I’ll keep this short. I recently had a conversation with someone who sincerely believes that videogames are the source of all evil. I obviously disagree. Being that this is geek month, I have decided to stand up for my fellow gamers, and post two videogames related articles this week. Be sure to check back on Thursday for the other one!

A short list of Special Moves I learned from videogames:

1. Perseverance. If you grew up in the Nintendo generation, you know one thing about old games: they are damn hard. And I’m not talking “replay the same level once or twice hard”. I’m talking bang my head against the wall, break a couple of controllers, scream at the screen in frustration, pull out my hair, want to die, cry myself to sleep, eat a brain for breakfast hard.

This led to me developing one important skill that would serve me continuously throughout my life: the ability to plow forward in the face of adversity. If I gave up every time I got to a difficult level, I’d never have gotten past the beginning of most NES games. This also applies to life. I have yet to meet a problem I can’t overcome by gritting my teeth and persevering. The thing is, that’s not enough to win a game. You also need…

2. Lateral thinking. NES games were damn obscure with their clues. Anyone who’s ever played Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link will agree that the Error puzzle was just retarded. So, to figure things out, I was always required to think outside the box and use a little bit of creativity. When you’re coding, scriptwriting, or even arguing a case, having the ability to reframe problems and work at them from different angles is pure magic.

3. Increased Memory for Detail. If you don’t remember where the door with the demon head was, how are you supposed to figure out where the skeleton key goes? I definitely use this skill to remember important things like CSS code, qualitative methods theory, and where I left my wallet.

4. Fast learning. Perhaps the most important skill required to be a great gamer is the ability to constantly learn new patterns, concepts, and ways of thinking. Also, to do it fast. When you’re playing the final boss in Contra, you’ve only got 3 lives and a couple of seconds to figure out which way he moves, shoots, and reacts. If you don’t, you’re dead. This ability is responsible for my plethora of random skills, from playing the harp to cooking thai food. It also led to me becoming quite the multipotentialite.

5. Lightning reflexes. This one is easy. The first time you fight Vega in Street Fighter II, you’re gonna get schooled. The only way to beat that fucker is to develop fast enough reflexes to Shoryuken him every time he jumps off the wall towards you. For those of you not familiar with the shoryuken, please read the following instructions carefully:

Courtesy of James Kim. Check out his site, it's pure magic.

In the real world, this helps my razor-sharp wit, as well as my ability to catch a falling glass before it hits the ground :D. More importantly, it taught me how to be quick on my feet, especially under pressure.

So what am I trying to say?

Play some videogames! And then, subconsciously, learn from them, use them, and become a better person, just like me.

How have videogames influenced your life in a positive way? Leave a comment and tell me!

I have great news for all my readers. At this point in time, I am single. More than that, I am extremely happy with my singleness. I do, however, have many friends that are not single, and that’s great. I also have friends that are single, and happy also, and that’s great too.

What’s not so great are my single friends that are unhappy because they’re alone. Amongst them, I noticed a recurring theme: they want the perfect love.

I always tell them the same thing: “Dude, you watch too much TV. Real love isn’t like that.”

Image by Jeff Thomas. Click to check his stuff out

The movies are all the same: boy meets girl, they fall in love. There is turmoil, then a happy ending with a kiss, and it’s the most electric kiss in the world. Wow! What a beautiful story! Amazing! Man, I wish I could fall in love like that, I wish that would happen to me.

I have bad news for you friend: it won’t.

Or rather, it will happen to you, but it won’t be love. It’ll be lust, or some derivative thereof. It’ll be happy chemicals in your brain telling you that you want to fuck this person in front of you until you can’t walk. It’ll be insane thoughts of spending every waking moment with the someone that, in all probability, you’ll have broken up with within a year.

Welcome to the real world! It’s not a Hollywood movie!

Hollywood Love

So I have a friend that is an amazing human being. He is intelligent, positive, hard-working, and just an all-around excellent guy. He has one major problem though: he’s a hopeless romantic, and it’s getting in the way of his love life.

“But Rami,” you say, “surely that’s not a bad thing? The world could use more romantic men.”

“Sort of,” I reply, “but the romance needs to be based on reality, and not your favorite scene from The Notebook.”

