of the activities are consistent and not in any way an extreme. 

#7: Gambler’s High.

Well, I couldn’t put up a picture of a roulette wheel without at least one poking into gambling now could I?  There is a huge difference between playing some table games and slots versus actually gambling.  In terms of playing games, you’ve set a limit of how much you’ll spend that doesn’t interfere with your quality of enjoyment or quality of life upon leaving the casino.  If you go over that limit then at least you played some expensive games and had fun.  If you win, then that’s a great way to enjoy the rest of the evening.  However, if you’re at a casino to win and get angry when you lose, you’re making a bad impression.  If your date is the one doing this, then you should be very careful and be absolutely certain they aren’t going to ask you for a little extra cash.

I’m sure there will be many other situations you readers can all think of when it comes to warning signs regarding money, but these are just some examples of the most common ones that make or break relationships.  Financial responsibility is something everyone must be aware of and a burden that must be shared in regards to long-term relationships.  …now go on and reorganize your wallet/purse already.

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April 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Cielo of Casino Morongo.I come here minimum once a year as a student translator for foreign exchange students during the day, but I also come here at night for the amazing view and true top-shelf spirits (Louis XIII, Richard, Martel XO, etc …wait, why’d I only name cognacs? oh well.).  For all those who come to Morongo Casino, I highly recommend visiting Cielo at least once. 

Cielo of Casino Morongo.

I come here minimum once a year as a student translator for foreign exchange students during the day, but I also come here at night for the amazing view and true top-shelf spirits (Louis XIII, Richard, Martel XO, etc …wait, why’d I only name cognacs? oh well.).  For all those who come to Morongo Casino, I highly recommend visiting Cielo at least once. 


2014: Time to start flaunting!

April 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM

2013 was quite the eventful year which included my first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition, my first major personal development/mindset overhaul, and my first time truly delving into the world of Japanese, American (bourbon), and Scotch Whisk(e)ys.

I’d gone on hiatus for more or less a year for personal reasons, but now that I’m back on track, do expect various postings about my past years’ research and development as well as various product reviews.

As far as resolutions for 2014 go, let’s just say all of them are directly tied into the 180^2 project which will be brought up very soon.

Cheers,

~A.J.

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January 7, 2013 at 1:05 AM

You know you’re a spirits collector when the selection at the bar/restaurant at the top floor of Casino Morongo looks exactly like the selection on the shelves in your bedroom.(…minus the Dom Preignon of course.  I’ve yet to dabble in wines).

You know you’re a spirits collector when the selection at the bar/restaurant at the top floor of Casino Morongo looks exactly like the selection on the shelves in your bedroom.

(…minus the Dom Preignon of course.  I’ve yet to dabble in wines).

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January 6, 2013 at 8:17 PM

My all-time favorite line of vodka.  To this day I have yet to find anything that comes close to the PLATINUM and the GOLD.  Whether it’s the smoothness, the crisp finish, or the fact I don’t hear complaints from newbies about them tasting like they ingested a permanent marker, there’s a great deal of things to like about this brand.As the name implies — they truly are my idea of the absolute bar to meet… dare I say… the ‘standard’?
Cheers.

~A.J.

My all-time favorite line of vodka.  To this day I have yet to find anything that comes close to the PLATINUM and the GOLD.  Whether it’s the smoothness, the crisp finish, or the fact I don’t hear complaints from newbies about them tasting like they ingested a permanent marker, there’s a great deal of things to like about this brand.

As the name implies — they truly are my idea of the absolute bar to meet… dare I say… the ‘standard’?



Cheers.

~A.J.

