Staying Out of the Friend Zone

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've actually had this conversation twice in the last few days, so I thought it would be a good idea to most my thoughts on the subject.

Growing up, I was very "popular" with the ladies. My problem was that this popularity did not translate into dates, it translated into me having lots of female friends. For some reason, I get getting stuck in the "Friend Zone". Much like the Phantom Zone, once in the Friend Zone it pretty much is impossible to get out. I actually was able to do it twice, no small feat, but admittedly I was never great friends with the two girls to begin with.

However, the trick should be never to get into the Friend Zone. It should be avoided at all cost. You know what I'm talking about. You meet a great girl. You go out a few times. You think things are great. But when the subject comes up of you in a romantic relationship, she looks at you incredulously and says, "Oh, I don't think of you that way. I thought we were just friends"

It took me a while to finally get the hang of this, but now I can tell you for sure how to never ever be put in the Friend Zone unless you want to be there. Here is what you need to do.

  • Go into the relationship with the full intention of NOT being friends with this girl. Accept the fact that if you aren't going to be dating the girl, you will have no relationship whatsoever. You have enough friends already. It's OK if you don't make a new one. There is no need to be the "nice guy".
  • Not sure how interested she is in you? Simple test during your first date. Plan your first date earlier in the day. Make sure it is short. Make sure you have a plan which can extend the date but do not tell your date about it. Say you go out to play mini-golf on your first date. After you play, suggest going out for drinks or a bite to eat. If she agrees, you are good to go. Girls will end the date if they are not interested. They will find a way to extend the date if they are interested.
  • Make sure during the course of conversation, you bring up the fact that you are on a date. Call it what it is. Just talk about how you are having a good time on the DATE. Maybe share a horror story of another first DATE that you had. Mention what you think would make a great second DATE.
  • Get the kiss. Nothing says you are not friends like kissing her. Seriously, get the kiss on the first night. If she pulls away from the kiss, you pretty much have your answer. No need to attack her with your tongue hanging out, but make sure you get a kiss on the lips from her. This will ensure you are not put in the friend zone.
Simple as that. Follow these simple rules, and you will stay out of the Friend Zone, and hopefully find yourself a new girlfriend. Do you have any tips for people on how they can avoid falling into this dreaded trap?

The Problem with Hyped Movies

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I went to see the Dark Knight today. Don't worry, I'm not about to give any spoilers away, it is not at all what this post is about. Despite my recent comments about the local second run movie theater, I went to see the movie at the local multi-plex. I did so because I wanted to see the movie sooner than later for a couple of reasons.

  • Everyone was saying how great it was
  • Everyone was talking about it, and I wanted to stop people from ruining the movie for me
So I walked down to the cinema to watch it. The conclusion? It was OK. Not bad, not great. I think I seriously would have enjoyed it more if I just had heard nothing about it. So many people were saying how great the movie was that my expectations were quite high. I even tried to temper my expectations to avoid this exact problem, but alas I think I failed.

Not much I could have done about this one though. There was almost no way to avoid the constant talking by everyone about this movie.

Noah's Bagels - No Tip Please

Saturday, July 26, 2008
I went to Noah's Bagels today in Pasadena. Much to my surprise they had a sign next to the register informing customers that they no longer took tips. They stressed that they were there to make sure that you had the best experience possible there and that they were happy to provide you with great service at no charge.

Sounds kind of like my idea which I had several years ago where I would start up a restaurant and refuse to take tips. Seriously, I love this idea. People just doing a great job because they should. Those who do the best, should get paid for it, so I only hope that Noah's bagels is finding some other way to properly compensate their employees for providing great service. Otherwise, it would just be the same crappy service (if not worse), just patrons aren't paying as much for it.

Which Way Should the Fan Blow?

Thursday, July 24, 2008
On a cool summer night, when you have a hot room, which direction should you point the fan? Should you point the fan so that the cool outside air is coming into the room or should you point the fan so that the hot air is leaving the room?

