Read this first! A 30-second summary of me and this blog!

Hey everyone,

My name is Neil Pasricha and here’s me in 30 seconds!

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#796 The sound of rain hitting the tent

Think of the sound not the view

Okay, straight up: you know those big kettle drums you see in the symphony? The ones being pounded with padded drumsticks by a bald guy in a tuxedo? Well, the sound of rain from inside the tent feels like living in a kettle drum.

Now, let’s be honest. The best thing about the sound of rain inside the tent is that it means you’re inside the tent, not outside in a thick and wet T-shirt, on your mud-splattered hands and knees, trying to hammer some plastic stakes into the mushy ground. Yes, putting up a tent in the rain is pretty high up there on 1000 Annoying Things, a non-existent netherlist which also features #1000 Walking into spider webs and #999 When someone says the punchline to the joke you’re telling.

The sound of rain from inside the tent feels safe, secure, and sort of comforting. After all, you’re out in the elements, safe from the elements. You’ll get the marshmallow roasting sticks later, you’ll build a fire tomorrow, but for now it’s just time to lay back on the bumpy sleeping bag, put your hands behind your head, and smile.


Time for a march

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#799 When the backseat car windows go down all the way

The definition of frustrationWhen it’s a dark, summer night, and you’re cruising around town, bass thumping, head bumping, rocking out in the backseat, let me ask you something: what feels nicer than slipping your hand out the window and letting that cool breeze wash right over you?

If you said not much, baby, then you got it.

Listen up, Auto Industry — to get our summer groove on, we need those backseat windows to drop down all the way. None of this half-way, quarter-way, all-the-way-but-an-inch business. We won’t have it. We The People need that non-stop, all-drop window. Window makers, you heard it here first: stop stopping, start dropping.

Because there’s nothing quite as frustrating as a window that stops short. Have you ever tried to dangle your arm out a stopped short window? Welcome to a world of cut-off circulation and cold, blue hands.

Don't let it happen to you

Also, think of the poor children. The poor nauseous, carsick children sitting in the backseat on a swervy freeway. A world of car windows that don’t drop the full drop is a world of hot, splattery, autumn-colored doors. I know it’s not pretty, but you know it’s the truth.

Backseat car windows that go down all the way make life a little bit sweeter. They blast us with wind, let us rock out with our elbows out like the front seat crew, and give our spinning stomachs the occasional sweet relief it needs without messing up the ride.

So let’s ask the car companies to give us all the full roll down. We deserve it. We can handle it. And let’s be honest: no one’s going to throw the baby out anyway.


Let's make them all like this

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#801 When you know your remote control so well you don’t need to look at the buttons

You can rule the remoteEver tried to turn on someone else’s TV?

Brother, we both know that’s a tough slog, probably involving a couple of these fine moves:

1. The Brand Name Match-Up. You stare at three identical-looking black remotes on their coffee table and play Sherlock by matching brand names. You eye the Panasonic logo in the corner of the TV and search for the Panasonic remote on the table. Elementary, my dear Watson.

2. The Walk-Up. When you can’t get anything to turn on, you toss all the remotes on the couch in a fit of frustration and just walk up to the front of the TV to search for the Power button. This works until you want to watch a movie and can’t find a TV/Video or Input button on there.

Looking for clues

3. The Out Of Order Lecture. Your buddy walks in the room and flips out when he sees you pushing buttons and Spanish subtitles scrolling across the screen. “What did you press first?,” he asks, ripping the remotes out of your hand like puppies you happen to be strangling. “You’re doing it all out of order!” He might throw in some sarcastic jabs at the end too like “How could the TV work without the cable box?” or “No, no, no, you have to flip the Input switch on the Universal first. Idiot!”

If you feel this pain, then you know how rewarding it can be when you finally master your TV remote. You don’t see yourself changing, but one day you look in the mirror and notice you’ve become an Channel Surfing All-Star. And that’s something worth celebrating.

First you ace the ups and the downs and then you ace the number pad, even after the little nipply thing wears off the 5. After you get that, there’s no stopping you. Mute, input / output, sleep, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to look and your TV watching efficiency zooms through the roof. Nobody flips channels like you. Nobody cranks the volume when someone starts vacuuming like you. And nobody pushes Mute and answers the phone in one ring like you.

Nobody can touch you, baby.

You made it.


Flip loud, flip proud

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#802 Watching something download super fast

You have no idea how excited I was to see this.

The first website I ever visited was

The whole sordid affair went down in the mid-90s on a school trip to the Science Center. While other kids from our class learned how paper was made or watched Imax films about the Amazon, my friends and I raced to a dim room at the back stuffed with clunky computer monitors sitting in a big circle. See, we had read ads in the paper about a new exhibit showcasing the Informative Superb-highway and we wanted to experience the straight dope first hand.

