Archive for March, 2010

99. Carry Around a Novel

Posted in stuff on March 30, 2010 by Allen

Next time you’re on the bus or waiting at an airport, have a look around.  The art of “ipoding” is way up whilst the art of “noveling” is way down.  That’s tragic because reading is awesome!  It is captivating, informative and relaxing.  It stimulates your imagination in a way that no other form of media can.  Quite possibly the the second most rewarding solo activity a person can engage in.

But let’s be honest, they’re pretty long.  Here’s the good news:  You don’t actually have to read it to glean the cool that comes from these little handheld narratives.  You just have to carry one around.

Simply having a novel in hand will suggest several cool things about you:  You’re literate.  You have the focus and dedication to finish long projects.  You’re calm enough to sit still for extended periods of time.

Smart people are cool and smart people read novels, ergo, carrying a novel around will make you appear both smarter and cooler.

For an added air of book club snobbery, try using novels as drink coasters at the next cocktail party you host, “Oh, Sasha, I just had the countertops redone.  Here, let me give you….ummm 1984.  You can put your drink on that.  It won’t mind, it’s used to being oppressed.”

98. Flash An Intriguing Underwear Band

Posted in style on March 27, 2010 by Allen

Catching a glimpse of an intriguing underwear band is like seeing a beautiful marlin leap magnificently out of the water and then disappear again beneath the waves.  You continue to gaze longingly at the spot where you last saw it, desperately hoping to catch another eyeful, secretly wondering if you actually saw what you thought you saw, while at the same time not wanting to look for too long for fear of being caught foolishly staring.

For the wearers of the mysterious underwear band, the  basic rules are twofold:

#1. The band should be eye-catching.  Unique color schemes,  lettering and textures.

#2. It’s gotta be subtle!  We’re talking just the slightest hint here, the very top of the band above the jeans, nothing more.  You should allow it to be visible only for a moment.  Unless you’re Marky Mark or a Las Vegas hooker, as the rhyme goes, “breaking this rule will make you look like a tool”.

Whenever we are talking about underwear we begin to venture into the realm of “sexy”.  Now,” sexy” and “cool” are not directly related, but they’re in the same neighborhood and  live, at most, just a couple of doors down from each other.

97. Remember People’s Name

Posted in skills on March 23, 2010 by Allen

The truth is, we’re all hugely self-centered creatures.   When someone remembers our name, our ego gets a nice little stroke and a wave of importance and good feeling rushes through us.  Naturally, we project that good feeling onto the source, the person who remembered our name, instantly raising their status and cool-quotient in the process.  If you wanna reap those benefits, the cool thing to do is to remember names.

A variation of this is the Preemptive Re-intro. Let’s be honest, remembering names are hard.  Often you’ll find yourself in a situation where you know you know the person but you also know that neither one of you can remember the other’s name.  In such a case it’s best to sleekly address the pink elephant in the room by re-introducing yourself before things get weird.  Approach them with all the warmth of an old friend, “Hey, good to see you again, what’s going on?” and then immediately and subtly remind them of your name, “Allen”.  They will instantly reciprocate with their own moniker and everyone will feel an enormous sense of relief that nobody had to say the uncomfortable, “I’m sorry, I’ve totally forgotten your name”, phrase.

Or you can just  guess.  This worked once for me when someone I swear I’ve never met before came up to me and said, “Hey Allen, how are you?” at a university beer garden.  I stared blankly at her for a minute and then said, “I’m well….Jennifer, how are you?”  “I’m awesome!” she miraculously responded.   It’s risky because you have a 99.9% chance of being wrong, but the little adrenaline rush you feel when you roll the dice is pretty awesome.

96. Have a Fully Stocked Home Bar

Posted in stuff on March 20, 2010 by Allen

Having a fully stocked  home bar is indicative of several cool personal attributes:  #1. the foresight to know what guests might want   #2. the patience to amass a full collection of bottles  #3. the organizational ability to find an out-of-the-way place to store everything and  #4. the self-control not to drink it all yourself.

So, what do you need to include?  Your basic bar should have a bottle of bourbon, gin, rum (light and dark), tequila, scotch, vodka, Grand Marnier, champagne, wine (red and white) and vermouth.  You’ll also need some tools (corkscrews, etc), glasses, and snacks.  Some coasters with miscellaneous trivia or jokes written on the back would also be a nice touch.

“Hey, can I get you a drink?  What would you like?”

“What do you have?”


“Sweet!  I’ll take one of each, then.”

A Cartoon about a Pitcher who throws a No-hitter while on LSD

Posted in sweet videos on March 17, 2010 by Allen

Apparently this is the true story of Dock Ellis who, on June 12, 1970, threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the San Diego Padres.  For those of you who don’t know much about baseball, throwing a no-hitter is one of the best things a pitcher can do.

Now, I’m certainly not saying that doing acid at work is cool, but, making a cartoon about someone who does and then getting that very same someone to narrate it kind of is.

Film written and directed by James Blagden.

95. Flip-Flops, All the Time

Posted in stuff on March 15, 2010 by Allen

Nothing says “I’m on Vacation” like wearing flip-flops all the time.

Whether you’re just stepping out to grab the paper or you’re going to play a round of pitch n’ putt, the shoe of choice has got to be the flip-flop.

Take your toes out for little run, give em a look around.  The beautiful thing about these little shoelets is that they make everything from shorts, to jeans, to dress pants look Margaritaville chic.

