Sunday, 13 October 2013

32. Confessions of a part-time waiter

It's been a solid six months since my last update. To be fair, I've been a pretty busy guy. I've been overseas, had a baby, on top of my two jobs, gym training and cooking. I've also been cultivating an unhealthy obsession with Nigella Lawson and custard. I can only hope that they will interconnect one day. (marry me Nigella)

Anyway, onto tonight's post. We're going to breeze over some tips when you're out and about.

1) Always book: If you know you're going out for dinner on Saturday night, book it. The last thing you want to do is running around finding a table. You'll probably end up settling for a shit hole. This particularly applies if you're a big group.

2) Show up on time: If you're running late, call and let them know. It's common courtesy, similar to a job interview or dental appointment. Remember, reserving a table is a favour extended to you. Other business is being turned away in favour of you.

Just like you expect the table to be ready when you arrive, it's expected you arrive at the agreed time.

3) Don't be a dick: Goes without saying. Being a dick to a waiter to impress your date/mates accomplishes nothing. Everyone in the establishment will think you're a dick, and will act accordingly.

4) Read the menu before you sit down: Before you sit down at a table, read the menu outside. That way, if you don't like it - you don't have to deal with the awkward situation of occupying a table only to leave.

5) Don't order off the menu: It's ok to ask, but don't act disappointed because you can't get a BBQ meatlovers pizza at a Thai resturant. If you're allergic to something, fair enough, but don't go changing half of the ingredients in a dish just because you don't like them.

6) Chips don't count as dinner: If you're taking a girl out to dinner, don't ever order chips as your food.  Are you seven years old?

7) If we're full - we're full: If you're told the establishment is full, it means we're full or booked out. Don't look into the restaurant, point at a table and say 'What about that one?'. We'll just tell you we're full again. Maybe you should have made a booking.

There's just so many others, but that's all I could think of. Hopefully I'll have some more stuff next Sunday.

I don't want to promise anything, but let's see how it goes.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

31. Tier Theory: Tier Three (Smart Casual)

I was going to post an update last week but I was on the back end of a two day hangover. I figured it could wait. (Seriously, worst hangover in at least a year)

This week we'll be covering smart casual.

The typical occasion for dressing smart casual would be going out for dinner or drinks. The focus is that everything is neat, clean and tidy. No holes in your jeans or anything like that.

Tops - it goes without saying that smart casual requires a casual shirt. For the purpose of smart casual, light blue works for pretty much everyone. Marcs is a personal favourite of mine for shirts. Avoid excessive branding if possible.

Make sure you iron them, too.

Coats - coats are all pretty much smart casual so you can't really go wrong. There's plenty of variety, here's a couple of examples.

Double-breasted pea coat: wardrobe classic.

Military field jacket: on the more informal end of the spectrum. 

Navy blazer: For more dressy occasions.

Bottoms - neat jeans, chinos and trousers are all a winner here. For trousers, try to avoid stripes as they're generally reserved for business.

Shoes - two words: desert boots. An absolute slam dunk.

Next week will be tier four and a recap of the whole concept.

Until then (or when I'm hungover), have a good week.


Sunday, 24 March 2013

30. Tier Theory: Tier Two (Street Casual)

Two trips to Sydney* in the last three weeks, and a long weekend in between. I've certainly been keeping myself busy. In the mean time, I hope none of you have been wearing ugg boots beyond your doorsteps.

Moving onto today's post, tier two. This here is your street casual look. This is probably the most common kind of look you're going to be rocking, so it's important to get it right.

Street casual is the kind of look you'd go for if you were going to the movies, a casual bar or a house party. Nothing serious, but still demanding some kind of effort.

The best way to look good is through simple and effective colour matching. Stick to your basics: jeans, plain t-shirts, sneakers, chinos and the odd button up shirt. 

Take a look at the below:

Note how the t-shirt and the shoes match. The shirt is optional.

