Archive for the stuff Category

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.

88. Never Stand in Lineups

Posted in stuff on February 15, 2010 by Allen

Lining up sucks.  You never see movie stars or pro athletes do it, so why should you?  If you can’t skip the line or stick to the 5 Minute Rule, go somewhere else.

But what happens if there’s a lineup outside a club and there’s an awesome band inside that you want to see?  Well, then you have to make a difficult choice.  Just know that when you stand in line in front of a club, you become a living, breathing advertisement for that club.  The club is, in effect, stealing your cool and masquerading it as it’s own.  If you’re ok with that transaction, so be it, but at the very least, you need to know that that’s what’s happening.

If you choose to walk away, however, you can do so proudly by remembering that Standing in a lineup is a waste of time and cool people don’t have time to waste.

Check out my Olympic “Credentials”

Posted in stuff on February 13, 2010 by Allen

82. Listen to Records

Posted in stuff on January 19, 2010 by Allen

There is a distinct difference in the kind of sound you get from a record.  Whether you feel that sound is of a richer or fuller quality is unimportant.  What is important is that in the very act of pulling a record out of it’s sleeve, sliding it onto the table and gently placing the needle into the grooves you are demonstrating a respect and appreciation for the history of music that can only be described as cool.

What sets record listening apart is the beautiful way that the experience ends.  When a concert’s done, they just turn the house lights on.  When a cassette tape finishes, there’s an abrupt click.  When your CD or MP3 playlist is over, there’s just silence.  But, if your player is old enough, after a record has finished all it’s music, you get to hear that elegant and subtle, rhythmically repeating crackle and thud, crackle and thud, crackle and thud that gently reminds you it’s time to turn it over.   Quite possibly the most peaceful sound in the world.

70. Secretly Order Pizza for Everyone

Posted in stuff on November 30, 2009 by Allen

Picture this:  You’re at a party.  The doorbell rings.  The host goes to answer it and comes back with a confused look on their face, “The delivery guy’s out front, did somebody order pizza?”  As you get up you casually declare, “Yeah, I did.  I thought we might all be hungry.”  So awesome.

Free pizza has an almost indescribable allure.  As human beings we are powerless to resist grabbing a slice.  There is no way to match that divine moment of anticipation when the lid is propped open and the delicious cheesy/tomatoey aroma first wafts into the air.  Your gift to the party.

A meal and unlimited cool, all for just $15 + tip.

69. Travel by Train

Posted in stuff on November 24, 2009 by Allen

Flying has become so vulgar these days, what with it’s security checks, standby flights and bankrupt airlines.  Riding the rails is a far more romantic way to get around.

Spend an afternoon in the dining car watching the world pass by and then curl up in the sleeping car and be rocked into a deep slumber as your steel crib trundles down the tracks.  As the preferred choice of land prospectors, boy wizards and hobos alike, the train really is the classiest way to move around the country.

The true magic of riding the train is how it simplifies your travel down to a grade 3 math problem: If  a train from San Jose leaves at 4pm and arrives in El Paso just after midnight while another train, heading in the opposite direction, leaves Albuquerque at noon on the same day……..

65. Survive Swine Flu

Posted in stuff on November 5, 2009 by Allen

how-people-get-swine-fluThese days, nothing’s more terrifying than getting Swine Flu and nothing’s more badass than having gone through it.

Guy 1: “You had H1N1?  What was it like?”

Guy 2: “It was the worst I’ve ever felt.  My joints ached, my eyeballs throbbed, my teeth felt like screwdrivers being twisted up into my gums.  I think it might have even bruised my soul!”

Guy 1: “And now you’re better and you’re immune?”

Guy 2: “That’s right!”

Guy1: “So that means you don’t have to hold your breath on the bus or turn doorknobs with the sleeve of your coat anymore?  That must be so cool”

Guy 2: “It is.”

57. Share your Candy

Posted in stuff on October 9, 2009 by Allen

3359537351_efdc4b7f7eAs a kid, all you want to do is buy candy.  The irony is that once you become an adult  and you finally have money, you don’t do it.  Some crazy diet/dental-health propaganda gets in the way of you treating yourself and you end up just leaving the 7-11 with a newspaper and a coffee.  Tragic.  This is why offering candy to a friend is one of the most beautiful and generous things one can do.  

Pez dispensers are designed with this very premise in mind.  Imagine the delight on your friend’s face when you pull out a package of Gobstoppers or Nerds or Runts.

 Coke Bottles?  Fuzzy Peaches?  Sour Keys?  Who can resist?

There is a kid trapped inside us all who’s pissed that we’re not spending 75% of our income on candy like we used to.  By sharing your candy, you’re helping to set someone’s inner kid free.

53. Help a Buddy Move

Posted in stuff on September 22, 2009 by Allen

g2582585f51ae3c1e542d736f87803cedad085d80b7fb6aMoving is the worst thing in the world.  Shark attacks suck, but they’re usually over quickly.  Moving can last all day.