There’s something magically entrancing about the rhythmical clippity-clop that the flip flop makes as you walk down the street.  It’s as if to say, “I may not know exactly where I’m going today, but I sure as hell ain’t going to work.”

94. Develop your own Catch-Phrase

Posted in statements on March 11, 2010 by Allen

Mr_T_BAIf you’re going to reach the pinnacle of cool and become a pop culture icon, you gotta have a catch phrase.  This is just basic marketing but you’ve got to give people a wicked slogan to remember you by.

What follows is a short list of catch-phrase opportunities, followed by an example.  Feel free to try them out.

Greeting a friend: Yo, what’s the Headline?!

Leaving a party: It’s Pumpkin Time!!

When someone asks you, “Are you sure about that?”: I’ve read the scroll!

When someone says to you, “Dude, you look nervous.”: I feel like a 13 year old boy in a lingerie shop.

93. Do a Hood Slide

Posted in skills, sweet videos on March 7, 2010 by Allen

The perfect hood slide is best done with no warning. You want to just launch into it and have your friends gasp in awe at what they just saw. With the two and a half seconds you’ll  save from not having to walk around the car you can stand back to bask in the glory of their admiration for your Dukes of Hazzard Hop.

Two important things to determine beforehand……#1 Is the car  strong enough that you won’t leave a huge dent?  The last thing you want is a pond forming on your hood every time it rains and…….#2 Is there a hood ornament?  Stitches are cool, but not down there.

Do this:

Or, for bonus points, do this:

But don’t do this:

92. Throw Up a Genuine High-5

Posted in skills on March 3, 2010 by Allen

A “Genuine High-5” should be completely spontaneous.  It should explode!  One only occurs when both participants are so overcome by the emotion of the moment that they have no recourse but to allow their arms and hands to erupt in a glorious collision of celebration. Your palm should sting a little.

There is no aiming, no watching the other person’s elbow.  If there is even the slightest hesitation the High-5 will feel forced, awkward and sad, like the participation ribbon at an elementary school Sports Day.

They are extremely rare, but oh so cool.  You’ve probably only been involved in, at best, 5 or 6 GH5’s in your whole life.  A Genuine High-5 only occurs when the conditions are absolutely right, when there is a perfect storm of passion, luck, accomplishment and euphoria.  Beautiful and awesome at the same time.  Like seeing the Aurora Borealis from the cockpit of a Russian MIG fighter jet.

“Dear London”, My Olympic Conclusion

Posted in soirees, sports on March 1, 2010 by Allen

Dear London,

In two years you will be getting the Olympics.  If you choose to embrace them, you have no idea how sweet they are going to be!

During the games, you will feel like you are hemorrhaging money.  You will be shocked at how much you spend but you won’t care because you will feel like you’re on vacation in your own city.  Not just “you”, but everyone, on the same vacation, in the same place, and you’re all best friends.

Every night you will have 20 different places to go and you’ll have friends at all of them.  You’ll feel like you need to seize each moment, see everything, do everything, be everywhere.  It’s exhausting.  You won’t sleep.  You’ll love it.

Vancouver prides itself on being a multi-cultural and diverse city (sound familiar?) but sometimes, that hurts it.  There are so many different groups of people that have little in common with one another and often that keeps them distant and separate.  For 2 weeks, all of that suddenly changed.  Everyone felt as if they were of the same tribe.  We all felt as one.  I cannot count how many sincere hugs and high-5’s I have exchanged with complete strangers.  Every human being should feel what that’s like.  It’s empowering.  People will talk about an “Olympic Legacy”, something that remains with the city after the games are gone.  It’s not a speed-skating oval or a new rapid transit line.  It’s the incredible sense of unity that a populace feels when they know that they are all a part of something genuinely great, together.

You will witness moments of greatness that will go down in national history.  I ran into a guy outside the stadium yesterday who had just bought a single scalped ticket to the game for $1800.  He said he had put aside two thousand since the summer with the intention of spending it on this one gold-medal hockey game.  Considering the outcome, he got the bargain of the century.

You will witness moments of ridiculousness: The mayor of Vancouver came onstage just before the free Damien Marley concert and proclaimed February 24th “Canadian National Snowboarding Day”.  What!!??  That’s Olympic fever for you.

You will witness moments of cool gone wrong: My brother got busted for ginching a micky and kicked out of the free Girltalk concert 2 days later.

You will find yourself caring about obscure sports like the Skeleton or the Biathelon and discussing the finer strategy of these events with your friends.

You will fall in love with the athletes because they are real people.  They are not prima-donna millionaires who play for massive sports clubs (for the most part), they are regular folk, many of whom have regular jobs, who have trained for years doing some little-known solo sport and are sincerely trying their absolute best to make their country proud.  You will relate to these people.  You’ll feel their pain and their joy.  It’s catharsis.

Foreign medias may criticize your Olympics, saying the venues are poorly prepared, infrastructure is ill-organized, the competitions lack drama or style.  What they fail to realize is that the Olympics are not about sports.  They are about spilling out into the streets and cheering as one, feeling something as one.  The sports themselves are just an excuse to cheer.  They are merely a vehicle to unite the masses into one common and singular passion.  You cannot possibly realize that unless you step out onto the streets and feel it for yourself.

People will denounce your Olympics by telling you that $6 billion dollars (estimate of what ours cost) for a 2 week long party isn’t worth it…..but…..what if it is?   My city has never felt better.


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