Bingo, Bango, Bongo

Koop KooperKoop Kooper's Life in the Penthouse

  Two years ago I decided that every year I would challenge myself and learn something new. The rules are simple:It has to be something I have always wanted to do, it has to be interesting, and it has to be fun. Sounds pretty easy, well yeah it is. Because it has to be fun.
     The first time I decided to do the challenge I took up golf, which turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Now I am not going to say that I am brilliant, but I am getting there. I have also set myself a long term goal of playing the international men’s veteran circuit when I am 65. I figure I have 28 years to get really good at golf which really makes it a pretty realistic goal.
     Twelve months ago I decided that I really wanted to be a musician. I wanted to get inside the music that I play as a DJ. I have so many musician friends who have impressed me with the way they talk about the music, the passion, the dedication, the highs and lows of the rock 'n roll lifestyle. Well, perhaps more loungey than rock but you get the idea!
     I wanted to feel what they feel, to get inside the music, to feel the camraderie of the band environment, to hit those magical notes. To create through the living and breathing entity that is song. I needed an instrument that really inspired my passion, an instrument that caught my imagination, an instrument that featured in the music that I love. So I chose the Bongos, or perhaps they chose me?
     I practised constantly, watched the best play, read about the instrument and it's history and at one point even interviewed Mr Bongo himself, Jack Costanzo.
    koop bongo 2 Well after a year of practising in the penthouse living room I was invited by a good friend to play at a cafe in Sydney for an art showing. A three-piece band: bongos, guitar and vocalist.
     I had never played with anyone other than my record player so to say I was a bit nervous is an understatement. I arrived at the cafe with my bongos ,met the guys and we sat down and started to play. We started off with a Bossa Nova tune and suddenly my nerves were gone and for the rest of the night I was all over the bongos in a way I had never experienced whilst playing with the records in the penthouse living room. This has been such a fun experience that I can't wait to do it again and I has inspired my imagination and dedication to my new instrument in ways I can't express in words.
     My advice: Don't stand still, try new things, meet new people and live!
Kooper Goes Vintage Clothes Shopping
Koop Kooper     I have been wearing vintage clothing for around twenty years now. Man that seems like such a long time. I started buying vintage clothing at the age of fifteen which I suppose for most is quite young. I have always loved shopping for that special fifties shirt, jacket or tie. The thrilll of the find!

      Interestingly I have pretty much everything I have ever collected and I can still wear them all. It's actually been my secret to staying trim, I have to fit into the damn clothes! But hey,whatever works. Mind you, many people would think it is odd that one would work out and watch their diet just so that he could wear fifty year old polyester shirts.

      One of the best things about being a guy into vintage clothing is that it is so easy for me to find clothing that is functional and fabulous. For men a simple fifties jack shirt with a pair of modern (but traditional) black trousers will create the perfect look and it was all done for a couple of dollars. Add a hat and viola! Instant retro.

      For those just new to the retro scene I think the key is to know what era you are going for and stick with it. Read lots of books, check out the net and most importantly watch lots of old movies to pick up the clothing styles you need to look out for. Hell, even take some photos with you.

      You will make mistakes when you start out, I recall recently seeing a photo of me with this horrible pink rayon shirt that really even Elvis would have rejected as being too loud. I remember wearing it with pride to a Rockabilly gig in Brisbane circa 1991 and nobody said anything to me about how horrible the shirt was, I felt pretty good about it too....but looking back it was quite wrong.

      Here is another trick. Don't reject reproduction clothing. It doesn't have to be all origional. Mix and match, aim to wear one piece of origional clothing perhaps. Certainly don't reject a piece of clothing that you might find at the charity store that is fairly modern but in a retro style. I have quite a few 80's sports coats that were done in the fifties style. If it looks good and you can benefit from a retro trend then go for it.

      Remember, it's all about the 'Thrill of the Find!
Ladies Stop Texting Me!!
Koop Kooper      There is something wrong in the state of Denmark. Texting, the Textual relationship. We are all addicted to it, we all do it and it ain't doing us any favours.

     In the good ol days you would use a phone to set up a date and inquire as to whether you might see her again and then perhaps later as the relationship developed you might chat a couple of times a week. One thing I have noticed from the many single girls I know is that they seem to have these mini textual relationships with men that starts of nice, gets flirtier and then dirtier and then ends abruptly. This is after one meeting in a pub mind you, no wine or dine just a passing of a number and we will see where we will go from there. I want to slap my friends silly when I hear these stories....girls please, do you see what you are doing, you are letting him do nothing, he's sitting on his fat ass using his thumb and not even working hard to win your heart. Where are the picnics, candlelight dinners, trips to the country? This is how I think a woman should be wooed, not with my thumb. And here's another thing, I refuse to do it, not playing that game sister.