Let’s be clear here: the work/reward ratio is completely out of balance.  On a tangible level, you will be paid in pizza, beer and blisters.  The friend you are helping, however, will be indebted to you forever.  Or at least until they help you move.  It’s part of the unspoken code.  It is the Urban Samurai equivalent of saving someone’s life.

50. Take the “How You Can Be Cool” Challenge

Posted in stuff on September 10, 2009 by Allen

25817-118234-TheMachoManRandySavageRandyjpg-468xThe challenge is simple:  In one weekend, attempt to achieve as many of the skills, styles, statements, soirees, sports and stuff on the How You Can Be Cool list as possible.  

My three brothers and I (pictured in post #7) endeavored to do this over the Labour Day long weekend.  We managed 43 out of 50.  The bar has been set. 

Congratulations.  This will be the coolest 3 days of your life.

48. Litter with Respect

Posted in stuff on September 3, 2009 by Allen

litterIf you’re walking along with a piece of trash in your hand and no garbage can to throw it in, don’t just huck it onto the sidewalk.  Find another piece of litter on the ground and gently place your trash beside it.  You have created an impromptu garbage pile!!

 This makes it far easier for the Municipal Sanitation Engineers or Garbage Fairy or whoever cleans up street refuse to pick up your trash later.  You’ve also provided City Planners with a suggestion as to where they might want to place a garbage can in the future.  It’s called “doing your part”, people.

45. Befriend a Homless Guy

Posted in stuff on August 25, 2009 by Allen

mariah-homelessThis means that you know their first name and you’ve listened to their story at least once.  If they’re selling something (ie. books, wood carvings, poems) you buy one of their goods a minimum of once a month, and if they’re not, you give them a little bit of money instead.  It’s the decent human thing to do.

Remember, one indicator of cool is being friends with a wide variety of people.  A command of a range of social situations.

The next time you’re walking down the street with your friends and you see your guy you say, “Hey, what’s going on Randy?  How’s your leg?  Here’s a couple bucks.”  You’ll feel kinda good, you’ll be doing your civic duty and your friends will suddenly see you as a Champion for the Unfortunate who’s so popular that they’re on a first name basis with everyone in their neighborhood.  It’s win, win, win.

37. Do NOT Wander Aimlessly through the Crowd when the Band’s On

Posted in stuff on August 4, 2009 by Allen

800px-Concert_Crowd_-_OdenseFind your spot and stay there!!!

Seriously, dude, where are you even going?

“Ahhh…but my friend’s saving my spot up at the front.”

Sorry guy, spot’s gone.  It disappeared 2 hours ago when you were in the first aid tent  “chilling out.”

But what do you do if someone wanders up and stands right in front of you in the middle of the set?  Easy.  Lean forward so that your chest is touching their back and breath heavily down the neck of their shirt.

Uncomfortable?  Yes.

Passive Aggressive?  Yes.

Effective?  You better believe it.

These are the two funniest videos I’ve seen this week

Posted in stuff, sweet videos on July 25, 2009 by Allen

George Brett, for those who don’t know, was one of the greatest baseball players of the 80’s.


Why won’t this woman’s friends help her?

31. Go “On the Dole” for the Summer

Posted in stuff on July 12, 2009 by Allen

inthepoolThe only thing better then having a job and making money is not having a job and making money.  The summer is easily the best time to do this.

We’ve all got that one friend who we can call up at noon on a tuesday to do something and know that they’ll be free.  We love that friend.  You can be that friend.

Spend July and August writing a novel, taking a cooking class or spray-painting train cars.

The point is, if your country provides some sort of unemployment insurance and you’re in a position to be able to take advantage of it, you owe it to yourself to do so.  It’s only temporary and you’ll be the envy of your friends.

Don’t think of yourself as unemployed.  Think of yourself as sunemployed.

28. Drive a “Boat”

Posted in stuff on July 5, 2009 by Allen

monte_carlo_carIf being ecologically friendly is cool (which it is), how can it be that being the opposite of ecologically friendly, like driving a massive car from the 70’s or 80’s is also cool?  Ah, the mysteries of life.

Terrible on gas and impossible to parallel park.  The iron beast with the exotic name: Impala, Cordoba, Grand Marquis.  You can usually find one for pretty cheap in the Buy and Sell or from your grandpa.

Offer  your friend a ride and watch the huge smile crease his face as you walk through the parking lot towards your Monte Carlo .  Secretly we all want to feel like we’re in a 70’s cop show when we drive.

26. An Awesome Ringtone when You Call

Posted in stuff on June 30, 2009 by Allen

shopping-phoneThis one will require you to make some “tweaks” on your friend’s cell phone.  

Figure out which is your friend’s favorite song and then insist that they make that the ringtone for when you call them.  The thinking behind this is: if your ringtone is their favorite then they’ll subconsciously be hoping that you call them all the time.  Gateway to Cool.

If that song’s “unavailable”, here are a couple of ringtones that are sure to bring a smile to a phone owner’s face:  Sweet Child of Mine, This is Why I’m Hot, One Love, Paper Planes, The Corner, Back in Black.

The true magic happens when you call your friend and they’re with a bunch of other people.  Now a whole group suddenly knows you’re cool.  Mass marketing.

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