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January 6, 2013 at 8:12 PM

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS: 2013

Now, if you’re wondering why I added a pic of the Venetian, it’s because most people associate the ‘doors to success’ as either invisible, the door to their house, or the same pearly gates they see when they die.  I am not ‘most people’.  When I think of ‘doors of opportunity’, I think doors like those pictured.  Every day is a new opportunity that will only come once, so why not treat it like one? Tomorrows are infinite, but today? It’s once in a lifetime.
So here’s my list of 2013 Resolutions, not in any particular order:
1. Get my stamina up to where I’m the equivalent of a 4-Round Pro Boxer.
2. Not let myself become a ‘once in a while’ acquaintance with my friends.
3. Become a director of the collective alliance I am part of by the end of March.
4. Finish restoration of one of my sports cars.
5. Purchase a new timepiece from either Zenith or Glashutte Original.

Once #2 is done, #3 becomes quite simple— at which point #4 and #5 become immediately attainable.  …It’s #1 which I am most concerned about.  Then again, if I am to believe the line we’re all told by our parents or counselors (“you’re a rough diamond!”), then I suppose this is a spectacular way to start chiseling at the body— all puns intended.

Cheers.

~A.J.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS: 2013

Now, if you’re wondering why I added a pic of the Venetian, it’s because most people associate the ‘doors to success’ as either invisible, the door to their house, or the same pearly gates they see when they die.  I am not ‘most people’.  When I think of ‘doors of opportunity’, I think doors like those pictured.  Every day is a new opportunity that will only come once, so why not treat it like one? Tomorrows are infinite, but today? It’s once in a lifetime.

So here’s my list of 2013 Resolutions, not in any particular order:

1. Get my stamina up to where I’m the equivalent of a 4-Round Pro Boxer.

2. Not let myself become a ‘once in a while’ acquaintance with my friends.

3. Become a director of the collective alliance I am part of by the end of March.

4. Finish restoration of one of my sports cars.

5. Purchase a new timepiece from either Zenith or Glashutte Original.

Once #2 is done, #3 becomes quite simple— at which point #4 and #5 become immediately attainable.  …It’s #1 which I am most concerned about.  Then again, if I am to believe the line we’re all told by our parents or counselors (“you’re a rough diamond!”), then I suppose this is a spectacular way to start chiseling at the body— all puns intended.

Cheers.


~A.J.

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January 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM

一期一会

一期一会

I rarely if ever post things about myself, and in all honesty I’d rather keep it that way— however, in order to ring in the new year and kick it off with a bang, I’m just going to share one bit of wisdom I learned from a highly-accomplished professor at a quite prestigious university in Japan, which is the quote for today: “Ichi go, Ichi e”.  It means “Cherish every moment, because it will never occur again”.  You can easily and loosely translate it to a plethora of meanings, but in essence it’s a more elegant form of ‘YOLO’, which I still wish to this day would hurry up and die down.

I’ve decided to make this my motto for this year.  Certainly, it’s a quote I will indeed utilize for the rest of my life, but this year is a critical point for me (especially with my very ambitious resolutions).

I’ll get into my resolutions in the next posting, but for now let me just say this: 

When you’re in your early teens, you have time to make mistakes and as long as you learn from them you’ll be fine.  When you turn 18, your mistakes begin to have consequences, but people know you’ll still make many— you won’t be reprimanded severely long as it doesn’t violate any serious laws.  When you turn 21, chances are you’ll end up in a police holding cell in Las Vegas or you’ll be in a random motel bathtub full of ice with a note telling you to call 911 because a kidney is gone.  Once you hit 25 though, one forth of an ideal lifespan is gone.  If you are already 25, have you ever asked yourself where all those years went?  I have, and I can assure you I am concerned.  There’s only 25 years left before I plan to retire, as by 50 many people hardly have the ability to compete with the youth in any real job market.  I do not intend on settling with a simple 9-to-5 job ever again, but on the same token I do not intend on doing nothing with myself either.

For a couple years now, I’ve been working at a very promising business venture, yet before I knew it all my peers had left or quit and I was stuck with nowhere to go to but up.  The person I looked up to gave me a snyde remark of ‘well, you were never producing any results’.  I’m overjoyed now that I’ve seen her true colors.  In turn, I took a major risk and went far above her and signed on with a very powerful man who really is the face of success in California: a true self-made millionaire, who came truly from nothing.  However, she’s quite powerful in her own right and so my only chance of ripping off the target from my back is to outclass her.  So from this point on, I am going to live life as a unique moment never to repeat again.  I didn’t know at the time what things I was doing wrong, so I pushed the rest button on EVERYTHING except my family and close friends.  All those that gave me negativity or bestowed upon me ‘tall poppy syndrome’ were cut before they could cut me again like many times before.

