Expectations

blog Jun 21, 2012

Last week, Southwest Airlines got voted best in customer service. The weird part is that Southwest does not have first class. It doesn’t offer meals on the flight. The only thing that is offered are cheap flights and free checked bags. Nobody who flies Southwest expects anything more.

Life is about setting expectations. People expect what is promised or at least people expect to be treated like they’ve been treated in the past. Managing expectations is one of the most important parts of life.

For example, if you tell a friend that you will call them on Thursday and you don’t call them until Friday, you might let down your friend. But if you call them on Wednesday, you might surprise them. Right now I am talking to colleagues and one of them said that he wants to talk every day, and one of them said that he can’t call me until early July. I get that both of them are busy, but I have different expectations of them. I hold the first friend to a higher standard...

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My mid-thirties

blog Jun 15, 2012

If I didn’t go out on Friday and Saturday nights a couple of years ago, I felt there was something missing. Not only that, even if I went out, I wanted to come home after midnight. I felt like I was going to miss something if I wasn’t out and about. If someone asked me how my weekend was, I wanted to tell them about a great adventure I had. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a party but decided to stay home and chat with Leslie. That was where I wanted to be. On Saturday, I went downtown during the day to run some errands with my parents. In the past, on Saturday afternoons I would start hitting the phones asking my friends what they were doing. This Saturday I decided just to hang out at home with Pat and watch the game…and I loved it. I am more secure now than I have ever been about my social life. This is where I want to be. Engaged, waiting for Leslie to come, and looking forward to the day when I hang out with my family at night, falling asleep with my...

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Relaxing

blog Jun 07, 2012

I just got back from Hawaii and the Philippines on Tuesday night. I am exhausted but energized, if that makes any sense.

Before I left for Hawaii, I woke up sad because I had to leave my fiancée Leslie for about three months. I assumed that I would not see her until September, when she was expecting to go for her fiancée visa interview. There is a statute that says for a fiancée visa, the applicant needs to have a valid passport for at least six months. Leslie received hers in mid-February.

We called the embassy to find out if we could get the statute waived. To my surprise, the woman said yes. So Leslie has an interview on the 20th of June, and shortly after that, she can come. I cannot tell you how much I like being with her. She’s kind, she’s sweet, and she makes me a more relaxed, well-rounded person. Isn’t that what love is about?

We didn’t do much in the Philippines. We went shopping at the local mall, went to see her big family two...

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Adventure

blog May 31, 2012

On Mother’s Day, I went to my parents’ house to hang out with the family and celebrate. We were checking the DVR and my mom had recorded a biography about ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. He is one of the best ventriloquists out there. The last few weeks I have been consumed by trying to get out there again to speak. It’s almost an obsession. Believe me, watching the documentary did not help. Now I’m more obsessed than ever. What gives me confidence is the fact that he had many setbacks. One of the reasons that I have been just a little tentative is because the first go around I did not create a sustainable stream of income. There, I said it. I had great pockets of success but it was not sustained. Luckily, I have the luxury of time and I am doing it for the right reasons.

Another unique similarity is the fact that ventriloquism is thought to be the bottom of the entertainment barrel. Mr. Dunham made it sexy by adding comedy and unique characters. There were times...

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The Cooler

blog May 26, 2012

On Sunday night, I got into bed and watched television. I saw on the DVR that my best friend and roommate Patrick had recorded the movie The Cooler, a dark drama about a guy who cools off hot casino tables. I instantly had a flashback to the first time I watched the movie Christmas Eve 2004. I was in a complete funk. I had no job, I didn’t know whether my disability would stop me, I was interested in a girl who didn’t return the sentiment. I was a mess.

I went to Pat’s house just to get away from it all. We spent Christmas Eve watching The Cooler and Christmas watching basketball.

As I laid in bed on Sunday staring at the name on the DVR, I instantly replayed everything that was happening at that time in my head and I smiled because now I am in a good place. I had just finished talking to my fiancée Leslie, I was sleeping in the master bedroom of my own place, I had my best friend Pat two door down, I just celebrated my mom’s birthday with my whole...

