#3 The far corners of your mind

It’s where the wild things are.

See, we’ll never really know how far the universe flies but maybe we should be wondering how far our minds go inside.

Because when you let your thoughts run free … they bounce all over the place. When your brain slips into the basement … it zooms to outer space. And when we see you thinking deeply … we see love all over your face.

What’s in the far corners of your mind?

Is it a wild idea you’ve been itching to try? Is it time you finally asked out that guy? Is it a business you know you should have started last year? A scary thought about switching careers? Or a dull ache and pain that won’t heal till you see her?

Let the far corners of your mind to take you closer, take you farther, and take you away.

Yes, let the marbles roll till the table ends, let the lights get bright near the edge of the bend, and let those whispering voices just start screaming again.



Join us! I will be doing a live Twitter chat tonight at 7:00pm EST @1000awesome

Join us! I will be announcing the #1 awesome thing live at Chapters John & Richmond tomorrow night!

Thank you to Rothesay, New Brunswick for picking The Book of (Even More) Awesome as their town read!

Photo from: etnaboris

129 thoughts on “#3 The far corners of your mind

    1. Confession: I have never seen Wlly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Don’t ask me how this is possible since I think I’ve seen every kid movie imaginable but I’ve never seen this classic, only the one with Johnny Depp. I’ve also never seen any Star Wars or any episode of Star Trek. I need to do a sci/fi, fantasy movie night.

      1. Awww, you’ve gotta see the original Wonka! Saw it in the theater as a kid and it was the benchmark against which all other kid flicks have been measured. :)

      2. Trixierix.. do it! Take a break from being and awesome science researcher and enjoy a night of fun.. It’s tough to say what should rank higher between Star Wars and Willy Wonka.. obviously Star Wars is a much bigger world-wide phenomenon, but Willy Wonka is a fantastic classic in it’s own way.. Plus, you can start making a bunch of weird references after:

        1) I’ve got a golden ticket!
        2) Violet, you’re turning violet!
        3) But I want an Oompa Loompa NOW!!
        4) Augustus, no! Save some room for later! (I say this to my wife whenever she snacks too much before dinner. Oh, and I say it in a really bad german accent)
        5) Good day sir.. I said GOOD DAY!
        6) The Oompa Loompa songs.

        and so many more! Yay! (I’m glad I got to give one more good homework assignment before this blog was done).

        1. Hahaha I love that you say that to your wife :D And I am very proud to say that I can say “GI said good day sir!” in Polish :D It’s “Powiedzialam dzien dobry Panie!” (copy it into google translate and get it to reaad it!)

        2. Before there was Zoolander… before there was The Princess Bride…there was Willy Wonka! That was an excellent summary of quotable lines! I went through a phase when I would make up Oompa Loompa songs whenever I was trying to get geekchild to do a chore. Sadly (or perhaps happily) they have all passed from memory

      3. …I feel like I should scold you for your lack of classic-Wonka-ness, but I adored the Johnny Depp remake, so I’ll let you off the hook. This time…

        As for Star Wars, I don’t remember 1, 2 or 3 (but I’m told by most fans that this is okay, because 4, 5 and 6 are the only ones worth watching) and I’ve only seen the new Star Trek movie, never the episodes.

        And you wanna know something else? I’ve never read “Lord of the Rings”, and could only manage to sit through 1 and a half of the films before I got bored and left.

        1. Honestly….I wasn’t a big fan of Lord of the Rings either. I think they really drug out the story line. I’ve only ever seen the first Star Wars, too.
          But…I watched Where the Wild Things Are a few months ago and I just didn’t get it. It was very weird. Almost as odd as Christopher Walken reading the book!!

          1. Okay, I have a confession to make. Maybe they do drug the story line, because I am addicted to reading LOTR. I carried around a massive, all-three-volumes paperback until it fell apart. Then I purchased the individual books, and now I have it on my e-reader. I can’t … stop … reading … LOTR. Right now I’m in book 2 where Aragorn (swoon), Legolas (sigh) and Gimli encounter the hooded old man in Fangorn Forest. Will he disarm them with spells, or will his true identity be revealed! I will have to wait for my lunch hour to find out!

            1. I’ve read the books and watched the films too many times to count (LOTR). When I come home from hospital next week I plan to watch all of the films once again…and when I’ve watched them once, I’ll start watching them again with the commentary tracks! :D

            2. Omg. Lol. I have never seen the movie or read the book. I’m just not into scifi or fantasy. I’ve only seen the first Harry Potter bc i put it on while babysitting.

  1. i remember as child when i was bored, i would go outside onto the swings and just stare out into the sky (occasionally i’d lie on the trampoline) & just let my mind wander & i somehow always used to end up pondering my existence on earth – i clearly always remember thinking ‘why are we even here?’ ‘i am such a tiny thing in comparison to the entire universe – we can’t be the only things out there’ & ‘where does the universe end?’
    i loved doing just doing nothing outside & thinking – the mind truely is an amzaing thing! :D

  2. Just between you and me…I have a secret: I’m thinking about leaving the lab behind and becoming a teacher full-time. But I’m terrified that all my hard work (and student loans!) towards my career will have been in vain. I’m a 1st generation college student and everyone is so proud of me that I’d hate to disappoint anyone by going back to school for education. I need to make up my mind on what to do with my life. I’m almost 30 for goodness sake!

