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.

85. Throw a Party that has a “Second Wave”

Posted in soirees on February 1, 2010 by Allen

Consider this from the perspective of a guest: you’ve had a great time,  some great conversations, met some cool new people, but now you’re starting to feel a bit tired and you’re thinking of going home.  As you go to grab your jacket there is a knock on the door and a whole new group of people arrives.  This new group is fun, energetic and looking to rip it up.

Then another group arrives, and another.  Maybe you have some friends amidst this second wave, maybe you don’t, but before you realize it it’s three hours later and you’re far drunker then you had planned on getting tonight.

Conclusion:  Best party you’ve been to in months and, of course, the success of the party is reflected upon it’s host.  The only problem now is that your hoarse throat and slurred words make it difficult to communicate with the taxi driver.

83. Play the “Guess Who’s from Europe” Game

Posted in soirees, sports on January 25, 2010 by Allen

This game is played exactly how it sounds.  Whenever you’re at a bar,  restaurant, art show, rave, topless beach or any other public place, you simply try to guess who’s from Europe.

Here’s one clue that never fails:  Look at their jeans.  Sometimes they’ll look way better, sometimes they’ll look way worse, but they’ll always look slightly out of place.  Notice how the waistband sags differently, how the leg tappers in a dissimilar way, how the flare, wash and rise somehow feels unlike anything you’ve ever seen on your friends.

Keep a running score with your friends for the night.  To verify, ask your subject a question about wine or bicycles and listen for the accent.

P.S.:  When played in Europe the game is called “Guess Who’s from North America”.  Exact same rules and clues apply.  The verifying question should be about UFC or action movies, however.

73. Ginch a Mickey

Posted in soirees on December 12, 2009 by Allen

And sneak it into the club.  Think of how cool you’ll be when you break it out and start spiking everybody’s drinks under the table.  A rebel who brazenly plays by their own rules and helps liquor up their friends in the process.  That’s a double shot of cool!

Do not feel guilty about this.  After the $20 cover charge and the stupid $5 coat check, you deserve a discount on something.

Ginching a mickey is awesome because the risk / reward ratio is completely in your favor.  The reward for smuggling in free booze is far greater than the risk of the bouncer discovering it when he frisks you at the door.  Really the only way he’s going to find your baby bottle is if he grabs your crotch and if he’s prepared to do that, he deserves to win anyway.

P.S.: Don’t throw the empty bottle on the floor of the club.  Take it to the bathroom and hide it in the garbage.  The less attention you draw to what you’re doing the easier it will be to get away with it again and again.

72. Roll with a Crew

Posted in soirees on December 8, 2009 by Allen

Wolves have this one figured out.  In the Canis Lupus world, you’re only as strong as your pack.

There are a couple of key things to remember, here:  #1. You have to have cool people in your crew and #2. Within the crew, you need to be the coolest person.  Following these simple rules will increase your own cool exponentially

When it comes right down to it, traveling with a posse is not so much about intimidation as it’s about having a bunch of people with you to laugh at your jokes.

And remember, your crew shouldn’t to be any larger then 4 or 5 people, otherwise you won’t all be able to fit into 1 cab.

A Cool Celebration of 2 Important Days

Posted in soirees, sweet videos on October 28, 2009 by Allen

Courtesy of 30 Rock

59. Solve a Mystery

Posted in soirees on October 16, 2009 by Allen

scoobySherlock Holmes, Magnum and the Las Vegas CSI department have two things in common.  They are detectives and they are cool.

Everybody loves a sleuth, whether they’re cracking the code of the Devil’s Triangle or helping to find their  friend’s car keys.   In a world full of secrets, they  show us the answers.

We admire them because  a good detective is the perfect combination of science, faith and balls: they use cold hard logic, a keen mystical intuition and the recklessness of a rodeo clown.  Sweet.

All you need to do is follow the clues.

56. DJ the Party

Posted in soirees on October 5, 2009 by Allen

DJ-Trooper-detailBeing a good DJ is not easy.  It requires talent, dedication and practice.  The good news is, you can be a bad DJ and get almost as much tail.

As a culture, we seem to blindly worship the one who controls the party.  This is why you should insist on being placed on some kind of raised platform or pedestal.    If you don’t know what you’re doing, at least look busy.  Wear a hat or a hood, something you can pull down over your eyes.  This will make you seem that much more mysterious.  Hunch your shoulders and bend your neck.  The measure of a DJ’s greatness is based on how low they stoop down towards their decks.

Even if you’re just playing tracks off your ipod, the DJ is given a special position of respect.  If the kids are digging your tunes, you’re golden.  Let them all dance in your glow, baby.

36. Dance with the Flower Girl

Posted in soirees on July 30, 2009 by Allen

DancingwiththeflowergirlHow can you watch that and not smile?  Too easy.

Make sure you’re the first person to do this.  Others will try to dance with her afterwards, but they’re just biters.

And for God’s sake, get to her early in the evening.  The last thing you want is to lose your opportunity because the reception has gone on past her bedtime.  Unless her mom has allowed her to eat copious amounts of cake, she could very well fall asleep on you before the dancing starts.

34. Take in a Minor League Baseball Game

Posted in soirees on July 23, 2009 by Allen

QuakesIt’s like the beach.  You get to spend hours in the sun drinking beer surrounded hundreds of people wearing next to nothing.

The team names in are hilarious: The Tri-City Dust Devils, The Toledo Mud Hens, The Albuquerque Isotopes, The Newburyport Clamdiggers, The Saginaw-Bay City Hyphens.

But here’s the best part.  Heckling.  You’re sitting so close that you know the players can hear you and half of them are still teenagers so you know that what you say affects them.  You have the power to influence the outcome of the game!!

For around $10 a ticket, that’s great value for your buck.

13. Spend your Last Buck at the Horse Track

Posted in soirees on May 25, 2009 by Allen

horse-racingIf you’re going broke, then go for broke.

Similar to Las Vegas, the horse track is 1 part family fun and 1 part utter desperation.  Even if you’re not destitute, it’s incredibly thrilling to rub shoulders with people whose fortunes are being won and lost by a nose.  Bask in the glory as Angelina Foal-ie turns your $10 bet into this months rent.  Shudder in horror as Glue Diamond Phillips breaks his leg and gets put down in front of everyone.

Get dressed up, box a superfecta and Let It Ride!

8. Host a night of Parlor Games

Posted in soirees on May 19, 2009 by Allen

charades-party-game-main_FullThis is old school Wii.  There are a bunch of great games you can play, from Charades to Celebrity to  Mafia.  The key is to try to create the most conflict between teams by exploiting the natural rivalries amongst your guests and dividing them accordingly:  Men vs. Women, Fathers vs. Sons, Atheists vs. Everybody Else.

Also, if you’re  the host, you need to wear a suit or a ball gown.  It’s cool to look better then your guests.

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