Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sweater Vests: Not Just For Douchebags Anymore

So this guy's walking down the street and you can tell that he's feeling great about himself. He's got his docker stain-resistant khakis on, pleated to absolute perfection, and he's probably wearing a pair of expensive aviators (everyone wears those fucking things these days). At first his attire doesn't anger you that much, it's more just the arrogant nature that you can see when he's walking down the street with his light leather jacket slung over his shoulder and being gripped by two of his fingers. He might have a toothpick in his mouth, too. But none of these things truly piss you off. It's something else. The man is wearing a button-up oxford, with the collar--more often than not on these people--popped. You might tap your friend on the shoulder and say something like "Hey, too bad I don't have my shirt on right now that has the mom putting her little boy's shirt collar down and saying 'remember, Billy, only retards pop their collars.'" Then the deal is sealed. You notice that over top of his button-up shirt he is boldly wearing the most debated and feared male fashion item since the cowboy boot:

The sweater vest!!

It's at this time that the rest of his stupid style products cease to exist, at least in your eyes. You take consolation in knowing that this man wearing the sweater vest will absolutely, no matter what, ever get laid by anyone that is more attractive than a New Zealand goat.

You laugh it off, and then don't think about it again until it's too late.

By too late I mean, in my case, whenever I flipped open an issue of Rolling Stone about a week ago. I was leafing through the 2957 adds at the beginning of the issue, looking for the always elusive table of fucking contents, just trying to find out what stupid ass politically misled thing Green day was cooking up that week so that I can make fun of them on my lackluster internet blog.

I get to the usual GAP advertisements, which always include celebrities wearing their clothes and staring at the camera like they would pay to blow you and then do your dishes and clean your apartment afterwards. The first person I saw was a man, and I didn't recognize him. He was defined as a clothing designer. I figured he was no role model of mine, since I can't even match my clothes, let alone design ones that make people look as though they fought in Vietnam and then rolled around on a fresh Andy Warhol painting. I flipped to the next add and see John Legend or some shit and think that I don't want to be a little soulful whiny dude banging away on my piano, even if it would gain the respect of Elton John.

I flipped to the final page of the add and discovered that John Mayer was now advertising for the GAP, and he was wearing a pair of jeans along with a sweater vest. That was it. No shirt underneath, just a striped sweater vest, with the guns flying. I was initially pissed because I had to immediately pay two more dollars on top of the original subscription price because I had viewed the gun show, but before long I was distracted by other thoughts. They started with two words: Jessica Simpson.

It's no secret that Mayer, the new age guitar god, put it to Daisy Duke. It's also not a secret that 98 percent of straight men in the United States envy him for doing so (the other two percent are those friends that we all have who for some stupid ass reason think that their girlfriend is the most beautiful being in all of the world and have no desire for anything better, even though their girlfriend has an ass the size of the Lusitania). The thing about Mayer is that I never really understood how he bagged one of the most coveted women in recent history (though I also don't understand how Cash Warren got Jessica Alba, or why The Hills is considered a good tv show, but the world is a confusing place), because he never struck me as a really "cool" guy. I mean, I once saw an interview with him with Matt Pinfield where he just kept talking about the blues and making sounds with his mouth that were supposed to resemble musical notes. He played the air guitar while doing so. I just assumed that it was his incredible guitar skills, since he is known as the next Eric Clapton and what not, or that he has some lyrics that will make the panties drop, but I was kind of skeptical of this since Jessica Simpson is something like a goddess. She would only fall for boyband types with muscles and music videos with the Doritos girl. She was nearly invisible.

I finally discovered that it was none of his talents except for one: his ability to dress. It had all become clear to me, finally. The sweater vest was the key to entrance into the atmosphere of the most beautiful women in the universe. I was beginning to think that if I wore a sweater vest, Marilyn Monroe would come back from the dead to toss my salad while Penelope Cruz filmed it and Jessica Biel fixed me a bologna sandwich for afterwards.

