Thursday, February 21, 2008

How to Destroy Rumors

You just heard, from a trusted friend, that a rumor is going around about you. In the schoolyard you wouldn’t hesitate dishing out the swift kicks to the nuts or, if you’re a pansy, running to the teacher. Unfortunately, we’re in the real world and if you want to dispel rumors about you, you’re going to have to be 50 lbs. smarter and 25 g sneakier. Here’s what you have to do to clear your good name.

Anticipate the Prophecy

While you’re trying to shoot down rumors about you, you have to realize that people will be talking to you with the rumor in mind. For example, if rumor has it that you’re an asshole, co-workers will be mean to you without giving you the chance to speak. It’s crucial to be above the rumors and not let them transform you into a subject that suits their purpose.

The Boomerang Effect

Under no circumstances are you to address the rumor directly. It doesn’t matter how apparent or “out in the open” your rumor is. Trying to directly shoot down the rumor will result in the boomerang effect and suddenly the whole playground knows you wet your Batman sheets. Trying to directly suppress a rumor only has people more engaged in it and will increase its popularity. Actions speak loud than words.

Acting Against

Destroying a rumor through pure action is the hardest, but most effective, route to take. For example, if word goes around that you’re the office bitch and you won’t say anything if the shit rolls downhill to your desk, then you’re going to have to be pretty aggressive and slightly obnoxious in order to fight the rumor. A simple polite refusal, even though it’s going against the idea people have of you, won’t do anything in the long run. In this case you’d actually have to speak up and tell the weasel that he should be doing his own work and that you have way too much for people to start pawning their crap onto you. It may not be pleasant, but destroying a rumor is dirty work.

Have a Wingman

Sometimes, a rumor is so powerful that whatever sneak things you say will mean dick all. In this case, it’s time to bring out the “big guns.” You need to get a friend of yours to spread your good PR. If he can manage to sneak a compliment about you into a conversation like “Joe may sometimes seem like a shy harmless guy, but when he gets upset, legs get broken.” Having someone candidly mention something about you, even briefly, makes the listener feel as if he’s heard something un-staged and, therefore, true. This makes him much more likely to pass the message on and spread the newly injected counter-rumors about you.

Shut Down the Shit Factory

If you’ve ever lived through a werewolf outbreak, you’ll know that the only way to cure the epidemic is to kill the original werewolf. In the same way, to destroy a rumor, you must target the source. In a small environment, anyone that has heard the rumor is likely to have heard it from him. If this is the case, then discrediting his name might just clear any rumors about you. Try to throw in a comment or two about how he enjoys spreading rumors about everyone in the office. If people think that they might also be a victim, they’re likely to forget about anything they heard about you and, in the future, not listen to anything the original shit disturber has to say.

The Prince

Should someone confront you and ask you if the rumor about you is true, I don’t care how angry you are, you have to give off the impression that the whole thing is a stupid and silly playground drama. If you’ll learn anything from Machiavelli it’s that you’re more influential when you’re loved than when you’re hated. Tell the confronter that it’s a silly rumor and that all Mr. Knob Job does all day is spread rumors for shit and giggles. A light-hearted composure means that the listener’s defense and suspicion is down and he’ll more readily accept your message.

Walk Away

When all else fails, sometimes the best thing to do is to totally ignore the rumor. In most cases, rumors become uninteresting or replaced. In such instances, you can sleep tight knowing that you’re boring old news that nobody cares about anymore. If no one raises anymore dirt to your name, then you have no reason to get all huffy and puffy about what happened in the past.

Stick to the High Road

I don’t care how much these rumors twist your panties, Shirley; you are never to retaliate with another rumor. Firstly, when the original shit disturber finds out, he’ll have no remorse and he’ll drag your name through shit. Secondly, if this turns into a two way piss party, credibility to both your names will be lost. Your image will be reduced to that of rope-skipping school girl. Whatever decisions you make, keep cool. This is damage control not a die hard with a vengeance.

Much like a jigsaw puzzle, there are an infinite number of ways you can screw this up and only one way to get it just right. It’s critical that you think about the situation carefully and decide what course of action is right for you. The better you handle this ordeal, the less you have to worry about future rumors discrediting your name. Just remember to be cool and confident.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Impressing a Date

So you've decided to take a lady out for a fancy dinner but quickly come to the realization that you know shit-all about etiquette. This can either be your time to shine or, alternatively, your opportunity to make a total jackass out of yourself. The outcome of your date could all depend on whether or not you read this article. Now is that a risk you're really willing to take?

Choosing the Restaurant

When choosing a nice place, take a few minute to think of what she might like. Is she fun and adventurous? Try Mexican or Cajun. Romantic and intimate? Go for Italian or French. Quirky and mysterious? How about Japanese or Indian. Try to avoid family joints that could end in embarrassment. Try to be original with your choice. A new experience for both of you could bring you closer.

Basic Table Manners

A few basic gestures go a long way when at the table. Firstly, always wait until the lady is seated. You're a putz if you race to your seat before her. You don't have to make it a big scene and stand up straight like a marine; just casually stall until she sits.
Never play with your cutlery. This may sound stupid and needless to mention, but too many guys will fidget with their utensils out of nervousness. Not only does this make you look like a 5 year-old, but you're also loosing eye contact with your date and just create long awkward silence.
Never refer to any waiter as "garçon", "boy" or "my good man". These clichés won't impress anyone and will only make you look like a pompous douche.

