Sunday, 26 January 2014

5 Reasons Why Climbing The Walls With Other Singles Beats Climbing Alone

1. New Members
It’s always fun to see new members joining our group at each event. At a recent event at the Cliffhangers Indoor Rockclimbing facility in Coquitlam, there were two new members out of the seven that attended. Their enthusiasm was awesome to see.

2. The VIP Experience
The benefit of experiencing an activity withan organized group is the amount of personalized instruction and attention you receive. The Cliffhanger gym had allocated three staff members to handle our seven-person group. They were excellent about explaining the equipment and making sure each one of the members was comfortable and secure before climbing. The staff tied all the knots and preformed 100% of the belaying duties. They were encouraging, super friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Did we mention there were three of them?

3. Unique Features
The Cliffhangers climbing center has employed a number of auto-belayers. These unique devices allow climbers to ascend without an actual human belayer. I have a limited background in climbing, but I had never come across an auto-belaying system. Using the auto-belayer took a literal leap of faith, but it was something new and different that added a little extra to the experience.

4. Other Singles
Of the group that attended, five were guys (including me) and two were ladies. Though there was a range of climbing experience in the group, every member was physically fit and excited to climb. I noticed a number of other single lady climbers at the facility and talked to a handful of friendly fit people outside of the group. Going to an engaging physical activity like rock climbing presents an opportunity for our members to meet other active singles in an environment that is ripe with single Vancouverites with similar interests: staying fit, enjoying life and inviting challenges.

5. Post-Event Fun

After we finished climbing we carpooled over to the Boston Pizza, just off Lougheed Highway. Our host and four other members attended. We debriefed the night, laughed about our skills and shared a few stories. It was nice to sit down and talk with the others in a relaxed setting. I ordered the spicy sausage pasta. It was amazing. We also were able to discuss future events and see who was signed up for what. After hearing all the stories about last year’s snowshoe fondue adventure, I was little sad I was going to miss it. Ah well, plenty of other exciting events on the calendar. Definitely attending the Chinese New Year Parade on February 2nd.

Truth and Tips on the Future of Dating

This week we viewed two very different projects on the future outlook of dating in our society. They both got us thinking about what it is like to be single in the 21st Century.

Five Dating Truths Hidden in “35 and Single”

"35 and Single," is a short film produced by the New York Times and created by Paula Schargorodsky, an assistant director from Argentina. The film depicts a single woman's take on life in your mid-thirties without a partner.

5. Settling Is Difficult For Everyone
Settling is just as hard for women as it is for men. We're often lead to believe that men are the only ones who want to maintain their freedom. Of course, this view is completely sexist. Women have the same amount of anxiety about handing over their life to another human as men do.
4. Pressure is Universal
The pressure to get married is universal. Anyone over thirty feels the pressure to get married, no matter the culture. I like her description of a 'conservative curtain.' Ignoring the curtain is difficult, but dancing in front of it will always be a spectacle that others admire. 
3. "If you look for perfection, you are in trouble, you won't find it."
Great advice from Dad. You're not perfect, so why expect it in others.
2. The Gypsy Life is Pretty Sexy
The footage she chose is inspiring on its own. Everyone loves to share their favourite moments on Facebook, but this woman has truly been blessed with a full life. If you ever get a chance to pack up your things and work from a suitcase - Take it!
1. "Happiness is a choice."
A beautiful lesson to end the film with. You alone are in charge of where your life will take you. Ironically this same lesson is echoed in "Her," when Amy Adams chooses to include 'joy' over complacent comfort.

5 Dating Tips Hidden In “Her”

Directed by Spike Jonze, this film is a glimpse into a future society where dating an operating system becomes an acceptable form of interaction.
5. Dead Cats
If you ever have a sexy conversation with another human being and they suddenly mention a dead cat, hang up the phone (or pull that little weird earbud out of your ear).
4. Naming Your OS
As soon as you give your operating system a name it gets weird. Take Siri for example. When you start spending time thinking of weird questions to ask your phone, things have started to derail. Let's keep it real folks. Our computers are there to help us navigate our lives, not become part of them.
3. Gaming
In the future, attractive young single women will find video games sexy. Till then, keep your love for Halo on the DL.
2. Setting
The future looks a lot like the Los Angles of 2014. I hate to say it, but a little George Lucaseque CGI work would have been a nice added touch to the landscapes. If you're gonna make your setting a utopian urban landscape, add some impressive new features.
1. Three is Not a Charm
Inviting a third party into your relationship will only make it awkward. Keep it simple. Just you and your OS. ;)

Bonus Lesson: Less Tongue

If you are ever lucky enough to make-out with Olivia Wilde, go easy on the tongue.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Red Rockets

First trip up the local mountains this season was a tubing adventure with E&A.  Last Saturday we went for a two-hour tube bonanza at Cypress Mountain. Loved it!

We met at the Nordic ticket window, but the adventure started on the drive up. I had swapped my car with my cousin, trading the Corolla for a Ford Explorer with four-wheel drive. Always trade-up!

The first 3/4s of the mountain drive was no problem, but with maybe 2 km to go the snow appeared and then suddenly it was everywhere. By the time I pulled off the main highway for the tubing area, I was thanking the gods (new and old,) that I had made the vehicle switch.

I arrived early, but most of the crew was already waiting at the ticket booth. About 40 percent new faces, which is nice and a few of my friends from other events. Everybody was stoked to get going and we quickly made our way down to the sledding hill. I guess we arrived between busy hours, so we had our choice of tubes. For any readers thinking of trying the tube fun on their own, I HIGHLY recommend the red tubes. They are newer, faster and hold their air better than the older darker tubes. That's a free tip for you. You’re welcome.