Being influenced by too many movies means we all have unrealistic expectations of reality when it comes to love (and explosions, but that’s another story). We expect Love, with a capital L, to fall into our laps. We expect perfection in every aspect of our partner. We even expect the way our first meeting unfolds to be perfect, and natural. I keep hearing the same old clichés like “you’ll know when you meet the one“, or “if you look for it you won’t find it”. Bullshit. That’s laziness, fear, and too much TV talking.

Think about it: the last time you fell in love, were you friends with that person for 12 years beforehand, then one day realized how much they meant to you, before finally kissing them and walking off into the sunset? Probably not.

Messy Love

In the real world, love is much more fucked up. You meet someone, you hang out, you make out, you have sex. Things progress slowly, with your lives becoming more and more intertwined. Maybe you begin to share friends, you move in together, you split the cost of furniture. Eventually, roughly two to three years in, the happy chemicals in your brain that have been telling you you’re madly in love with this person fade.

Now your judgment is clear. Your partner’s habits start to bother you. You work through the problems, and compromise, and start really putting an effort in. Your relationship is more difficult, but it’s also more rewarding. You start to experience a rebirth, a deeper connection, one that is based on trust, communication, commitment, not just on some crazy infatuation that you originally had. You make a conscious choice to stay with this person, because the chemical haze is gone, but the amazing feeling you once experienced is real. Guess what? Real love is messy, and you’ve just had some.

What the hell am I saying?

I’m saying that real love is a choice. I don’t believe in this “falling in love” business. In my book, you fall in lust. You get infatuated. You experience the other person physically, emotionally, intellectually. You get to know them. Eventually, you choose to be with them, to love them, to give to them.

To quote Erich Fromm, you don’t “fall in love”, you “stand in love”.

So to all my single, pining, romantic friends out there, stop that shit. Give the imperfect guy or girl you’ve been hanging out with a chance, maybe a kiss, and see where it leads. You can decide if you love them later on.

How do you feel about love? About perfection in your partner? Let me know! Think everything I’ve just spouted is total bullshit? Fight me for it! Leave a comment and harass me!

So you and the woman have been on some dates. They’ve been great, because she’s fun, and sexy, and laughs at all your jokes. You’ve touched a lot, you’ve made out a lot, and now you are both horny as hell.

You take her back to your place, and make out on the couch. Things are getting heated, electric, intense. You take her to the bedroom, you get her naked, and you have really, incredibly, powerfully… awkward sex. REALLY awkward sex. The weird kind where the only sound you hear is breathing, where you’re relieved when it’s finally over.

What the hell happened? Well buddy, it’s simple: you fucked up.

Where did I go wrong?

“I fucked up?” you ask. “How?”

You didn’t follow your desires.

You also watched too much TV. North American movies have really specific guidelines for dating: you get a girl’s number, you take her on a few dates, then you take her home. They have specific guidelines for sex: you put on passionate music, you kiss her gently, and you make sweet sweet romantic love all night long.

That sucks. Sex in Hollywood movies is garbage, and has nothing to do with real life. Think about it: if you had the choice, would you prefer to have slow, quiet sex, or grope, spank, bite, and fuck your partner really hard and loud? I’m guessing it’s the latter, and most people I know agree with me. Everyone prefers dirty messy fun sex.

So, back to your desires. When you get in bed with a woman, it’s your job, as a man, to take charge of the first time. Your job is to set the tone of the event, and follow through with it. Think about it: you asked her out, you took her to dinner, you invited her back to your place. She let you take charge of everything else, so why would the sex be different?

Be Loud

The thing with us geeks is that we enjoy the idea of a hot, tempting woman seducing us. We love the idea of Lara Croft from Tomb Raider coming into our lives and saying “I want you to fuck me really hard because you are the hottest man in the world.” Realistically though? Not gonna happen, at least not right away.

The first time a woman gets in your bed, she’s most probably going to follow your lead. Not because she’s weak, or doesn’t know what she’s doing, but rather because she’s unsure of you, and doesn’t want to fuck things up. So, you need to step up and do things right.

Here’s the golden rule for that first time with someone new:

Her behavior is going to be a reflection of yours. Thus, you need to do what you want to do, and not make a big deal out of things. Talk dirty, spank her, kiss her, bite her, let loose with your desires. In doing so, she’ll become more comfortable, and let loose with her own.