Unfortunately for us, geeks from other school districts were keen to surfboard the internetwork as well, because the room was jam-packed with sweaty nerds in long lines waiting for a small half-hour turn to ride the wave.

Learn about the science of the ocean and the art of lifeguarding

Well, we waited and waited and waited and eventually scored a yellow, plastic stool in front of a big screen. Giddy as schoolgirls, we decided to begin expanding our minds and broadening our horizons by researching the hit TV show Baywatch. This was because we had many questions about the show.

Now remember — this was the mid-90s here. Cell phones looked like briefcases, encyclopedias filled home libraries, and young kids with dirty faces stood on street corner soap boxes hocking the evening edition on your way home from work.

old_cellphoneIn these dark times, the only website any of us had heard of was Yahoo, so after spending ten minutes finding and opening Netscape Navigator, we typed in, hit enter, and began waiting for this new dawn of civilization to drop down upon our young and eager heads.

But first …

… there was nothing.

Nothing at all.

Just a blank screen in a dim room filled with nerves, teen sweat, and yellow, plastic stools. We waited and prayed until eventually heart-pounding teasers dribbled out at the bottom of the screen. “Contacting server,” it pledged robotically first, which sounded promising until it updated itself with only “Connecting to server” a couple minutes later. Then a few minutes later “Transferring data” had finally begun, and big red pixels slowly began dropping into view.

But it was too late.

Our half hour was finishing up.

A red herring

Yes, our big dreams and wild ideas of this magical fantasyland on the other end of the wires dissolved into a page full of text, broken image links, and a complete lack of Baywatch. We walked away that day broken hearted.

Some of us cried.

But now, up here in 2018, when I look back on that long bus ride home, I smile because it reminds me of how far we’ve come. Websites load in the blink of an eye, mp3s zip home in a few seconds, and giant video clips of skateboarding accidents download to our monitors in no time flat.

Watching something download really fast sure does get your juices flowing, doesn’t it? As those little bar-graphs fill up, you just rub your palms together and cackle like a madman. I mean, things are just so good now. It’s gotten to the point where David Hasselhoff can appear shirtless on your screen without you even noticing he’s coming.



Photos from: here, here, here, and here

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#804 Gym pain aka Gym burn aka Hot muscles

10 pounds of pain

Believe it, folks: I went to the gym last Saturday. Yes, flabby belly, spaghetti-thin arms, bright white sneakers and all.

Though it may surprise you, I am not a walking talking hulk of a man. No, I’m a scrawny knee-pushups kind of guy who spends more time taking sips of water, talking to the maintenance folks, and figuring out how the machines work than I do actually working out. I don’t tone my pecs, blast my quads, or crush my delts. If my trip to the gym was a short film it would be called Stretching In Trackpants.

But anyway, last Saturday.

Hungry for life

It was 8:45am and I was sipping some water, trying to figure out how the benchpress worked, when a steady stream of spandex-clad seniors suddenly brisked by me with stern brows and towels draped over their shoulders. Honestly, you might have thought there was a sale on oatmeal or a Wheel of Fortune marathon about the start at the back of the gym, because these grannies and granpies were on a mission. When I asked a couple maintenance guys what was going on, they told me Boot Camp was about to start.

My mind immediately flashed to visions of crawling through muddy trenches in baggy camo, swinging over frothy rapids on jungle vines, and standing on the roof of a rusty, beat-up car firing a machine gun into the sky with one hand. I can’t explain these images, but they compelled me to follow the Wrinkle March into the aerobics room.

And I know I don’t need to tell you all what happened next.

She wore this while she screamed

Large, adult-sized Fisher Price plastic and foam bits were strewn all over the floor, thumping dance music started bumping over the speakers, and a headband-clad Drill Sergeant screamed the sweat out of us. Adrenaline racing, I stepped-out, stepped-down, and moved barbells all around. I pushed up, pushed back, and prayed softly. After about fifteen minutes, most of the old folks were barely sweating, while I keeled over, my mouth sucking back dry, sweaty air while a sharp, knife-like pain quietly stabbed into my gut. And the whole time Sergeant Purple Leg Warmers was barking at me to keeping going, don’t stop, two more minutes, one more minute, and rotate!

It was intense.

By the end, I was a Jello-blob of hot muscles and shin splints. I felt like I’d fallen down a hundred flights of stairs and landed on a cactus patch. I was in pain and agony … but you know what?

It felt good.

I felt like I made it. I felt like I did something. There was a tingling buzz of satisfaction burning in my shredded calves, a lingering ache of pride in the dirtbike tracks riding up my stomach for three days, and a quiet happiness with the gym pain I’d inflicted upon myself.

When you reach up higher than you’ve reached before, give a little more than you gave before, or dig deep to your core to end up sprained and sore, well around here we say that’s a little something called


jello-legsPhotos from: here, here, here, and here

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