After grabbing our rides, we walked around the corner to the tube hill. Unfortunately, just as we were arriving, the tube hill officials announced that the tow service was shutting down for maintenance. For most of us, the two-minute walk up the hill was not a problem, but a few members seemed literally crushed by this news. That kind of blew my mind. I actually heard one lady say: "If I had known that the tow was down, I wouldn't have come." I ended up carrying her tube up the hill after one slide, just so she wouldn't mope.

Fortunately they got the tow working later in the evening. Ironically, it was faster to walk.

On the hill, there were three separate tube runs and they seemed to fluctuate speed wise. Actually, speed fluctuation was a pretty big issue. When we arrived the runs were super fast, but a brief snowfall slowed them all down. Then the snow stopped and the temperature began to drop. By the time we were leaving, the runs were lightening fast. In fact they actually had to close one slide, out of possible fears a tuber could fly through the plastic fence barrier at the bottom and land in the parking lot. Personally, I think that would have been awesome. Next time I'm slipping the sled guy a twenty, just to see if I can do it.

After a few single rides, spinning and straight, we started to team up, heading down in groups of four to six. We used a number of different formations, from lines, to rectangles to huge circles. Those geometry lessons from grade school finally paid off.

The largest group I was a part of was an eleven-tube circle formation. One of our members recorded it on his Samsung. I bet that footage is awesome.

Setting up the groups took awhile, but it was a good excuse to chat with other members. This was probably the most social event I've attended. There was lots of incidental contact and high-fives aplenty. The walk up the hill also afforded a number of chances to talk with my fellow sledders. By the time we were hitting the last few runs, I had probably chatted with almost every member of our group.

Oh and did I mention Ambrea was the host. That girl knows how to have a good time! Her enthusiasm is infectious.

All in all, a great evening of sledding and socializing. And two hours is definitely enough time. My hands were pretty frozen by the end.

So what have we learned: snatch up the 'red rockets,' bring thick gloves, forget the towline and you'll have an awesome time on the Cypress tube hill. And it doesn't hurt to go with a few of your closest friends

Social Sobriety

Being the only one of my friends who doesn't drink, I often end up handling the driving duties. Apart from the gas bill, taking on the role of the DD is not that bad. You get to decide when everyone leaves, you get to watch your friends make ridiculous accusations about their high school athletic abilities and you get to wake-up on Saturday with the whole day ahead of you.

But, being perpetually sober has its drawbacks - not many, but a few.
Social custom tells us the best place to meet other singles is at the bar. When you don't drink, there's not much point in going to the bar, unless you're driving your compadres. If I go alone, I usually only last about thirty minutes before I am totally bored.

Then there is the attitude dished out by restaurant wait staff who are often miffed that you're not ordering wine or expensive cocktails. "No, just water thank you." I always feel like I have to order dessert or an extra appetizer just to appease the waitress.

And finally, the hook-up factor. No one, that I know of, ever hooked-up after a coffee date. Drinks on the other hand… 

So what are my options? Few.

That's why E&A is so great. The calendar is full of fun group activities, group dates that don't involve getting plastered to try and meet a handful of girls operating under the same veil. There are drinks available at some of the E&A social functions, but it is definitely not the prerequisite for having a good time.

The events on the calendar are all centered on outdoor or indoor fun. I've never felt pressure to drink or been bored with people who were drinking. That's what's cool about a social club. It's not your traditional, go to the bar to meet people set-up. It's more of a, "let's go have a ton of fun doing this random activity with other available singles" kind of vibe. Sounds a lot better doesn't it?

Let the bar-stars enjoy each other’s slurry company. Let E&A take you on an adventure you can look back on with fondness and clarity.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


The New Year is all about making lists right? #RhetoricalQuestion

This week I thought I would sit down and take a long hard look at why I am still single. Put the kids to bed, this could get ugly.
So, in no particular order, here are some of the major reasons why I believe I am still a single man in Vancouver:

A little past my prime
  • At thirty-six, some would say my best years are behind me. Phuhhh! I am actually in the best shape of my life right now. My motivation: health and happiness. Gotta keep that heart ticking along and a steady smile on my face. I definitely enjoy my life more when I'm in shape.

Balding on top
  • Yup, my hair is definitely not as motivated as the rest of my body. But the shaved look is sexy. Right? Right??? I mean how majestic is the bald eagle. The king of the skies. The definitive symbol of power in the U.S. The ultimate predator. Ok, that last one sounds really creepy. But look at Common. That's a handsome bald man. Or Bruce Willis, or Michael Jordan, or Billy Corgan. No, Billy Corgan looks like an adult baby. But a little hair deficiency shouldn't hurt my prospects that much.

Lack of confidence
  • I've never been smooth socially, but really, who is? Fumbling through life with a smile, I believe, is sexier than walking around with a squinted stare and pursed lips. I mean Clint Eastwood may have spent 40 years walking around like a bad-ass, but think about all the peripheral action he missed out on. Like catching that old man on the bus leaning, or the dog at the park peeing on the stroller, or the cop on Robson doing up his fly. Golden peripheral moments that would be lost to a squinter. What were we talking about? Right, confidence. Who needs it?

Missing the flash
  • I drive a Corolla. A classic 94 Corolla with 325,000 kms on it. I make less than 60 grand. I don't own a fancy watch. And my credits cards are often, not always, maxed. But what did Mace say, "Mo money, mo problems." A life less cluttered.

Limited opportunities to meet single ladies
  • Vancouver is considered the black hole of dating pools. I agreed with this statement up until a few months ago. But now I get to meet new singles each week. People who are actively looking for partners and others just looking for people to have fun with. Yup, Events and Adventures has opened up a whole new world of opportunity. Saturday I'm going tubing with a whole new group of people!

So why am I single? Unlucky, I guess. But I have a feeling that's about to change. I'll keep you updated.