Now to wrap this up: If you read this and saw nothing but jumbled jargon from the mind of a middle-aged man sounding like he’s hit his midlife-crisis, then in a sense you’re correct.  I’ve hit my quarter-life crisis.  I have very little to show for my over 25 years on this earth with exception of some fine timepieces, a nice car, a decent living establishment, a great group of friends and mentors, cabinet full of top-shelf spirits/liqueurs, and a beautiful girlfriend with brains and personality to match.  However, many people have what I have.  What am I missing? The money and sense of security to hold onto all those things I treasure dearly.  The ability to see a $25,000 home repair bill and have the only worry being what color to paint the walls afterwards.  The ability to give to a charity because I care, rather than fall into political territory of which yields the greatest tax benefits.  I will treat every day as an opportunity to make all my goals and dreams a reality.  If not now, then when? The number of ‘tomorrows’ that come are limited only by your lifespan, but there is only one ‘today’.  From now on I will NEVER take that for granted — I hope you choose to do the same.

Cheers,

~A.J.

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April 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Whether it’s the car or the sunset, both are equal contributors to the radiance of this photo.

Whether it’s the car or the sunset, both are equal contributors to the radiance of this photo.

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April 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Lexus still has a certain marketing issue: Toyota.  With exception of the Mk. IV Supra Twin Turbo, the single-turbo MR-2, and the 2000GT, most of Toyota’s fleet has always been micro-cars or gas-sipping grocery-getters.  Plus, for the amount of money that you could use to purchase a glorified Toyota, you could easily purchase an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes.  Dont’ get me wrong, the LS 460 and 600 lineups are the two most amazing higher-tier marvels ever in terms of luxury cars.  In fact, I used to pester my friend for a lift to work all the time a few years ago.  It’s a vehicle that far outclassed many European rivals and even AMG or Brabus edition Benzes were given a run for their money once you delved into the area of ‘VIP (bippu) cars’.  I just find it a shame people still choose a less reliable and practical vehicle like the Lexus lineup for the sake of trying to impress people who know nothing about the vehicles nor care.  If you want to impress people at a club that you’ll only know for a few hours, get a European counterpart.  If you want to impress those that truly matter, do your homework and purchase a car that will impress those that truly matter.  The car is an extension of you as a person whether you want it to be or not.  I would definitely take a person with an LS-600h far more seriously than a clown in a new C-class that doesn’t even know if the car is front, rear, or all-wheel drive.

Lexus still has a certain marketing issue: Toyota.  With exception of the Mk. IV Supra Twin Turbo, the single-turbo MR-2, and the 2000GT, most of Toyota’s fleet has always been micro-cars or gas-sipping grocery-getters.  Plus, for the amount of money that you could use to purchase a glorified Toyota, you could easily purchase an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. 

Dont’ get me wrong, the LS 460 and 600 lineups are the two most amazing higher-tier marvels ever in terms of luxury cars.  In fact, I used to pester my friend for a lift to work all the time a few years ago.  It’s a vehicle that far outclassed many European rivals and even AMG or Brabus edition Benzes were given a run for their money once you delved into the area of ‘VIP (bippu) cars’.  I just find it a shame people still choose a less reliable and practical vehicle like the Lexus lineup for the sake of trying to impress people who know nothing about the vehicles nor care.  If you want to impress people at a club that you’ll only know for a few hours, get a European counterpart.  If you want to impress those that truly matter, do your homework and purchase a car that will impress those that truly matter.  The car is an extension of you as a person whether you want it to be or not.  I would definitely take a person with an LS-600h far more seriously than a clown in a new C-class that doesn’t even know if the car is front, rear, or all-wheel drive.