You want Lara Croft in your bed, instead of Princess Peach? Then you have to show her you can handle her sexuality. You do this by expressing your own, and being as uninhibited as possible.

If you’re quiet, and shy, and weird about getting messy, she’s probably going to sense that and feel odd about it too. If you’re hesitant, and don’t take off her bra, chances are she’s not going to take it off for you. On the other hand, if you laugh, and are playful, she’ll laugh with you. If you get loud, and moan, and talk dirty, she’ll probably scream, dig her nails into your back, and maybe think about busting out the handcuffs next time around.

Just remember one thing: she’s not going to do your job for you.


The next time you have dirty messy fun sex, do what you want to do. Don’t imitate Hollywood movies, don’t be quiet, and lead the way like you’re supposed to. I guarantee that she will have a great time, and so will you. The best part? She’ll feel so good about herself that she’ll probably be comfortable enough to lead when you do it again.

What about you guys? Do you lead that first time around? And for the women out there, do you agree/disagree with this? Finally, got any good/bad first time sex stories you wanna share? Please do! Leave a comment and tell me!



When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

1 Corinthians 13:11

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? Take a second to think about it. To think about all the things you used to experience on a daily basis. To recall a time when everything was a big deal. Do you remember?

I certainly do. I remember running around my house with a sheet wrapped around my arms, being a Silverhawk. I remember carrying an umbrella and almost jumping off the roof, in imitation of the Carebears. I remember action figures, and my NES, and how excited I was everytime my parents took me out for junk food. Most of all though? I remember the dreams I had for myself.

Speak Like a Child

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

As a young kid, that was the big question. I wanted to be a ninja, a firefighter, a hacker, a kung fu master, a cyborg, a rock star, a pro skater, an actor, and a farmer. As I got older, I began to whittle my list down. Getting cooked in a burning building? No. All day in front of a computer reading code? Meh. Get some robotic implants? Welllll, I’m still on the fence with that one. Maybe in a couple of years.

But seriously, little by little, my list shrank. It became more realistic, more materialistic, more adult-like. Soon, I was thinking about “things that are easy to accomplish”, rather than “things I actually want to do”. Eventually, I gave up on pretty much all my dreams, and entered the saddest period of my life.

Put Away Childish Things

I was finally an adult. I was working towards a career, had a stable job in marketing, and was trying to make it in the “real world”. I was making decent cash, and if I excelled at what I did, I’d be making excellent cash within a year or two. There was just one problem: I hated my job.

I remember waking up and going to work every day was hell. It was like a daily punishment for me, and I often wanted to just run away. But I didn’t. I figured I was just being lazy. Everyone else lived like this, I should be able to handle it too.

Then one day, I woke up and realized that if I continued down this road, I would slowly but surely waste away. So I did the only thing a man in my position could do: I quit.

It was strange, not having to go to work anymore, especially after getting into the rhythm of the 9 to 5. But I was content, and no longer hated my life. Although my days were no longer filled with negativity and dread, they weren’t filled with joy and excitement either. It was sort of a neutral existence, a purgatory. It was the space between dreams.

I’m Not a Man, I’m a Geek

So I had grown up. I had gotten an education, and did the adult stable job thing for money. It didn’t work out. What was next? I sure as hell didn’t know. I did the only thing I knew how to do when I was lost: I played a lot of videogames.

Specifically, I played a lot of Tekken 6:BR, a crazy-ass 3D fighting game. I had been playing competitive Tekken for years, and although I was consistently in the top 5 Canadian players, I never seemed to get to number 1. Well, in September 2010, things changed. By playing the game consistently, competing with my friends, and really enjoying the time I was spending on it, I finally took first place at the annual Canadian tournament in Toronto.

“Holy Crap!”, I thought. “I just accomplished one of my dreams.”

And it wasn’t hard at all.

With this realization, I slowly began to dream again. To make sure I never lost site of them, I made a huge bucket list. I began to feel more alive, and life started being good again.