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Getting Ready to Come Back

blog May 24, 2012

As my manager Kristi is posting this, I am sleeping in the Philippines. I have no idea how my trip is going because I am writing this before I leave. I do not want to interrupt my streak of blog posts just because I am having a good time. Last week I talked about how I’m eager, yet hesitant, to start speaking. I could easily have said to myself that I will just deal with everything when I get back. I could also have said to myself that I’m taking a vacation to get away from everything. One of the reasons that I didn’t want to do that is because I wanted to come back to some kind of structure and momentum. Here’s what I did. I bought a new scanner so I could scan books because my old one conked out. I bought a stack of books so when I get back I can start reading on a more consistent basis. Kristi is going to be working on my autobiography while I’m gone.

Momentum needs attention. I do not want to stop momentum just because I want to have fun. I want to...

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Don’t over agonize it

blog May 20, 2012

I have been really anxious the last few months. Also, I have been hesitant to commit to a path. I have been scared of not liking success. Boy, am I a mess. When anybody starts something big they should be aware of what can go wrong but not dwell on it.

When I look back on my life, everything big involves something that went horribly wrong. If someone told me ahead of time everything that would go wrong, I wouldn’t do a thing. When I went to USC, if someone told me I was going to have a heck of a time finding assistants or one night would hit my mouth against the heater, eventually knocking out my front teeth, there was no way I would have done it. If someone told you everything that went wrong at the airport would you take that trip?

It’s akin to going on a first date. You don’t compare credit reports, you don’t get DNA tests to make sure there’s no incompatibilities. You just enjoy yourselves and see if you dig each other. If you think about everything...

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How Bad Does it Have to Get?

blog May 17, 2012

On Tuesday morning I turned on the TV and watched one of my favorite sports radio hosts, Colin Cowherd, talk about the Lakers’ horrible loss to the Thunder. As a Lakers fan, I was disgusted. Normally, I stay away from sports radio on the day of a loss. Colin started arguing that if you are a true Lakers fan then you want the Lakers to lose that way, the worse that they lose, the more likely they are to make a change next year. He went on to say if they barely lose, then the management will say okay, we are close. This got me thinking about life. There are times when we won’t make a change until things get really bad. When things are just okay, they are bearable. We are not necessarily happy, but things have not gotten bad enough to say hey, we need to change. People do it every day in life. Heck, I have done it. The problem is that we should not root for ourselves to lose, but sometimes we need to lose in the short term to win in the long term. Have you ever been in a...

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Where is my self-driving car?

blog May 10, 2012

Other than an outright cure for cerebral palsy, there’s one other thing I want to see in my lifetime: a self-driving car. It should be here now, right?

There are three areas that my disability affects communication, mobility, and independence.

I can’t wait for the day when I can get into my car and just tell it to take me to Santa Monica or to meet a friend who I haven’t seen for a while or I’m bored one day and feel just like going to see a movie on a whim, not caring about who wants to go with me.

This technological breakthrough can not only help me and my selfish desires, but can dramatically improve productivity. Imagine a businessman in Los Angeles who has a forty-five minute commute. Instead of driving, he hops into the car and gets out his laptop and just starts to work.

Imagine a mother or father getting into their car and instead of driving, reads or plays with their children. How cool would that be?

So, again, where is my self-driving car?

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What a difference a year makes….

blog May 03, 2012

Last Saturday was the one-year anniversary of when I met my fiancée Leslie.

Earlier that day, I was in San Diego giving a speech. It was one of my favorite speeches ever. It was at a time when I lost myself a little bit. I did not know if I wanted to continue speaking. Also, the months were filled with angst because I had been really focused on getting out there and dating. My mind is always going a hundred miles per hour. I woke up that morning, got ready, and went to a luncheon where I spoke to the Women’s Trojan League and I loved it. I loved every minute of that trip. I had dinner the night before with a college friend of mine. I sat on the balcony of my hotel that had a partial view of the ocean. On stage I was on fire.

I had known about Leslie from my cousin Babak. He told me about her the week before. I came home from the speech and around 8:30 I received a text from Babak’s girlfriend introducing me to my now fiancée. We chatted for about ten...

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