Hooray for Boobies!!

Yes… hooray for boobies indeed. I love them so much. :-)

But, in all seriousness, I do want to talk something that means a lot to me. Every year, around this time of year, I campaign to get donations and raise money for breast cancer awareness. This is because, ever since 2008, in the first Saturday of June, I participate in Susan G. Komen's "Race for the Cure" when it comes around here in DC.

The reason why is simple… In April 2008, my mom had to endure a double mastectomy because they found lumps in both of her breasts. The surgery went well, but the recovery process was long and arduous. She was in the hospital for a few days dizzy and throwing up from all the meds. But when she came home, she was bed-ridden and in unbearable pain for about a few weeks. Every time she was in pain, I was in pain. It's always unbearable seeing someone who's raised you and you always love in excruciating pain.

She is much better today, and almost back to normal, but even two years after the surgery, some of the after effects can still be felt today. The meds she takes (which is an alternative to chemotherapy, mainly tamoxifen), has some side effects, that changes you all-around as a person, not only physically, but also mentally as well.

I've always looked up to my mom as a very strong woman, and she always has been, and still is. But as age wears on you, and as time goes by, I worry about her each and every single day… and although she's still with us (and as much as I, she, and anyone close to her wouldn't like to admit it), this disease has definitely taken a toll on her, in more ways than one, as it does anyone who's experienced it.

Therefore, I really feel that there really needs to be a cure. Not only for breast cancer, but cancer in general. My personal family history shows that we have been prone to cancer, so it's personal to me, and we definitely need to do what we can to eradicate it.. And since breast cancer kills a lot of people every year, and not so much in a self-imposing manner (unlike lung cancer), this cause really means a lot. If we haven't found the cure by the time my niece Cady turns into a middle aged adult, it would be very disappointing, because she would have a chance in getting it.

But, this is the reason why my brother and I have pretty much made it tradition to start a team, and run this race each year in honor for my mom. And, if we can raise some money along the way and do our part to help out, all the better…

So, along with e-mail, and social networking, I'm using this entry as a vehicle to try to get a few donations. First year we did this, "Team Obedoza" raised more than $8000. Last year, we didn't do as well as that, and we raised a little under $5000, if I'm not mistaken. This year, it will be a little tougher to raise funds, due to the penny-pinching economy.

But, every little bit can help. So, if you can help out in any way, by giving any kind of donation, it would surely be appreciated. You can donate by credit card (or if you prefer, donate by mail by writing a check and filling out a form), by clicking the link below…

But as a free gift, I'm throwing in the limited edition PINK OBECorp "Out-of-the-Box Empowerment" bands I created some time ago. I honestly created them for an occasion like this, because I know I'll be participating in a few of these events, and it's a great way to raise money for this cause. Take a look…

If you're kind enough to donate ANY amount, you will get at least one pink band. Depending on the amount you'll donate, you'll get multiple amounts of these bands (up to 15). Like I said, these are limited edition, and only 350 of these have been made (compared to the few thousand of it's red and white counterparts). These pink bands are even individually labeled, and they are only given out to those giving special donations to advance breast cancer research or to breast cancer survivors, which would make it why they are so rare. Who knows, these might even become a collectors item, especially when the Obedoza "brand" builds momentum. ;-)

Just from reading this blog… you should know how much this cause really means to me, and that somehow, I've gotten through to you. So, if you like boobs and want to save them, I hope that you can help out and help save the boobies. If you do, I will love ya forever. :-)

D4P… PD!!!

PS: Here's the link again in case you missed it the first time…


Capital Collapse

I realize I'm a week late in writing about this, but I want to talk some DC Sports again and talk about the Washington Capitals loss (or "collapse", as what some people would say) in the first round of the NHL playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens.

First, some background information for the people who don't follow this team, or haven't followed hockey during this past year… The Washington Capitals have been the class of the NHL, winning the President's Trophy (hardware given to the team with practically the best record), and has the largest margin of points for (scored) and points against (allowed). They were practically in a roll the whole season, won their division and conference with weeks to play, and clinched the best record two weeks before the playoff started. In fact, this team was the best team that this Washington, DC area has had in YEARS (not since the 1991 Redskins has this area been buzzing about a championship)…

But, then the playoffs started. They played a Montreal team who split their regular season series with them. Even then, many experts picked this series to be a short series in the Caps' favor. However, they weren't didn't play to their advantage (they were abysmal in the Power Play at 1 for 33 in the series, and it was hard for them to score a goal), and they ran into a decent defense and a red hot goaltender named Jaroslav Halak (who stopped 131 out of 134 shots in the final 3 games of the series).

Honestly, when they lost last Wednesday, I was in complete and utter shock. As a big fan and supporter of the DC sports scene, I really wanted this team to succeed and I truly did believe this was the best shot this area has had in winning a championship in almost 2 decades! Instead, it culminates a crazy 12-months in sports that the big 4 teams in this area has had (starting with the Capitals heartbreak playoff to the Penguins, to the Nationals, Redskins, and Wizards being terrible last place teams, all the way to this mighty Caps team with an early playoff exit). I even lost a bit of sleep that night when they lost, trying to figure out what went wrong. And admittedly, the reason why I may have taken so long to write this blog is because I'm still somewhat in denial (as I still haven't shaved my playoff facial hair yet either, as of now).

