Blogs & Columns
4 min

Commercial Day at Up Your Alley…and a new Cocked & Loaded hit the stands yesterday

I'm going to give some love to Up Your Alley readers today, who send me a number of great things every month.

This first video is from a globe-trotting colleague of mine, whose impeccable taste has set a new personal standard in my day-to-day life:


"I'm a sucker for a cowboy hat," he writes…I couldn't agree more!

The second is from a good buddy of mine…having regressed recently to the wild "men don't have feelings to talk about" years of my early 20s, oh how this next commerical made me laugh and then cry and then black out to the floor narrowly dodging a fatal flesh wound to the head…strangely enough, despite all that, I still don't find a Bud Light "refreshing" and/or "smooth". Hmmm.
"I just think that this is the cross roads, we've reached it…" – really? Have we? HAVE WE?
Have any commercials you love? Send 'em to …
For you readers that don't live in Vancouver (of which there are many), I write a bi-weekly column for the print version of Xtra! here on the west coast – the newspaper is called Xtra! West (who knew) … Since my columns aren't available online, I'm going to start posting them here as an "xtra" (haha) if you will, so you get a snapshot of the Vancouver social scene and what sort of hijinx I get into outside of this blog. Enjoy!

Cocked &

Do you remember that time, back when I attended Rancho Carne
High School as a fresh-faced sophomore, when Big Red chose me to replace her as
cheer squad captain right before our team started competing for our sixth
consecutive national championship title?

How could you forget? I mean, that was the year my BFF for
life Missy proved that a front handspring step out, roundoff, back handspring
step out, roundoff, back handspring, full twisting layout combination was the
only real way to show people what you’re hiding deep in your heart.

We all learned a lot that year, like to never trust
choreographers named Sparky and that you don’t make friends by stealing cheer
routines from the inner city kids at East Compton High. You can, however, make
friends with a well-time high kick. But then I’m sure you knew that already,
didn’t you?

It feels like it was all just yesterday, which is why I went
to the try outs for Vancouver’s first ever cheer squad on January 6 at the
Pantheon Gym.

On that fateful Tuesday evening, I set out in the grey
Vancouver night with high-spirited low expectations. In the back of my mind, I
knew that the only splits I could do nowadays were banana splits. The evidence
of this was literally right in front of me: my middle bits had
softened—post-Christmas—into the kind of shapelessness that would even make a
Beard Papa’s cream puff jealous.

Despite this fact, I knew I had a shot.

Opening the door to the Pantheon Gym was like opening the
door to a second chance at cheer domination. The sweet stench of gym mats that had
been haunting my dreams for weeks had never smelled sweeter. The saucy, young
so-and-sos stretching and/or dozing on the floor without a care in the world
had never been saucier…or younger (the mean age of the hopefuls was probably
about 19).

The energy of the room was pulsing. Expectations…or was it
hormones?…were high. To get some inside tips on the try out process, I cornered
coach Troy Letendre, whose cheer career included spots on both an All-Star and
a World’s team.

“There’s room for anyone who’s interested in cheering on the
Pantheon All-Stars,” explained Letendre. “We’re going to focus on performing at
community events like marathons, the Pride Parade and Davie Days. We’d also
like to support local sports teams at softball or soccer games in the summer.”

Letendre told me that he can accommodate over 80 people. Eat your heart out,
Annabel Chong!

Seriously though, he’s looking to form a competitive team.
“Ideally, about thirty members would work perfectly,” Letendre said.

I realized watching that group of hopefuls learn their first
batch of choreography that my days of cheering are over. That doesn’t mean that
yours are. So take the time to check out the Pantheon Athletics Cheer group on
Facebook. You can learn more information about the team or contact Troy at that
online location.

You, like me, perhaps over indulged over the holidays. But
here are the facts people: it’s been two weeks since NYE 2009 and to quote
Kylie – “Your disco needs you!”

You know what they say about this time of year: out with the
old, in with the new.

There’s a new club opening up on Davie Street and to mark
the occasion, Pulse (formally the
Majestic) is throwing a three day party to celebrate the new space. There’s the
VIP grand opening on THU JAN 15, an
introduction to the resident DJs on FRI
JAN 16
and Toronto’s DJ Dekoze on SAT
JAN 17.

Log into Facebook and type “The Opulence Ball” into the search bar. A night at the Biltmore? You’d be crazy to miss out.

Show up dressed to impress and you could win a trophy in the
following categories: Banjee Realness, Butch Queen/First Time Drag, Opulence,
Schoolboy/Schoolgirl, High Fashion Parisian, Vogue, Vancouver Realness and
House Walk. Also up for grabs are the most coveted awards of the evening:
Upcoming Pretty Girl, and the Legendary MOTHER OF THE YEAR award.

This WED JAN 21
party has some massive word of mouth going for it and tickets are selling fast.

January also means the start of the award season. On THU
JAN 22
, Celebrities
is home to the Dogwood Monarchist Society’s annual Entertainer of the Year preliminaries.

Empress Robyn Graves XXXVII hosts. This is one of
the times your votes actually count, so get out and support your favourite
kings and queens doing what they do best.