Let it be noted that I said I was "beginning to think," not that I was "totally convinced," though I now am. Today I was sitting in my meteorology class when I happened to take a sidelong glance at a guy sitting ahead and to the left of me; northwest, if you will. He had a gray and black striped sweater vest on, and for the first time in my life I didn't think, "Oh, this guy's a fuck. He should be on Dawson's Creek." Instead I thought, "Hey, that doesn't really look that bad at all. I might actually wear something like that."

Sure enough, as soon as we walked out of class this suave individual swept a broad on a level of sexyness that I have only been familiar with through internet downloads. They did the jump, hug, and kiss straight out of The Notebook, and she was almost as hot as Rachel McAdams. Okay, maybe not that hot, but I wouldn't have thrown her out of bed for eating Pringles.

So, I'm making a declaration: sweater vests are not just for douchebags anymore. When used sparingly and tastefully, they can be the most powerful weapon a man can wield. Starting today, I'm going to have to say that the sweater vest is cool. So start pumping that iron, baby, because they don't cover the arms.

Postscript: Everything I have said in this article is null and void. I own two sweater vests, and I have owned them for over two years. They are argyle. I am a douchebag.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Theme Parties: Friend or Best Friend?

Alcohol and fierce partying have gone hand in hand for as long as anyone can remember, and so much so that in some circles it is now frowned upon to get hammered if you are not in a party setting (I strongly disagree with this notion, but society seems to see things differently than me at times). For most drinkers, their partying experiences begin sometime in high school or very early in their freshman year of college, a time before they can go to bars or nightclubs or purchase their own alcoholic beverages. Some begin to stray away from the party scene once they reach the legal age in favor of established booze outlets. These are the people who were never really drinkers at all, and they have no credibility as such. They believe that once you reach a certain age, it is inappropriate to participate in keg stands or boat races. They are the people that always stood in the corner during the parties, sipping on a beer and attempting to find a mate for later on that evening.

There are those people, and there are the rest of us. The people that don’t’ need to find a mate for later on in the evening because we have already found her in the bottom of a bottle, and if we were to actually find a girl willing to go home with us, we would pass out on top of her. We are the people that go to the bars some nights, and the parties other nights. Some nights we go to the party and drink as much as we can for a small price before heading to the bar so that we don’t have to buy as many expensive beers to get tanked. We usually end up returning to the aforementioned party after last call if we are still able to stand.

It is for us that parties are designed, but one must admit that parties gain a sort of monotony after an amount of time. They seem to all be the same: beer pong, flip cup, keg stands, people puking, occasional dancing (mainly by the women and the goofy group of guys that pop their collars and garner respect from no one), etc. I’m not saying that these entities of a stereotypical party are not awesome, and I love them with all of my heart. I am saying, however, that where a usual party is great, there is room for improvement. It can be made better.

All you have to do is add a theme.

Theme parties were brought to prominence originally by college fraternities, but have since become popular among normal self-respecting people as well. A theme party is whenever the host declares a certain theme for the night, and all partygoers must adhere to this theme. Another common variation is that the party attendees who are dressed or acting within the established theme drink for free or receive a discount from the house.

It is important to note that all of the regular party experiences be made available during a theme party, since the object of one is to enhance the drinking/partying experience, not to altogether alter it into something that it is not. Have fun with it and be creative in creating and making your selections. Here are a few suggestions to get you started on the right path:

Office Hoes and CEOs: This is a theme party that seems to be designed for a classier crowd, but really has a hidden pretense: to get girls to dress provocatively. (This is an entity that will come up repeatedly in theme parties, because even if we are drinkers of a hardcore nature, we still like to at least look at women.) The girls are expected to dress up as secretaries that dress to climb the corporate latter and would not hesitate to give their boss a blowjob to relax him before a career defining presentation. Skirts are highly recommended, with usually a button-up blouse that reveals massive amounts of cleavage. Schoolgirl plaid skirts are also highly encouraged, even if they step out of the usual bounds of the corporate world. If any girl comes in wearing one of those pantsuits that you most often see on bankers with butch haircuts, she must be promptly ejected.

