#260 People who look like their pets

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“I moved in with a new roommate in the beginning of this school year and we decided to make our own list of AWESOME! things to hang up in our drab dorm room.  Some of our favorites are: Harmony, walking in the rain with rain boots on, a huge thunder storm, getting your AC fixed, and sandwiches cut into different shapes.  Next year we are getting in an apartment with another girl and we’re going to frame the poster!” – Kaitlin

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#261 Baby to baby love

Erik and Danny have a baby.

I was at a wedding a few months back and bumped into the fresh parents after missing them for a few years. They’ve popped out a couple pumpkins since I saw them at school so our visit was full of adorable photos, diaper horror stories, and tall tales of terrible teething.

One of the best stories they told me was when they took their son Jaden to the park near their house. It was a sunny day and there were piles of snot-nosed rugrats running around screaming with eyes full of fire and fists full of sand.

Erik and Danny set up shop on a park bench and watched as Jaden wobbled over to a nearby baby who was playing alone at the foot of her parents. She was naked except for a puffy diaper and she looked up with big Bambi eyes as Jaden teetered over and looked down at her. They watched with interest as Jaden slowly offered her the rest of the soggy cracker he was eating … and then watched as the little girl’s eyes grew wide as saucers and she smiled a beaming smile.

Then she paused.

It looked like she was thinking hard for a brief moment before she suddenly… tore off her diaper, handed it to him, and ran off naked!

They burst out laughing but were also genuinely touched at this chubby-legged infant’s big hearted move to share some baby to baby love. She literally handed him the only thing she had and then blushed before seeking refuge in the slides.

And whether it’s handing off a soggy cracker, tearing off a diaper, or holding sweaty hands across the street, there’s something picture-perfect about tiny scenes of tiny loving that remind us most folks are pretty kind … and pretty sweet.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“I just wanted to send you this photo of Darcy loving your AWESOME magnet, which is prominently displayed on our refrigerator. Incidentally, putting things on your refrigerator is awesome — photos, report cards, spelling tests.” – Ryan from Boston

Photos from: here and here

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#262 The smell of the barbecue

Scratch the crusty grill with the fraying wire brush so all the tiny black flecks spray on your baggy khaki shorts. Twist open the spiderweb-covered propane tank or light the charcoal and then go inside to assemble your plastic tray of food.

Bring out the sauce-smeared drumsticks, homemade hamburgers, or slippery wieners and toss them on there. Let the meat sizzle as you fill the backyard, deck, and neighborhood with that beautifully smoky smell of

AWESOME!.

— Email message —

“At the beginning of the year everyone in our grade seven ethics and religious cultures class wrote an awesome essay. Now we complied a book full of all of our essays and it is really awesome!” – Olivia from Quebec

Photo from: here

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#263 Getting cell phone service back after not having it for a while

Welcome to the saloon.

Jump off your tired horse, kick your cowboy boots together, and step through the swinging gates into your home away from home. Dusty sunbeams streak through dirty stained-glass windows and shadows fall on your closest friends laughing in a dank and dirty world away from it all. Tip your hat at the girl across the room, slap your pals on the back, and slip onto a cozy stool to trade stories and jokes with the bartender and catch up on all the gossip you missed.

Welcome to the saloon.

Jump onto your cell phone, check your text messages, and log into your email to catch up on forwards from friends. Bleeps and bloops ring from plastic screens as you share laughs with faces in a secret digital world away from it all. Poke the boy across the room, catch up on blogs, and instant message all your friends while skimming all the comments and one-liners you missed.

Losing cell phone service is like temporarily leaving the saloon and heading into the chilly night air for a crisp midnight walk down the black roads of your hometown. It’s a refreshing feeling of clearing your head, finding your thoughts, and finally floating alone through our webby world of loose connections.

It can feel great to walk away from it all. But it sure can feel great to pop back in.