But, as the heartbreak slowly dissipated away, I realized there was still a lot of hope. With just a few more changes, this team has a chance to duplicate, or even surpass, what they did in the regular season last year and carry it into next year. They have a good core of guys which includes the 2-time (and possibly 3-time, after this year's end) MVP in Alex Ovechkin, an ultra talented centerman in Nick Backstrom, and a very young, athletic, and talented goaltender in Semyon Varlamov. And, their most talented defensemen (John Carlson and Karl Alzner) still are very young with loads of untapped potential. Not to mention, their coach Bruce Boudreau, is probably one of the best in the NHL, who was a former coach of the Year, and led this team from the cellar in their division, to the best team in the NHL. If the Caps can get a free agent or two during the off-season, that will get them tougher on defense, and up front, then they should be fine (or even better) come next year.

Also, I read a great article from Dan Steinberg (a sports blogger who works for the Washington Post), in which this Capitals team closely resembled and mirrored the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers dynasty from the 80s, who lost their first 3 playoff years, pretty much in identical manner that this Capitals team did (including also clinching the conference's best record by a wide margin in their 3rd year, only to be disappointed with a 1st round exit). You can read the article here.

So don't fret Caps fans. There's hope after all. History may be destined to repeat itself, only the Edmonton Oilers can be mirrored by the Capitals. Not to mention, this is a classy and well-run organization from top to bottom, with a great system, with one of the best owners in sports in Ted Leonsis (whom I have previously constantly blogged about).

But speaking of Ted Leonsis, his book "The Business of Happiness" (which I will probably blog about in the future) talks about "reckonings" and to not "let a crisis go to waste". I truly believe that this epic "collapse" by the Caps is a reckoning for them, they'll learn from their mistakes, and will then be destined for even greater things in the future. It is kind of a letdown though that this team will have to wait a long summer, and 82 more games for an opportunity to prove themselves again.

Although this post is centered on disappointment and DC Sports, it can also be motivational… so it does fall under the category of an "out-of-the-box empowerment" blog dose. So I hoped you enjoyed reading it…

D4P… PD!!!

PS: On a somewhat unrelated note, I actually wrote a motivational piece of me speaking in front of Vince DiCola's song "War" (which was heard in Rocky IV), when the Capitals lost another heartbreaking Game 7 to the Philadelphia Flyers two years ago. I literally recorded the following video less than 24 hours after I got home from that game (feel free to check out that "rough" version)…


I have also produced a "final" copy of this piece (which can also be found in that YouTube Channel), but I'm thinking about re-recording it again, only wearing my Capitals Ovechkin jersey.


Great Tips on Taking Final Exams

It's about that time of year again… for most students, the end of the semester is afoot, and many are getting ready for the dreaded period known as "Finals Week" (or what some would like to call, "Hell Week"). As somebody who occasionally speaks to and motivates college students, I'm going to make some useful time to help out my peeps out there who are about to go through this hellacious, yet rewarding period. As somber as it may sound, this period is usually what your previous 3-4 months culminate to, and you should never take it lightly.

Before I get into talking about these few tips, I'm going to say that if I knew what I was about to tell you now, I probably would've made the Dean's List in all of my years in college. it took me a while to really "figure it out" and know what it takes to be successful in college. And it wasn't until my senior year that I have applied a lot of these things that I am about to discuss, which was the year that I really excelled in college. I went from a 2.0 GPA when I was a Freshman, to a 3.74 GPA in my Final Semester.

Secondly, if you're reading this and you are not in college or high school and you're not about to take your finals… believe it or not, this article/blog post is for you as well. Although you may not be taking "final exams" anymore, there are (or will be) big projects or events that you have to get ready for that will have a HUGE determining factor on your "success", therefore, you have to be as ready and as well-prepared as you can possibly be. Life in itself has several "final exams", and you can apply a lot of what I'm going to write about in whatever you have going on (the have no transcript telling you what your "final grade" is… either you, or your results will have to determine that).

I will also say that a lot of these tips are not designed for you to fry your brain, lock yourself in your dorm room, and bury your head studying. In my opinion, if you do that, you are just setting yourself up for failure. These tips that I'll offer are great, refreshing, and maybe to a lot of you… an "out-of-the box" approach in preparation for taking final exams, or whatever big thing you have going on in life.