Geek Like A Child

Ironically, I now work full-time again (hey, I need money!). This time though, the job is interesting. I don’t know how long I’m going to do it for, but I do know that I enjoy it. Also, I will never let my dreams fall by the wayside again. I still want to become a successful screenwriter. I also still dream of hundreds of thousands of people reading this blog every week, and of becoming a great pickup artist.

All of these dreams are legit. So, friends, the lesson for today is the following: make sure you hold on to some of your dreams. Otherwise, you’ve got nothing to live for.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

But I still dream like a child.

What about you guys? Any unfulfilled dreams you’ve got in the works? Dreams you’re living? Share them with us! You just might inspire someone to go for what they want.

When I was 15, I weighed a whopping 125lbs. That wouldn’t be a problem if I was 5’4”, but unfortunately, I was already fully grown up, and stood at a massive 5’8” tall. As you can imagine, that’s pretty skinny. My family was always telling me “you need to eat more”, “you’re so thin!”, and my personal favorite “what, nobody feeds you?”. Not exactly encouraging stuff.

You see, in Arabic culture, we love to eat. A skinny person isn’t seen as being in shape or having a fast metabolism, but rather as someone who doesn’t eat enough. Thus I was constantly told to eat, and was regularly offered food by pretty much everyone around me. Ironically enough, this had the opposite effect on me: I never felt hungry. I was always too busy playing games, watching TV, or reading comics to waste time eating. In fact, whenever I DID actually eat, it was in front of a movie or TV show, and occasionally, with a sci-fi novel in hand.

Luckily for me, I began to gain weight as I got older. When I was 21, I weighed a very well rounded 135lbs. Pretty good eh? I didn’t think so either. So I decided to take some steps towards gaining weight, preferably muscle. I came up with the following simple stuff.

3 Easy Steps to Gaining Muscle

1. Eat Breakfast! I know it seems strange that this was actually a step I had to take, but you’d be surprised at how many people skip this meal. Most of us will sacrifice breakfast for the privilege of hitting that snooze button three extra times. I know I sure did. Unfortunately for me, this impacted my entire day. Breakfast is crucial, so have a good one.

For the record, a chocolate bar or piece of cake is NOT breakfast. A friend of mine is an Olympic athlete, and he recommends a bowl of Vector cereal and a fruit. I’m more hardcore, and usually have a chicken or turkey wrap with veggies and a fruit. Oh, and if you’re already eating breakfast and not satisfied,, you might wanna get cracking on an extra meal or two a day.

2. Get some exercise! I’ve always loved Kung Fu, and decided on a whim to sign up for classes. I ended up getting in really good shape, and learned to be a badass at the same time. About a year ago I wrecked my knees, and since then I’ve replaced martial arts with the gym.
Now, I know exercising is easier said than done, but I’ve found two tricks that have helped me be consistent.

  • Have someone to train with, as it makes you accountable to a trainer or friend, and also makes the workouts more fun.
  • Pay for your exercise: you’re much more likely to ditch a free kung fu class, than one you pay 90$ a month for.

3. Be consistent! If you’re gonna follow one rule, make it this one. It’s so easy to be motivated the first week, a little less the second week, then trail off into nothing on the third week. Don’t do it! To see results, you have to keep going until you’ve made it past the point where it becomes routine, and then still go forwards a couple of extra miles.

Did it work for you?

By following the three steps, I ended up going from 135lbs to about 144lbs over the course of a year. For someone whose body weight didn’t fluctuate for about 6 years, it was pretty good. It wasn’t enough though, so I turned to my gym trainer for advice.

Originally, I went to the gym with the intention of  fixing my knees. Sometime in December 2010, I decided to be honest with myself, and asked myself what I really wanted out of my workouts. Answer? I wanted to get fucking BUFF! Having finally said it out loud, I decided then and there to stop half-assing it, and got myself in gear.

Enjoying my newfound motivation, my gym trainer Jonathan Lemieux put me on a strict eating regimen. He combined it with an intense workout program, wherein I hit the gym 3 times a week, 45mins at a time. Finally, like any good drill sergeant, he shoved me passed all of my mental limits, while respecting my physical ones. In other words, he made me do extra pushups when I said I couldn’t do any more, but held the weights when my body couldn’t lift them any longer (no injuries yet!).