Ordering a Drink (wine)

A properly ordered drink is the first indication that you might, in some way, be cultured in cuisine. If you haven't already read up about wine, don't pretend you know all about it to show off. This will piss off your waiter and could result in you having a bad match with your meal. Instead, ask the waiter (or
sommelier) what he would recommend with your meal. When you get the wine, you will be shown the label first. It's important to check the label to make sure you're getting the right wine. People make mistakes and the wrong bottle could cost you a pretty penny or, alternatively, could mean for a mismatched wine with your meal. Now that the wine's been checked, you expect to smell the cork like in the movies, right? Not unless you want to seem like an idiot. The only things you do with the cork is check if it's moldy or cracking. A cracking cork could mean that pieces fell into the wine during fermentation and "corked" it. Mold doesn't mean the wine's bad, taste it first. When initially poured a sample, hold the glass by the stem (so as not to warm it) and smell it (you could examine it for sediment first, but don't take too long, that's pushing it). If it smells like old gym socks, that's the first bad sign. You should be able to pick up on some flowery, fruity or earthy smells. Red wine may need a gentle swirl to aerate. When you taste the wine, don't just gulp it down. Sip a bit and, while it's in your mouth, try to gently chew it. This will again activate some of the palate of the wine. If you like what you're tasting, then you'll give the waiter the okay to pour for the table. He should fill up the woman's glass first then come back to you. One last thing to remember before you enjoy your wine; never swirl a glass of wine that's more than 2/3 full; you risk making a mess of the table and a fool of yourself.

Ordering a Drink (cocktail)

When sitting down at a lounge, you're going to need to know how to order a drink. As classy as the trademark "vodka martini, shaken not stirred" may seem, it's not how we order drinks in the real world. When asking for your chosen liquor, it's important to specify which brand. Otherwise you'll probably be given the cheapest brand available. So a "whiskey and coke" should be a "jack and coke." Next you need to let the waiter/waitress know how much alcohol you want in your mixture (single or double). So far that's a "jack and coke, double." Lastly, you want to let the order taker know in what kind of glass you want your drink: tall or short. That leaves us with a "jack and coke, double-short." On a personal note, two drinks stand out as more masculine than others. Those being: a) jack and coke, whiskey never goes out of fashion as a man's drink. b) absolute and pineapple, vodka mixes very well with juices. Pineapple is something not heard as often as "OJ" or "cranberry" and it's been said to have
other benefits.

Ordering Food

Avoid foods that will make you look messy or make a scene. This means that finger-
lickin' ribs are best reserved for your night with the guys. If you don't know how to use chopsticks, then either learn now or ask for a fork. Spaghetti is also ill-advised for obvious reasons. Other than that, there's no real rules to which you need to adhere. It's understandable that you might not know everything and it's okay to ask your waiter about a certain meal but try asking your date first. Giving her an opportunity to help you out (even with something so trivial) will make her feel more useful to you and could possibly end up bringing the two of you closer.

Table Etiquette (continued)

Try to avoid looking at your date while she's eating. Eating is a sign of vulnerability and a strong gaze is likely to make her uncomfortable. Carefully avert your line of sight while she's putting food in her mouth. With the corner of your eye, check when she's at least halfway into chewing before looking at her again. This will make you appear less intrusive and will lighten the general atmosphere.


A hefty bill tends to discourage many from properly tipping. The tip is something you have to take into consideration while ordering and you can't cheap out at the final round. A fantastic waiter should be seeing about 20% of the total bill. An average waiter that pretty much did their job should get the average 15%. Though you might not want to share this with your date, outright rudeness on the waiter's part might push him/her to 10%. Credit cards make this process a lot easier. Try to avoid annoying debit cards.

What you do after the restaurant is left for you to decide....or wait until I write another article telling you what to do. Eating out shouldn't be a stressful activity. The goal of this article wasn't to scare you, just to bring your attention to certain details that might make a big difference in the outcome of your date. Try to be generally well informed, confident and, above all, in tune with your date. No strict set of rules can tell you what your specific woman is looking for. Relax and enjoy.

Credit/Further research:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Valentine Gift Crisis? De L'Au Dela

Valentine's day is just around the corner and I know you lazy bums are looking for something to get your sweetheart at the last minute. I know what you're thinking: flowers and chocolates will have you covered...yeah, nothing says I love you like cleaved flora and love handles in a box.
In case you didn't detect my sarcasm, it's time to get your love something a bit more original. That's where De L'au Dela comes in. The phrase De L'Au Dela is French for "otherworldly" or "out of the ordinary."They make handcrafted original items (catch the idea yet, Einstein?). This isn't the $8 plastic crap you'll get from H&M or fake jewelry from eBay. The bracelets, for example, go from $15 - $25. For those who don't know, that's an awesome price for real stones like turquoise, aquamarine and real Swarovski crystals.
If you want to get another "oh that's so sweet," you can stick with your done-to-death valentine gifts. If you're looking for a real response (and a real reward, if ya know what i mean) then De L'Au Dela is what you're looking for. If you have something specific in mind, they even do custom jewelry at request. Also, how many other jewelry companies will offer you free repairs in case of a break? Bottom line, if you're looking for authentic jewelry and don't want to bust your wallet, De L'au Dela is what you're looking for.