Guys are expected to wear a tie, which isn’t really that much of a sacrifice if it enables you to see women in skirts all night. Slacks are encouraged, jeans are forbidden, and if you wear an entire suit you will be extremely respected by your peers. A great thing about theme parties is that you get praise for going all out with your attire, and there is no such thing as going too far.

Rave Night: Before you immediately dismiss this one on the grounds that you believe the main ingredient of a rave is ecstasy abuse, think about all of the fun drunks could have if they threw one of these. A basement is ideal for this kind of theme party, since no outside light can be allowed to come into the venue. If there are windows, cover them with cardboard, plywood, or another opaque object. This is more of an expensive party to set up, because you must replace all of the light bulbs in the basement with black lights, and you must buy highlighters and neon paper to decorate the scene with. Clear cups must be used for beer pong, and you can dip highlighter ink into the water to make it glow. The gentlemen most often go shirtless at some point during the evening, and people begin to write on them with highlighter. Ladies are also highly encouraged to jump on the shirtless bandwagon.

The most important piece to complete the successful rave puzzle is, without any doubt, the music selection. There must be all kinds of ridiculous techno tunes playing throughout the evening, but current music can also be inserted once every four or five songs, just to keep people excited. Be sure to insert popular songs that people know the words to, because there is nothing a drunken enjoys more than sing “Don’t Stop Believing” with his buddies.

Title Nine Night: If you are a guy you know that most women want to be seen as your equal. Since you are reading this, I have the notion that you are undoubtedly an upstanding citizen and the absolute definition of a gentleman. Since you are both of these, then you should have no problem whatsoever in celebrating the equality of women. That’s what this party is all about, and it’s becoming a favorite of the “Sausage Fest” crowd.

Most college students take it as a given that women do not have to pay to drink at parties, and guys usually have to pay at least five dollars. I assume that this tradition started with a few parties, hoping to draw the ladies out for some drunken fun; and if the girls don’t have to pay, they may make drunken idiots of themselves and go home with one of the men at the party.

Eventually, this must have backfired, because everyone began doing it hoping to attract the ladies, and now it is seen as a sort of unwritten law that women do not have to pay to drink at college parties (or other parties I’m assuming. I’m still a collegian.). So, if you’re having a party and believe it will attract women by allowing them to drink for free, you are sorely mistaken.

This is how I came across the idea for a Title 9 party. If women want to be equal so bad, let’s give it to them, right? Have a party where all the ladies have to pay the same price as the men. This is a plausible theme for a few reasons: 1) If the normal amount of attendees show up, the party-throwers will make twice the amount of money that they normally would, and 2) if advertised correctly, this party may attract a great deal of women since they might find you more trustworthy than most college frat brothers, because they would feel that by having them pay, you weren’t trying to lure them there so that you could knock boots later on in the evening. It shows them that you’re into equality, but at the same time apathetic to the attendance of females at your party.

Grey’s Anatomy/ Doctors and Nurses Night: This is one of my absolute favorites, because everyone feels empowered when they’re wearing a stethoscope and lab coat. If I were to throw one of these, I’d be parading around the house in my white coat (and only my white coat) calling myself Dr. McDreamy and taking shots of Wild Turkey to mentally prepare for the interns I was going to punish for wrongly setting up an IV at the party to come. Then I would console them and coax them into the sack with my self-confidence, nonchalance, and unparalleled wit.

