Archive for the soirees Category

166. Deep Fry a Turkey

Posted in skills, soirees on November 20, 2012 by Allen

The three pillars of cool are: Doing things effectively, doing things quickly, and doing things awesomely.  If you deep fry your turkey this year, you will touch upon these three pillars in dazzling fashion.

The deep frier has taken a lot of flak in recent years now that being unhealthy is no longer fashionable.  When you apply this technology to your turkey dinner, however, you not only create an eye-catching spectacle that the whole family can enjoy, but you also cut 6 hours off your cooking time, freeing you up to spend more time drinking beer and watching football.

140. Be the “Point Man” for the Evening’s Events

Posted in soirees on January 25, 2011 by Allen

This is a high risk/high reward job.  As the Point Man, you are essentially the organizer.  Most likely, the night’s activities were your idea.  If the itinerary you lay out is awesome and everyone has a good time, you’re the hero.  If the events are not fun, well… that goes on your permanent record.

What’s that?  You’re ready to step up and design a soiree of fun for your friends?  OK, here’s the difficult part:  You’ll be spending half the night fielding texts and firing off messages of logistics to everyone.  You need to be firm and decisive!  You make a meeting time and you stick to it!  You have the addresses of all the places you’ll be going to and the times you expect to be there!  People will forget where they’re going, they’ll come late, they’ll want to know if they’re on the guest list.  Make sure your phone is charged.  If it dies, the evening is lost.

Your friends are awesome, but when you’re the Point Man, they’re like a bunch of preschool children.  Tell them what to do and where to go and they’ll love you for it.

137. Just Eat at the Party

Posted in soirees on December 26, 2010 by Allen

Nothing is more frustrating than having a big meal before going out for the night only to realize, once you get to the party, that you’re too full to enjoy any of the spread.  Proper food planning is essential in order for you to get the most out of your seasonal holiday parties.

First of all, eating dinner before going out is just wasted time.  Cool people are so busy doing cool things and making the world a cooler place that taking time out for a meal is rarely an option.

Secondly, everyting you need is already at the party.  Most spreads will include the five essential food groups:  vegetables, cheese, pastries, crab cakes and chocolate desserts.

Finally, it’s impolite not to graze on the food your host has laid out.  If they’ve gone to all the trouble to microwave those little sausage rolls from Costco, the most gracious thing you can do is to jam a bunch of them in your mouth.  It’s common courtesy.

“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.


91. Have the Best Looking Meal at your Table

Posted in soirees, stuff on February 25, 2010 by Allen

There is a beautiful moment of tension when the waitress sidles up to your table carrying everyone’s meal.  Whose dinner will look the most appetizing?  Who did the best job of cracking the code of the menu and ordering the best entree?

A big part of being cool is being the envy of your friends, and having the meal with the most flavorful facade earns a huge amount of envy.  This is why the ordering process can take so long, “What are you getting?  Oh really, the Cajun Chicken Wrap, is that good here?”   Nobody wants the waitress to hand them a plate that looks like floor-sweepings and then spend the rest of the meal staring longingly at everyone else’s repast.

So, how do you know what to order?  Unless you’ve eaten there before, you’ll need to look for the little clues.  Here’s one: pay attention to the free candies they give at the register.  If they are mints, order pasta.  If they are licorice/ouzo flavored, order the souvlaki.  If there are Asian characters on the packaging, feel confident in ordering the rice bowl.  If it’s a mish-mash of different candies, your best bet is the burger.  And finally, if there are no candies at all, well, that’s the restaurant’s way of telling you their food needs no confectionary support and you can safely go ahead and order the steak, the Cadillac of Restaurant Meals.

90. Break Out of a Slump

Posted in soirees, sports on February 22, 2010 by Allen

The only negative thing about ending a slump is that it requires you to have been in a slump in the first place.  That can be a real drag.  It’s basically an absence of cool, a cool cavity.  The good news, however, is that for all the loss of cool you experience whilst in the depths of your slump, your cool will be returned to you tenfold as you break out of it.

You see, we are a culture that likes to get behind the underdog.  We love stories of the downtrodden succeeding against all odds, overcoming scandals, finding redemption and generally rising from the ashes.

So, whether you’re the Boston Redsox, the World Economy, or a single guy trying to” pick up” at the bar, there’s nothing that feels quite as good or carries quite as much relief as breaking out of a long slump.


The Canadian Men’s team squeaked by the Swiss in a shootout and then lost to the Americans on Sunday night.  This constitutes a major slump.  C’mon Canada, get back in there!  Rub some ice on it and walk it off!

In every great sports story the good guys have to spend a little time with their backs against the wall. We really wouldn’t want this to play out any other way.  Breaking this slump is going to be an awesome task, but when they do, it’s going to be all the sweeter.  There’s a whole lotta’ cool on the line and all the Canadian team needs to do now is simply reach out and grab it!  It was always theirs in the first place.

A Cool Personal Olympic Update

Posted in soirees on February 20, 2010 by Allen

So, this is what’s been going on with me the last couple of days:  My family and I went to the Canada vs Switzerland hockey game on Thursday.  Canada won in a shootout.  Sweet.  I don’t use the word “euphoria” very often, but in this case, it applies.  On the way to the game I got interviewed by one of the free local daily newspapers.

Granted, the only reason I’m in this thing is because I look like a clown, but still, getting in a newspaper is pretty awesome and clearly, from what I’m wearing, I know how to pick a winner.

Here’s a question: What the hell am I doing with my hands?  It’s like I’m the Kool-Aid man and I’ve just busted through the brick wall in behind.  Ohhhh yeahhh!!!

This marks the second time I’ve made it into this particular publication.  The first time, I was on the cover, somewhat blurred out, in the background, playing Dodge-ball when they were doing a feature on my team.  Like I said, free daily paper.

Once we got into the stadium, some random dude came up to my brothers and I and asked if he could get his picture taken with us.

Turns out this guy was Canadian Olympic snowboarding gold medal winner and lover of the chronic, Ross Rebagliati.  When semi-celebrities are asking you for photos, that’s when you know you’re doing something right.

My conclusion:  I’m getting a lot of mileage out of my hat.

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