So without further ado, here are just a few of the tips that helped me prepare for Finals Week…

  • TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY! In the days leading up to Finals Week (usually the last 1 or 2 weeks of classes) you would want to pay attention in your classes. And the reason why is that your professors and TAs will likely share relevant information as to what's going to be in the final. They'll either give you detailed review sheets that you can look at (which in many cases, will pretty much outline your exam), or they're going to give you information on when they will hold a "review session", in which they'll tell you what to study (and what not to study). More often than not, the teachers will have their exams written by then, and the content they focus on in these review sessions will likely be what their exams are going to be. So you will want to attend those "review sessions" as much as possible. Supplementally, if possible, if your professor or TA will be holding "office hours" during the days leading up to finals… take advantage of them! By showing up in their "office hours" you are really showing them that you care about this exam and that you really want to pass, and that factor can come into play when they are grading your exam and they have to give you your final grade. Not to mention, you can ask them specific questions that address your concerns, and you may get good insight from them regarding your test that you probably wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
  • FORM STUDY GROUPS! Study groups are pretty much "mastermind" groups for colleges. Find people who are around your level, but ALSO invite those who are a step or two above or below you intellectually in the subject matter. To address the latter (of inviting others intellectually above or below you), you may be strong where they may be weak. For example, if you invite an excelling off campus-student to your study group, he can offer you insights on how and why he is excelling, while you (or others in your group) are offering him acceptance on campus, and possibly friendship (which is important to people who commute and don't have too much time to make friends around campus, believe me, I know). On the other side of the spectrum, you can invite a popular student on the brink of failing the subject you're studying to your group, and by helping him succeed, he can also help your "social status" (if that's what you're into). The point is, EVERYBODY always has something to offer to ANYONE, and we can use each other's strengths to help build on each others' weaknesses. That's a universal rule, not only in college, but also in life. Believe me when I say that you're going to be forming (or be a part of) groups similar to this long after college is over.
  • FOLLOW YOUR ROUTINE. Although you may get a day or two to study for finals… treat it like any other school/work day, and don't waste it doing useless stuff, like excessive partying, video game playing, Facebooking, or in many cases, over cramming. Use the "review sessions" and study groups and approach them as an opportunity to learn, as you would in any of your other classes on a normal day. And if you have a job while in school, you don't need to take extra time off just to study for a test. Work the same hours you have been working (no more and no less), and mix that up with your studying like you usually do. The reason why, is if you stay focused on what you already have going on daily, that can help you focus on what's important when it comes to exam time. As far as over-cramming is concerned, you shouldn't take too much time frying your brain trying to study for the test. You're going to need your brain come test time.
  • TAKE BREAKS AND HAVE FUN!!! Like I said, frying your brain while studying is never good for you, so it's healthy to take a break every once in a while. Have lunch, work out, meditate, play video games with your friends, go talk to your girlfriend… whatever. Do what you have to do to take some time to re-charge your batteries. But like I said, don't take too much time to do those things and don't do them excessively. Too much of anything is bad, and you have to have a good balance to get your mind right. Not to mention, your goal at hand is to excel in your exam so you get through the semester! You must stay focused on that.
  • Most importantly… GET SOME REST! Try to get a good amount of sleep the night before your final(s). Don't stay out too late, nor pull "all-nighters" studying for tests. You're actually doing yourself a detriment by doing that. If you have more than one final during the day… scan your notes, but also don't forget to meditate, or take a power nap in between exams. If applicable, say a little prayer or two on the way. (Yes, I believe spirituality can also help get your mind right). You want to keep your mind clear, yet focused, and getting some much needed rest will help you do all of that.
Those are the 5 important things that I feel you can focus on as far as studying for finals. As with everything, I could probably discuss more than these 5 things, but I do truly believe that if you apply these 5 things some way or another, I will guarantee that you'll do very well in your exams. And like I said, the advice I've given here is not limited to "test-taking" or to college or high school students. I guarantee that you can (and will) apply a lot of what I talked about in this blog in whatever you'll do (or are doing) in life.

So with that said, good luck, excel, and be awesome in all of your "tests".

D4P… PD!!!


I have to admit it… I have neglected this blog for so long. However, that is all going to change.

There have been tons and tons of stuff going on in the world, from Tiger Woods, to the bad economy, to Ben Rothelisberger, to whatever. But, I haven't talked about them, because I simply didn't choose to.

Now, I'm not going to say that I'm going to talk about those things in my future posts, but I am going to be talking about some of the topics that are important to my world, and perhaps your world, which may or may not necessarily get all of the headlines. (So yes, I might talk about Tiger Woods, so long as it ties into what I'm talking about). Though it will help out my Google ranking, I'm not here to win popularity contests and just talk about stuff because it's the flavor of the month.

But as always, many of my posts will center around the idea that I've always had for this blog, which is the theme of "Out of the Box Empowerment", which is a different way to look at whatever is going on in life (whether it be my own life, or life in general), while at the same time, using our surroundings and situations to unconventionally empower ourselves by it. (See my 2nd blog post). As always, I am also gonna offer an unfiltered view of my thoughts and interests, so you can take a peek in my head a bit and of course, get to know me a bit better.

Starting today, I will do some very useful, informative, yet opinionated blogging once again. I already have a list of possible ideas that I have written as far as what I could write about in future blog posts. There also have been topics that I've promised to write about in previous posts, which I will also get to, when the time is right…

Definitely stay tuned! If you are still in school (or you just want some tips on how to prepare for something important), you wouldn't want to miss the next blog post for today!

D4P… PD!!!