The result? On the 4th January 2011, I weighed in at 144lbs with 14% body fat. On the 28th March 2011, I weighed in at 160lbs, with around 18% body fat. That’s an increase of 16lbs in just under 3 months! It was incredible. I’m still in awe at how good I look, and how much I enjoy my new and improved body. But it’s not over yet. I’m entering the toning part of our program, where I keep as much mass as possible, while losing a maximum amount of body fat.

Get off your lazy ass!

I know you’re lazy my fellow geek. I know this because I am lazy too. So, from one lazy geek to another, this is me telling you to get your lazy ass off the couch and insert it into some kind of exercise program. I can guarantee you’ll be in a lot of pain, and you’ll hate me at first, but eventually you will love your new body so much you’ll forgive me. In other words, GET CRACKING!

Do you have any cool exercise stories you’d like to share? Is there a particular workout that you really dig (yoga, martial arts, P90x) that’s helped you? Please share! I’m always open to new fitness routines and classes.

Ever notice how cool people never wait in line at clubs? So do I. It used to gall me a little at first. I mean, if a really hot girl got let into a club, I didn’t feel too bad, because if I was a bouncer, I’d let her in too. But for a random group of three guys to walk right by me and my friends, then swoop right into the club? THAT was annoying.

But then I examined the situation. I watched the “cool” people pass by me in the lineups. I checked their clothing, I observed their walk, I listened in (briefly) to their conversations. And you know what I discovered? They were merely slightly different from me, doing small variations of the things I did, but getting better results.

You know what gamers do, when other people do things better? We identify what the other person’s strat is, we copy it, and we one-up them if possible. It’s the only way to win.

And on that note…

4 Ways To Hack Nightclub Lines Like A Boss

1. Bring hot girls with you to the club. Now, I know this is unlikely (I mean, isn’t the whole point of going to a club to meet hot girls?), but bear with me for a moment. Hot girls don’t wait in line, and if you have more hot girls than guys, they can probably walk right up to the bouncer, flirt a little, and get you all in. Remember, you can cheat on this one by bringing girls that are friends or relatives. Is your sister hot? Bring her out to the club with you! Is your buddy’s girlfriend hot? Bring her out too!

Be warned, however: a bad guy/girl ratio will ruin this one. A decent ratio is defined as at least 40%, rounded down. Thus if you are a group of ten, 6 guys and 4 hot girls will get you in the club. With a group of 3, 2 guys and a girl works. Just don’t pull any funny stuff and bring a midget to fit your percentage. I don’t care how hot she is, it’s not going to help.

2. Look sharp. If you show up at a chic nightclub wearing converse, beat up jeans, and a Pac-Man tee, the bouncer might spit on you. If you show up wearing nice pants, a stylish jacket, leather shoes and a Pac-Man tee, the bouncer will probably high five you for your cool style.

3. Be respectful. Bouncers have to deal with drunks and irate people, and generally don’t have good nights. They do their job because it’s short hours and pays pretty well. Don’t make their lives harder than it already is by being mean or rude.

4. Bribe the bouncer. Seriously. I know some people think it’s an insult, but trust me, it’s not. Bouncers could use the extra cash, and if you want to skip a line of 50 people, slipping him a 10$ or 20$ per person in your group is probably going to get you what you want. If it hurts your tender sensibilities, don’t think of it as a bribe, but rather as a big tip.

Good Bribe Technique

Last year, I dated a great girl that loved to go clubbing and dancing

On her birthday, her roommates threw a small party at the apartment, and then dragged everyone out to a club. We pulled up in a limo, and were a group of 4 guys and 6 HOT girls. Unfortunately, the bouncer told us that the guestlist was already closed. While the girls huddled around trying to call a contact, I put 80$ in my palm, holding it in place with my 4th and 5th fingers.

I then walked confidently up to the bouncer, and put out my hand.

“Hey man,” I said, shaking the bouncer’s hand, and surreptitiously slipping him the cash. “Can you hook us up? I’m with these gorgeous ladies here, and three other guys.”

He flicked an eye at the cash I’d just given him, then looked at me and smiled.

“Sure bro, no problem. Just bring them all here and I’ll let them in.”