This is pretty self-explanatory. The attendees of the party must dress as doctors or nurses. You can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to wear to this certain theme party. Most of the guys will dress as doctors: white coat, normal wear underneath, shit like that. The women, however, can be read more easily. If they are wearing a doctors coat, don’t rule them out completely. This shows that they are ambitious, but they still may have a freaky side and could possibly wear glasses whenever they are studying, which can be extremely sexy on the right frame. They can also be power hungry with a God complex, which is mildly disconcerting, so conversation is actually necessary if trying to pick up one of the doctors. Some may wear a set of scrubs. If you see this, either kick them out or stay the fuck away. These types make no bones about it: they are ambitious, they are surgeons, and they will cut hearts out and dicks off. Keep your distance during flipcup, as they may be carrying a scalpel in their pocket. The third mode of dress you will see at these parties, the majestic mode of dress if you will, is the nursing mode of dress. Girls here hospital party, and they bust out their naughty nurse uniforms, like the girl that was in all of those Blink 182 videos when I was in the sixth grade. A girl like that is obviously a slut, or at least a closet freak. Stick with them.

Conclusion: Okay, so there are a few ideas for theme parties to get you started. Some others that I’ve been witness to are Cowboys vs. Indians night, which is an absolute riot whenever the police show up. Farmer night, Graffiti party, Christmas party, Biker night (Lance Armstrong style), and Famous Drunk Person Night.

If you’re unsatisfied with your party experience, give one of these a try. They will surely add excitement to your normal and monotonous party experience. Go on, live the dream. Feel young again!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's been a very rainy day today and from what I hear, the storms are supposed to last well into the night and tomorrow morning. This strikes me, personally, as awesome, because I have loved thunderstorms my entire life. I can't tell you why, but they put me into a good mood, which is basically the antithesis of what a thunderstorm is supposed to do to a normal human being.

So, an hour ago when normal human beings were cowering in fear about flash flood and tornado watches and running to the grocery store to stock up on enough essentials to last out the war on terror, I was sitting around and being generally happy about things. I was, however, extremely bored, and when I get bored I naturally attempt to find ways in which to entertain myself. I decided to shower and--for once--shave.

It was while I was lathering my face up and getting poised to attack with my Mach 3 Turbo (this is a razor, not an airforce fighter jet or a transformer) that the song "Stuntin' Like My Daddy" by Lil' Wayne came onto my shower radio. I immediately started busting out the rhymes with lil weezy, throwing my hands about in and Eminemesque fashion in my boxer briefs and saying "Where I'm from we see a fuckin' dead body everyday/ That's uptown, throw a stack at 'em/make a song about me, I'm throwin' shots back at 'em/Your bitch on my pipe, and she like a crack addict."

I stopped singing and became enraptured in deep thought. I suddenly realized that I could be like Lil' Wayne, and I desperately wanted to stuny like my daddy. I didn't know how to do this exactly, since my dad is a grocery store manager/owner so I don't think he really does much "stunting." (Which Urban Dictionary defines as "to be acting like a stunna or stunner.") So if I couldn't mimic his actions in the sacred ways of a stunner, I could try to mirror a physical characteristic. My dad wears glasses, so I considered doing that but thought that it would be a tad melodramatic since I have perfect vision, a fact that all of my friends know about. Next I thought about maybe rocking a haircut like my dad's. He has what we call the "horseshoe" haircut. If you are not familiar with the term, it is when a man is bald on the top of his head but still has regular hairgrowth everywhere else. It is in the shape of a horseshoe, if you will. I decided against this, siting that I will probably inherit that physical characteristic before too long. I finally settled on the perfect imitation of my dad, and something that would not only be "stunting," but would also be a perfect bring-back to the mainstream (this is my summer of the bring-back. I am currently trying to bring calculator watches back into mainstream fashion.).

This physical characteristic would be, my friends, the mustache

The mustache has hibernated just outside of mainstream culture since the late 1970's, when it was a staple for the males in early hardcore pornography videos. It thence became know as the porn stache, which I must admit is a sexier name. I think the reason that so many porn stars rocked the stache was because they wanted to express themselves in some way, and mode of dress could not be one of them since they spent the majority of their film careers in their birthday suits. Seems perfectly logical to me.