     GIRLS, if want your man to stay interested, stop sending text messages. SMS could be sabotaging your chance of finding love. While world leaders talk about the perils of global warming, single women are bemoaning a drought of a different kind.
And it seems that the era of instant communication isn't doing you any favours.  The immediacy of SMS and email can also make women look overly keen - a guaranteed turn-off for men.  For example, a guy sends you a text message suggesting a movie. Within four seconds, you've replied "Yes, when?, where? what time?" and "when can I c u again?" Worst of all, it can make you look desperate. One friend of mine got herself ina complete tizz over the lack of a text message.By the evening she had convinced herself he was having an affair, the relationship was over, and she was a single girl again. When he called the next day he couldn't understand the drama. His only problem was a flat battery. Another friend checked her phone 300 times after messaging a love interest to see if he was free for a drink. Four hours later, she receives a reply, but in the 240 minutes that have passed, she turned herself into a nervous wreck checking her phone, just in case she missed the call.

     Go back to the basics, rely on your natural instinct and charm, don't give too much of yourself away, and in extreme cases, throw your cell phone in the bin. The old adage of "Keep 'em keen, treat 'em mean" has changed with the times but the principle remains. In this hi-tech, gadget-obsessed world, where we have information at our fingertips, dating is one more aa where we need to step back. So turn off your cell phone. Stop logging on to your computer at midnight and checking emails. Go for a walk, write a love letter, and keep smiling.

George Axelrod and The Great American Sex Farce
Written by Jack Newcastle   
Seven year itch ad     On November 20, 1952, a comedy in three acts premiered at Broadway’s Fulton Theatre. It was funny, it was frank, and according to New Yorker critic Wolcott Gibb, ‘it went on about sex in its most specific possible aspect; that is, with an adultery that takes place as nearly in full view of the hopeful audience as the rules of decorum and the ordinances of Manhattan will permit.’ As opening night approached, producers Courtney Burr and Elliott Nugent had not only begun to fret over that indecorous subject matter but with the final weeks of rehearsal marred by frantic rewrites and last-minute cuts a sense of doom had settled upon the production. How long could the show possibly run? A week? Ten Days? Though the opening-night audience proved to be receptive, first-time playwright George Axelrod knew his success would entirely depend upon the words of Misters Atkinson, Kerr, and Chapman, the newspaper critics who ran 1950s Broadway. The following morning, still too nervous to read the reviews and having woken to an empty wallet and no groceries, it was in a cold snow that Axelrod headed uptown to the theatre with the hope of obtaining a ten-dollar advance.

      It was from the address of 71 Irving Place, located in the Gramercy section of Manhattan, that Axelrod began his final trek as a man of average means and moderate success, and today the small ground floor apartment that housed his family of wife and two sons is there still. No longer, however, is it an apartment but a business establishment, and for Axelrod, a writer who loved verbal irony, so begins a tale of the cosmic kind that would take a half-century to play out, its final twist not coming till after his death in 2003. For Axelrod had drawn inspiration from that apartment and wrote his entire play around its most curious feature, a staircase that ran from floor to ceiling and went no farther, wooden planks precluding any progress to the rooms above. ‘Throw a guy in a
cocktail partyAre your cocktail parties dull and uneventful? Do invitations come back marked, Not me, buster? Then it’s time to take the snooze out of your booze-bash by trying out some of our Cad party games. Sure to keep your guests befuddled for days.

ERA GameThe ERA Game

Slips of paper are liberally passed out – four or five per guest. Guests are then instructed to write a decimal number between 2.0 and 6.0 on each slip, limiting the figure to the hundredths place (ex. 2.72, 5.49). When everyone has finished writing, the slips are collected, folded, and placed into a hat or bowl. A slip is randomly drawn and the number read aloud to the first guest. The guest must then name a major league pitcher that retired from baseball with that exact earned run average. Thus, if 2.90 is called, for example, Rollie Fingers would be a correct answer. No points are given for correct answers but strikes are given for incorrect answers or to those guests that cannot name a player at all. Of course, three strikes and a player is out. If players find this version to be not much of a challenge, the level of difficulty can be increased by limiting answers to minor league pitchers instead.

ant farmAnt Farm

Each guest is given an ant farm and three minutes to memorize their worker ants. When the three minutes are up, the farms are collected, opened, and the ants set free in the center of the room. Guests must then scramble to collect their ants, and only their ants, so as to rebuild their farms. First one to do so is declared the winner.

Derision game

Guests are paired boy-girl. One player from the first team is then sent out of the room while the remaining guests make rude but truthful statements about the absent player. Upon the return of the guest, the teammate attempts to convey the deprecating remarks by use of charades. Round robin play continues with points scored for each correct answer, but a team is automatically disqualified if either teammate starts to cry.

key partyKey

A daring party game for married couples, each husband in the room throws his car key into a bowl. One by one, the blindfolded wives select a key, and with their blindfolds still on they are led by their ‘new husbands’ to their cars. Using a pistol, the host starts the action and the ladies must rotate all four tires of the car, plus the spare, by only following the instructions from their sighted partners. First team to complete the activity wins.  For another variation of the game, just send the partners home to have sex.


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