Again, the tops and shoes match. They bounce of the colour of the chinos too. If you're up for it, roll up the chinos and show off some funky socks.

Check in next week for tier three, where things get a little more interesting! Hopefully there won't be any interstate travel involved between now and then.


*The first flight to Sydney was for Soundwave, the other for my sister's 30th. Happy birthday Nat. I look fantastic in a dress.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

30. Tier Theory: Introduction & Tier One

Hi all,

There's been a lack of updates since I moved house recently. Unfortunately, the Internet can't be boxed with your underwear and brought along quickly and easily.

When I started this blog last year, I did a 'Shirt Buying Guide'. In retrospect, it's pretty crap. But - there was a fundamental theory conveyed.

It was a theory of tiers, where clothing is graded on formality. The purpose of this theory is that when you go out, your outfit is consistent from head to toe. Let's start with Tier One.

Tier One is what you could label as 'Home Casual'. This is the absolute lowest of the low, anything goes. Comfort is the sole factor. Gym clothes, yard work clothes etc. are also included.

Here's a few examples:

Gym singlet, gym shorts, white short socks and busted up trainers.

Crappy old band t-shirt, pyjama pants, thongs and ugg boots.

In relation to ugg boots, these aren't allowed to leave your driveway. There is only one circumstance which this is acceptable, being a humble (and quick) run to the servo. Even this is cringeworthy.  Never shall you set foot in a shopping centre with ugg boots. Ever ever ever ever. Girls, stop doing it. Gents - never, servos only.

Next week, I'll cover 'Street Casual'.


Since I've been away, I've been pretty busy in the kitchen.

Slow cooked shredded chicken tacos. Served with all of the trimmings.

Warm chocolate pudding cake with vanilla ice cream. THIS WAS SO GOOD!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

29. Symbols of Swagger

It's a damn shame that the term swagger is tainted with images of spoilt teenagers, a sense of entitlement, snapback caps, Lil Wayne and #YOLO.

No, thank you.

When it comes to style, it's not just what you wear, but how you wear it. You can have a suit made of the finest fabric and put together by the best tailor. But it counts for nothing if your posture is slouched and you lack confidence. Style is as much behavioural as it is your outfit.

Should you walk around with your nose turned up and a British accent? Of course not. It's difficult to pinpoint, but a combination humility, confidence and cheekiness can't hurt. 

Take a look at this Heineken ad, for example:

Here's a man who believes in himself and is confident. He has special interactions with each 'character'. He makes other people feel special, and they love him for it. It's important to note he picks greeting someone over grabbing a beer. He doesn't think he is better than anyone else. Whilst there is a certain unreality with the clip, you can't help but love the main character and wish you were him.

A few more of my symbols of swagger:

George Clooney - generates 80% of planet Earth's suave.

James Dean - oozes cool.

Pelle Almqvist (The Hives) - absolute confidence.

John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - expressive, humble.

Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) - confident.

Christolph Waltz - humble and polite.

Richard Pryor - storyteller. RIP.

I could go on and on, but these are a few of my favourites.

Who do you draw inspiration from? Who do you look up to?


Monday, 21 January 2013

28. Health and Fitness Special: Exercise

After the horrible Coles rejection, it was time to trim down. I figured the best way to do that was cardio. For the better part of a month, I would go to the gym twice a day and hammer out hour-long cardio sessions. I saw that I was losing weight. Unfortunately it was very little for the amount of work I was putting in.

I asked a few people who were where I wanted to be. They all said the same thing - get stuck into the weights. So I did, and the rest is history. I never had a crazy level of dedication. I would go three or four times a week and would cycle three basic workouts.

Despite common belief, girls can lift weights without looking like a muscle-bound freak. This is because girls don't secrete testosterone and growth hormone the same way men do.