My dad used to rock an absolutely killer 'stache when I was a young lad. This was around the same time that he wore aviator glasses. Glasses, not sunglasses. They were aviators with clear lenses. You can't find those guys anywhere anymore; I suspect they are viewed as a collectors item. Anyway, he shaved it because the ladies didn't dig the bristling sensation they felt whenever he kissed them. Fucking sellout. I figured I'd give it a shot, since I'm not kissing many girls these days anyway.

Anyway, I went through with it and I'm sitting here now with a faint wisp of a mustache. I'm going to a concert tomorrow and will be around the biggest group of people I've been around all summer. I'm counting on getting heckled since this is my second go around with attempting to bring the 'stache back. During my senior year in high school I shaved in a mustache before a basketball game, believing that I would play like Adam Morrison. All that I got out of it was the heckling of about 30 fans from Perry High school, who are like the Cameron Crazies, except not smart. All game whenever one of them would yell, "Shave your mustache, you faggot!" or, "I bet you gave your coach a mustache ride before the game, and cut your fucking hair you Beatle!" I would just think to myself that the world was a just place, and they would probably be delivering my mail in 10 years.

People can say all they want about my hip new look, because I know that deep down some of the coolest dudes in history have rocked the porn stache.

We'll start with Mark Wahlberg, who played '70's porn star Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights. He used to be the rapper Marky Mark, so he's got street cred, and he's now the executive producer of Entourage, which is one of the biggest cult television series to ever hit cable.

Next, there is now retired quarterback, Jake "The Snake" Plummer, who I believe was severely underrated as an athlete and as a lumberjack. He rocked the long Jesus hair and a beard for an entire season after he got rid of his porn stache. It wasn't until I analyzed my viewing of Plummer for the last few years that I began to understand that the porn 'stache has a certain amount of power. Once Jake went clean-shaven he had a terrible year, going from AFC championship runner-up to 2nd string piece of shit on a significantly worse team.
Adam Morrison became famous for his porn 'stache during his junior year in college, when he became the great white hope of basketball along with J.J. Redick. The lanky long-haired small forward used to unleash on opponents for forty plus points with seemingly little or no effort. The season before he grew his facial hair, he was just a blip on the college basketball whiteboy radar.
Tom Selik had a porn 'stache. Enough said.
If you want to feel manly you can always go out and shoot guns. You can wear flannel and Carhart jackets. You can chase shots of whiskey with oil cans of Foster's. Or, you can grow a porn 'stache. If you choose the latter, not only will you be viewed as manly and significant, but also maybe as a porn star which will lead women to believe you have a monster cock. I hear that's a good thing?
You will also have the power of the 'stache, which is comparable to nothing else in the world.
Just ask the cast of Miami Vice.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pregaming and Partying: Two Seperate Entities

Almost everyone goes to high school, and out of these people most of them are involved in sports or some other extracurricular activity that gives them pride in the school that they attend and in themselves. (Unless we're speaking of the usual kids that want to be "different" and do this by denouncing anything and everything that has to do with their school. These are the children that set fire to their cap immediately after leaving the graduation ceremony.) After this, most kids go off to a college, and the initial seed of pride that was planted during their high school days is now transferred to an undeniable pride in their newfound college.

More often than not, this pride in the institution is conveyed through sports teams and events. I have more than one friend who attend Penn State Behrend with me (keep in mind: Behrend is not the main campus, and none of us will be going to University Park until next fall) that had orgasms over procuring season tickets to the Penn State football games this year. One of them actually sent me a text message the morning that tickets went on sale that said "Penn State football tickets in 10! Good luck everybody!!" They will go to the White Out game, which is a game where everyone in the stands dresses in white, and that is totally acceptable. I will be there as well, and I will be cheering for Penn State, but unlike them I will not review the turnout of white-clad supporters that have been posted on YouTube the next day.