Getting cell phone service back after not having it for a while is like stepping through the swinging doors and joining us all back in the saloon.

Welcome home.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

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#264 Putting things in your shoe so you don’t forget them later

I’m pretty forgetful.

I forget keys in my pants, food in my microwave, and words at the end of my.

Being forgetful is a terrible thing. Seriously, if you’ve ever tapped your empty pockets in front of your locked front door you know exactly how painful it can be.

Fortunately we live in a bright and modern Future World where decades of cutting edge research has resulted in breakthrough technological advances that give us a way to remember all the things we’d otherwise leave behind.

I’m talking about throwing them in your shoe, people.

It’s an ingenious and failproof scientific system of helping your Future Self out whenever you think your Current Self might leave something behind.

Yes, putting things in your shoe so you don’t forget them later.

Works for everything except babies, raw eggs, and Micro Machines.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“I went out gardening today and I created a little garden with your book  for you – check out my photo attached! Cheers!” – Steve from The Pothole Gardener

Photos from: here and here

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#265 The smell of really, really clean air

Your lungs deserve the best.

Escape the parking garage, forget the fast food fumes, and run away from that photocopying daze in the cubicle farm.

When you get way out in the open, when you’re sailing over the deep blue sea, when you’re climbing to the top of the mountain, just take a breath for you and me.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“My friend Kacie and I went to a beginners yoga class and at one point we were in a pose like the picture attached … I looked over to Kacie and she was staring at me with a big smile on her face… I mouthed “Are you OK?” she smiled.  We went on to another pose, again I looked over and she smiled and mouthed to me “I farted” while beaming… I mouthed back “What?!” and with an even bigger smile she whispered “I. Fart-ed.”  I lost it in a fit of giggles.  Our super chill instructor just smiled as we laughed for five minutes. After class ended we were walking out of the gym and she confessed ‘I think I liked it- I just felt so free!’ AWESOME.” – Rita

Photo from: here

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#266 When a deadline is extended unexpectedly

Talk about a win-win-win-win.

If you’re already done! Brother, you just earned some breathing room. Sit back and smile as everyone sweats it up next week and pat your own back for being on top of your game. If you feel like it you can make improvements and hand in Version 2.0 of Your Masterpiece. Or you can simply make improvements to the amount of dancing cat videos you’ve watched online lately. Your choice.

• If you’re nowhere close! Then this is for you! Yes, you were drowning in deadlines when this one thankfully got moved so now you finally catch your breath and get organized. Take a deep breath and catch up to yourself.

• If you’re the teacher! Congratulations! You just enabled your own procrastination. Forget spending the weekend reading a pile of book reports or grading science labs. Nope — now’s the time to clean out the fridge, spend a day on the couch, and maybe even finally finish that Solitaire game that’s been taunting you. Watch out for falling cards.

If you’re the deadline! Why, you don’t mind at all either. This could be due to your lack of consciousness.

So listen up, teachers and bosses of the world: When you extend those deadlines we’re loving you lots. Life’s too short to stress out all the time so give us a break and we promise to pay you back with full-face smiles, cracking high fives, and great big screams of

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Every year my school hosts ‘Make a Statement Day,’ when everybody in the school gets a plain white T-shirt to do whatever they please on it. From inspirational quotes by world famous authors to passing thoughts, each shirt is a work of art and often the messages on them convey students thoughts and feelings about life and the world around us. My statement this year was to “Be Awesome” because there is something truly great about just being AWESOME!” – Colin from Massachusetts

Photos from: here

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#267 Car dancing

Get down, get funky, get loose.

When the tunes starts bumping and your car starts thumping it’s time to dance it off in the passenger or back seat. Slam the glove compartment, roll down the windows, and give these moves a try:

The Bird. Both the driver and passenger get involved with this one. Each person sticks one arm out each window and gets slowwwwwwww flapping. Birdcalls can be added for effect or just enjoy the ride.