Workout One: Push

3 sets, 12 repetitions - Barbell flat bench press
3 sets, 12 repetitions - Seated dumbbell shoulder press
3 sets, 12 repetitions - Incline bench press

Workout Two: Pull

3 sets, 12 repetitions - Deadlift
3 sets, 12 repetitions - T-bar row
3 sets, 12 repetitions - Lat pulldown

Workout Three: Legs

3 sets, 12 repetitions - Squats
3 sets, 12 repetitions - Lunges
3 sets, 12 repetitions - Hamstring Curls

Rest for no more than 90 seconds after each set. 

This is not the be all and end all of workout programs. It's just basic, to help get you on your way! Week after week, your strength will keep increasing and lifting will become addictive.

I would strongly recommend you organise at least one personal training session to learn how each exercise is done properly. The last few repetitions of each set should be difficult. Proper technique is number one.

If you have any questions, please ask.


*For extra credit, visit these websites:

Michael Janda - PT (if you're in Sydney)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

27. Health and Fitness Special: Nutrition

This time of year comes with a list of usual suspects. Christmas related weight gain, NYE hangovers and of course, half-arsed resolutions. The two main ones being quitting smoking and losing fat. Using a date on a calendar as a reason for change is a shitty way to shape up*.

There are two main factors to losing fat, exercise and nutrition. I'll cover the latter briefly today, as it's arguably more important. I'm not a nutritionist, so don't take what I say as gospel. Everything below is from my own experience, but is widely accepted as sustainable and healthy. 

Given that this is such a huge subject, I'll make a few key points:

1) Think long term: Eating properly is an ongoing necessity. Once you get to your goal weight, you still have to eat healthy. Remember, your old ways got you fat - don't go back to them.

2) Think natural: With all the weight loss gimmicks out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Just remember that as humans, all we need to survive is meat and vegetables. Monkeys don't need Celebrity Slim, dolphins don't need multivitamins. Why do humans?

3) Think positive: When people try to eat healthy, they often avoid things which are deemed at unhealthy. They'll eat things which are 'low in fat' or 'low in salt'. I call this negative nutrition, because  their focus is on removing bad foods from their diet. Try exercising positive nutrition by eating food that will nourish you. Eat your fill, and don't starve yourself.

4) Think sober: Cutting out alcohol will lead to dramatic fat loss. If you must - go for spirits served neat. Soda and citrus is good too. Vodka, lime and soda is a personal favourite. Low carb beers are ok, Hahn Super Dry is a good compromise. Avoid cola, lemonades or juice with your alcohol. 

Eat a high protein, low carb diet. Here's an example of a day's worth of eating:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach and ham
Lunch: Chicken stirfry (refer to my Lodawg Stirfry which I posted a few weeks ago)
Dinner: Steak and broccoli

In between those meals you can have nuts, natural yoghurt, berries, green tea and protein shakes.

Your body will take about a week to adapt to your new way of eating. It's not easy, but if you hang in there - you'll get the result.

Next week, I'll cover the exercise component. If you have any questions in the mean time, feel free to ask.

- Loic

*My catalyst was a horribly awkward encounter with a checkout chick at the local Coles a few years ago. 

I lined up, saw this cute girl. She was librarian cute. Brunette, skinny and a pair of black glasses hiding the sexiest blue eyes. I couldn't resist, I had to have a crack. I was too shy to make a direct proposition, as I was fat. 
I asked her to give me a piece of receipt paper and a pen. I wrote "Hey, you're really pretty. We should have a coffee." I left my number on it. I passed it to her, she read it and promptly turned bright red. She said she would. 

We completed the rest of the transaction, except I didn't have enough money in my spending account to pay for my groceries. So I had to transfer the money from my salary account, whilst standing there awkwardly. It was excruciating.

I bumped into her a few weeks later and she gave me her number. I played it cool and called a couple of days later. We had a ten minute chat, but it wasn't really going anywhere. I knew then and there that she wasn't interested at all. I knew at that point, being a fatty wasn't for me anymore.

Oh, Amy.