Up until last night, I would have said you should point the fan so that the cool air is going into the room, but now, I'm not so sure. It just made more sense to me that you would want to force the cold air in. Maybe this is because I'm thinking of something that works more like an air-conditioner which forces cool air into an area.

Last night, I couldn't actually point the fan into the room, the cord wouldn't reach, so I pointed the fan pointing outward. Much to my surprise, the room became quite cool. Cooler than I would ahve expected. Just right now, I had the fan pointing into the room, right at me. This was cooling me off great, but when I got up and walked around the room, I felt it was still stuffy. I turned the fan around, and then walked around the room again, the room felt much cooler.

I can't find any definitive answer on the subject, but right now, I have to say I believe it is better to push the hot air out. What are your thoughts? What has your experience told you is the better way to point a fan?

Second Run Movie Theaters

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I went to my local second run movie theater this afternoon. I hadn't been to one in quite a while, and I have to say I rather enjoyed it. I have been meaning to go see The Incredible Hulk for quite a while, but had not been able to as of yet. When I noticed it was at the local second run movie theater down the street, it piqued my curiosity.

What was even more enticing was the fact that a ticket inside was only $2 per person. So for $4, my girlfriend and I could go to the movies for the exact same price as renting a DVD. I went in expecting the movie theater to be rather small and uncomfortable but much to my surprise, the theater was a decent size, as least as big as some of the smaller theaters that the large complexes have, and it was equipped with stadium seating.

To me, the trade-off of watching the movie slightly later than everybody else is really no big deal. I almost never go to a movie opening weekend as I hate crowds and I hate waiting in line. I avoided "The Dark Knight" this weekend for that exact reason. So the difference to me is essentially watching the movie three weeks earlier or paying 500% more for the same product.
It's going to have to be one hell of a movie for me to want to spend 5x the amount of money.

The Starbucks List

Saturday, July 19, 2008
Starbucks announced a few weeks ago that it was going to close 600 of its stores due to under-performance. They published the list of closing stores today. It doesn't come as a surprise to most given the struggling economy and the need for people to cut back a little.

But here is the thing. If a Starbucks closes, but there is one across the street, does anyone notice? The proliferation of Starbucks is amazing. The density of the stores borders on ludicrous in some areas. When I lived in Redmond, there were literally eight Starbucks within a 15 minute walk of me. Where I am in Pasadena, there is also about half a dozen in the same radius.

But what is even more crazy, is that there probably needs to be this many. America just loves their coffee that much. Everyday when I go to work, I marvel at the line that is forming outside of Starbucks. I figure most of the people who work downtown probably have some form of coffee available to them at work, yet all these people are willing to stand in line and wait to PAY for a cup. All of this despite the fact that there is another Starbucks just around the corner. And that one has a line as well!

An Epic Tennis Battle

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I don't normally watch Tennis, I'm definitely not a fan of it, but I love watching compelling sports events. I was flipping through the channels today and stumbled upon the Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. I don't know much about tennis but I do know that Roger Federer is unbeatable at Wimbledon. The guy might seriously be the most dominant athlete of his generation, yes even more so than Tiger Woods.

But when I got there, he was down two sets to one and looking like he might lose the fourth. So I watched just to see what would happen next. Sure enough, Federer rebounded and forced a fifth set. He eventually succumbed to Nadal who just looked stronger the entire match. Even though I was rooting for Federer (something about Nadal just bugs me. I think he just looks arrogant) I was happy for Nadal. It clearly was a very emotional win for him and he just deserved it today.

This is one of the things I love about sports. It's so exciting even to people who aren't really fans. Events like this are great. You don't have to know anything about the sport, but you just know two people (or teams) are facing off. In the end, there will be a winner, and it will be the culmination of one of the two combantants whole life. It's a fantastic action and drama movie rolled up in a 2 hour (in this case 4.5 hour) event. But it's even better because its real life!