• Reverse Irish Dancing. Michael Flatley was Lord of the Dance with his super-fast-legs styles. Go the opposite by keeping your legs buckled up while getting the upper body bouncing. Head bobs, shoulder shrugs, and flailing elbows? Testify!

• Air Drumming. Bang the dash, bang the windows, and bang those bucket seats. Make sure you point all the air vents towards you and crank the fan for full effects. Bonus points awarded for headbanging so hard you engage the seatbelt.

Air Boxing. This is just a twist on Air Drumming and is primarily used for LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out.

• Mime Dancing. When you’re rocking out wearing headphones nobody hears those drums thumping and that bass kicking. But they see you enjoying them both. Lip synching with scrunched eyebrows and wistful eyes is always nice here.

When you can’t go outside cause you’re strapped in for the ride sometimes it gets blurry and boring out the windows. Cloud float up high and trees whip on by while you sit and itch for some energy and some fun. So when the talking is done and you’re cruising in the sun make sure you get those buns bouncing to the beat, clap your hands and stomp those feat, and make some car dancing magic … in your car dancing seat.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Hi my name is Tiferet. My 6 grade teacher asked us to write a paragraph for Lang. I chose to write on How To Be Happy. I hope it’s awesome enough. Here it is for you.” – Tiferet


Photos from: here, here, and here

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#268 Getting a good locker in high school

Scott got screwed.

Back in ninth grade my friend Scott was assigned a locker buddy named Kyle who played trumpet in the school band. They shared a thin locker down a dark and dusty hallway outside the Boy’s Changeroom. Not only did it smell like armpit, but it was about a three-minute hike from any of our classes.

Now, Scott gave Kyle the top shelf so he was stuck on his knees every morning wedging his winter jacket, books, and boots onto the rusty floor of the thing. I have a painfully vivid memory of watching Kyle’s trumpet case majestically tumble from the top shelf and completely nail Scott in the face.

You could say he had a bad locker.

Getting a good locker in high school makes all the difference. You need a convenient spot to grab your books when you’re running  late, easy access to the bathroom and cafeteria, and a good Locker Neighborhood near all your friends.

And tumbling trumpets to the face should be avoided wherever possible.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“I had my first flying experience this past week.  After the light headed fun and the ears popping what got me through my first plane ride was reading your book.  Attached is a picture of the book on my tray table beside the barf bag I thankfully never needed to use. ‘Riding in an airplane for the first time and not throwing up.  Awesome.'” – Cayce

Photos from: here and here

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#269 The sound of a golf ball falling into the cup

I was the Mini Golf King.

Yes, back in those blurry late 80s there wasn’t a course that could trip me up. Slippery slopes, puddle patches, shady piles of windswept maple keys were all no match for my well-practiced whacking of that neon pink ball. Smack it off the chewed-up mat, bounce it off the windmill arms, and let it slowly straighten before dropping right into the hole.

That was my game.

The sound of a golf ball falling into the cup is the bounce-a-round sound of hole-finishing satisfaction. Whether you just finished smacking dented balls off tree trunks, chipping through the rough, or twelve-putting your way to the finish line, it really doesn’t matter.

Because that final shot always sounds the same.

It’s the sound of satisfaction going down the drain.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“I started a little project in my sorority Delta Zeta at Michigan Tech University where I started giving The Book of Awesome to my roommate to thank her for being such an AWESOME roommate. Her job was to read a couple pages a day and add her own AWESOME things. Then she passed it on to the next woman. The criteria for passing it on is mostly to say “thank you,” “congratulations,” “cheer up,” or whatever! I’ve loved watching how excited all the women have gotten about this! When it’s time to pass it on they get all mischievous and try to figure out where it’s gonna go next. My sorority took its annual group pictures today so we brought along The Book of Awesome! p.s. We all particularly loved ‘taking off your bra at the end of a long day'” – Miriam

Photo from: here

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