Just to be clear, though, pride in a school's sporting programs is awesome, and I don't frown on it at all. I have plenty of pride in my school, and I'm glad to be a part of it for many reasons. There is one phrase that grates on me, and it has to do with the people who justify their pride and rank of school throught the amazing parties that they throw on and around campus. These are the people that use the phrase:

"At _____________, we pregame like you party!"

I see it so often in people's buddy infos, away messages, etc. and I always say to myself What the fuck? Are you serious?

I say this because it comes off not only as cocky and arrogant, but also just totally ridiculous; and for many reasons.

First of all, most schools have the same type of party scene, and the only thing that has an effect on the amount and size of the parties is the size of the school. I doubt there would be much of a difference between the parties being thrown by the frats and students of Penn State and Ohio State. Every school has basically the same parties--though some might spice if up from time to time with astounding themse--they play beer pong, bong beers, boat race, flip cups, play quarters, kings cup, get girls to make out, et/al. All college students are drunks, pretty much, and I'd imagine the consumption level is about the same between kids of the same status regardless of where they go. The only school that really stands out that I have heard of is West Virginia. I mean, you hear some fucking stories about that place. One of my friends that goes there told me that he was at a house party one night and two cops came into the party. I asked him if it was to bust it and send everyone home or to hand out some underages, and he said that was what he initially thought before they partnered up and started playing beer pong. These people also burn couches in the streets...when they win!

That was a lot of rambling, and I just want to be clear that my point is, most college parties are inherently the same: booze (free for females), games, and drunk kids.

Another reason that the phrase "We pregame like you party" pisses me off is that it really doesn't make any sense at all. Any college student worth their salt knows that the two should be separated. Pregaming is exactly what it seems like it would be, if you consider a party a game. It's when you gather with a group of people, usually in your place of residence (or by yourself, if you've got what people call problems) and have a few drinks before heading to your party of choice (with a designated driver if it is not in walking distance) to get drunk and indulge in the socializing that comes with such events. So, if you were to say to your friend, "Oh, at my school...we pregame like you party at your school! Losers," you would be implying that their parties are simply sitting around in a dorm room passing around a bottle of Calico Jack Spiced Rum and watching re-runs of Seinfeld. That wouldn't even be considered a party, and to call it such would be the equivalent of a collegian blasphemy. Those who would consider that a party are not truly drinkers and shouldn't fancy themselves as thus. I mean sure, my friends and I have done just this...sitting around in our dorm room all night drinking hard liquor and watching tv. However, we never called it a party. We called it "Sitting In Our Dorm Room Watching LOST And Getting Too Hammered To Follow The Plotline So We're Going To Have To Watch It Again Tomorrow" night.

Also, you can look at it from another angle. If these people do as they claim, which is pregaming like other college students party, then they need some help. If they truly do have pregaming sessions like other people's parties, then they are setting up ping pong tables in the lobby to play beer pong and flip cup. They've got a keg in a tupperware basin covered in ice next to the sinks in their community bathroom, and they are playing extremely loud music. At some point during this session, they are going to play "Thunderstruck" by ACDC and drink everytime they hear the word "thunder." If it's an especially good pregame/party (apparently they're synonymous to these people), girls will make out or show their breasts after their fifth drink. There will be a makeshift dancefloor somewhere, and people will be grinding on it. There may even be a band playing later on.

If these people try to get away with this kind of behavior, they will be caught and probably punished, because chances are if you live in a dorm you are under the legal age. So, it would be stupid to do something like that, and if you happen to live off of campus and you are doing these things as a prelude to your party, then you are just an overenthusiastic primadonna that has not a drinking problem, but an inablitity to judge timing. No one starts a real party at five o'clock in the afternoon.

Next thing you know, people will be saying that they warm-up like rockstars play their actual concerts. Coincidentally, they also party like them.