I walked back to my huddled up friends and said “I got us in, let’s go!”. Before anyone could get a word in edgewise, I grabbed two of the girls and dragged them back to the door. Within three minutes, I had gotten a group of 10 stragglers with no guestlist inside a packed club, passing a lineup of over 50 people.

Bad Bribe Technique

A couple of months ago, I took a friend of mine to this crappy club, on a touristy street in Montreal. There was a lineup of about 20 people outside. As usual, I walked past everyone with some cash in hand, ready to bribe the bouncer. When I got to him though, I noticed four guys huddled up right in front. One of them was telling his friends “C’mon man, hand over some cash, we gotta bribe the bouncer.” Two of the guys were reaching into their wallets and forking up some cash, and the third guy was debating whether or not it was worth it.

I took one look at these bozos, turned to my buddy and said “Dude, these guys are not getting in. They’re collecting cash right in front of the bouncer and everyone else. Not classy at all.” I glanced at the bouncer, and he was looking at these four guys and just shaking his head. I walked up to him, shook his hand, slipped him some cash, and got in. The four musketeers came up behind me and said “hey man, here’s a tip to get us in”.  He ignored the money and asked them to move to the back of the line.

Needless to say, if you’re gonna bribe a bouncer, make sure you prep your cash ahead of time, and do it discreetly.

You’re ready!

Alright guys, I’ve given you my info. You are now equipped to hack a nightclub line. I want you all to get out to a club this weekend and bypass some envious onlookers! Then come back here and tell me all about it, I’m curious to see how it works out for you. Also, do you have a better technique for bypassing lines? Post up! I’ll be more than happy to share it with everyone I know and test it out.

Let’s get one thing clear: this site isn’t about other people. This is about how I make my life better on a daily basis, and how you can make yours better too. However, you don’t need to do this alone.
The groovy part about increasing the amount of awesome in your life is that somewhere along your quest, you will meet people with similar interests that will help you on your journey. Those people are super important.

A “New Friend” has joined your party!

A few years ago, I started doing Sil Lum Hung Gar kung fu. I went to this great school a couple of metro stops from my house, and was there almost five days a week for a period of six months. I got in shape, and learned pretty quickly, but something was missing: I didn’t make any friends at the school. I had my own friends outside of kung fu, and they were great, but not having a group of pals to train with was definitely a factor that worked against me. It took me nearly four years to get to where I wanted at the style, with many periods of lapsing and not going regularly.

In contrast, when I started learning Wing Chun kung fu, the only other student was this awesome guy, and now my good friend, Josh. Josh and I quickly discovered a shared interest in video games, kung fu movies, and Magic:TheGathering, so we began to schedule weekly training sessions at my house. Josh would come over, we would fight and beat the crap out of each other, then relax and play some cards.

My goal with Wing Chun was to get over my fear of close combat, and I ended up reaching that goal much earlier than anticipated thanks to my buddy. The best part? I ended up making a great friend along the way.

Leveling up together

So what exactly am I trying to say? Well, without being too preachy or weird about it, make friends! Specifically, make friends with positive attitudes that will help you attain your goals. In Final Fantasy VII, Barrett didn’t make friends with Cloud because of his great attitude; he let him join his party because he needed someone with a big fucking sword to help him fight the Shinra.

You should do the same! Don’t make friends with people that will hold you back. Rather, make friends with people that you appreciate, that energize you, and that have similar goals. You’ll quickly realize that everyone will gain something out of the relationship, and like-minded people tend to create good things together. Just like Josh and I got good at Wing Chun together, you and your new friend can get good at crocheting/butterfly catching/porn collecting/whatever you want together. The best part? You’ll end up making a great friend along the way.

Warning! Danger ahead!

Be careful though. I’m encouraging you to make friends with someone, NOT use them for their abilities. The last thing you want to do is pretend to like someone, and then discard them when they’re not needed. Create a lasting friendship with them based on similar interests, attitudes and motivations, but also because you genuinely appreciate them as a person. In this way, if ever your interests diverge somewhere down the line, you’re still connected to them, still want to hang out, and still have a friend. Remember, when we gain XP, we change. Cloud and Barrett ended up becoming like family.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and make friends. As for me, I’m writing this blog and learning about myself all the time. The best part? I’m making friends every day along the way.