    Phew…I’ve been wanting I say that. Don’t tell anyone.

    1. life is too short to worry about money & time.
      Do what makes you happy and who cares what other people think! If they were proud of you before, then they’d be even more proud of you for doing something that you really want to do!
      Nothing you have done previously would have been done in vain because without all that – you wouldnt be the person you are today!
      go ahead and make yourself happy!

      1. Isnt it weird how little changes can turn your world upside down. Im only subbing bc I left a lab position that I hated and needed extra cash. Now I’m reevaluating my entire life because I’m into it way more that I expected and can honestly see me never going back. Scary and awesome at the same time.

        But you’re absolutely right. I can only for certain please only one person in this life and I may as well choose myself.

        1. The world needs good teachers, trixierix! And you seem like a funny, passionate, smart and kind person! What more could kids/parents/schools hope for in a teacher!

          I hope that whatever you decide makes you happy! Big life changes are really tough, but I made a big life change (quitting my job and moving across the country to be somewhere I’d be happier), and while totally scary, it has been the greatest decision I could’ve made!

        2. Always do what makes you happy. If that means leaving behind the lab and chasing another dream, then do it! I’ve been trying to find a way out of my job forever and I think my opportunity is coming up real soon, too!

        3. Ditto what Simone and Freddo and Bekah say! Do what you love, life is too short to spend it on something you don’t love. Also, you can totally become a teacher in your field – high schools and colleges especially love getting teachers with actual field experience – that education isn’t “lost”. You have to know about something to teach it well. good luck! This is exciting!

    2. I just interviewed someone on this topic. For your mentality sake and for your heart’s sake go and live your dream woman! :D The best advice my mother gave me is “Sometimes to get one step forward you need to take two step backs, but you’re getting there.” so let me lend it to you to take and add into your life :) Hugs.

  3. So very very true! There are many things in the far corners of my mind, some of which i ignore. As always, you arr an inspiration to all your readers for following their hearts!

    OH MY GID THERE ARE ONLY TWO ENTRIES LEFT! I cannot believe that this is actually happening!

      1. Haha! I never seem to be able to get rid of those stupid typos! I was so excited I didn’t spell check lol

      2. With your sense of humor, the kids will just adore you, Trixierix! Follow your heart…you’ll never regret following your passion. No one on her deathbed has ever said, “Gee, I’m so sorry I spent my life on passion, fun, and fulfillment.” Your ed and career prep will not have been in vain, no matter in which field you one day find yourself. Knowledge for its own sake is always AWESOME! BTW, 30 is the new 18 so you’ve got your entire life before you…make it spectacular!

        1. Thanks for the encouragement! You guys are the best. I’m just going to take my time and make a decision that’ll make me happy.

    1. Two entries left, wow! I feel like we should really be celebrating or something. Not that its coming to an end, but because its been such a great 4 years.

  4. A splendid post with a “Wendy” video already embedded! I’m wearing a HUGE grin that a Wonka vid made it into the top 3…the best kid movie ever! Thank goodness for our creative imaginations which lead us to solve complex medical issues, research science like trixierix, play music like Pink Floyd, invent light bulbs and washing machines, combine ingredients to concoct Nutella, devise methods to improve communities like Wendy, write & film movies about Wonka, rig up AC (it was 88 degrees F here today…whew!), and write blogs about Awesome stuff!

    1. i believe nutella will be mentioned every day this week – thats how awesome it is right?
      LOVE IT!

          1. Hahahaha his comment, and your comment suggesting the image, sent me into giggles too! Not exactly a dignified thing when you’re in the middle of a cafe, but whatever :D Freddo, if you don’t have Facebook, shame on you.

              1. I know, right? Like Freddo has some kind of Nutella radar. (I’m going to stop there, because when I tried to make a spidey-sense tingling analogy for Nut-ella, it got inappropriate.)

        1. lol I love everyone’s obsession with Nutella. I met someone who doesn’t like it. I couldn’t understand.

            1. I like this idea!!! We could have a world-wide Nutella nosh and reveal of #1 Awesome all together :o)

          1. Omiword… How do they live JT?! A jar of Nutella can’t survive a day in my cupboard. Nutella with bread? PFFF! All you need is a tablespoon :D

            1. My husband is allergic to hazlenuts!!! As Lizzy says “I’m down!”
              “I’m up!” For an old broad, I sure am happening, eh!
              I cracks me up! Remember ALF… hahahaha! Long as I’m not cracking up, “Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright…they just seem a little weird….Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself awaayyy, awaaayyy!”
              I think I’m giddy! Time for an Awesome slumber party or a giddy up to bed! What y’all think???

  5. #3, another great awesome thing. I tear at the thought that my Bible is coming to an end, but then I think: there’s no reason for me not to keep going! :)

  6. Thank you Neil. Honestly thank you isn’t enough, but when are words ever enough to describe those darn emotions? In Oct 2011 I was a VERY sad 19 year old. A week before I had…. well let’s just say I was in the hospital because life was just to hard. I was a lucky Chris you could say, because thank God help found me in time. The day I found your blog I had typed into Google “Is anything AWESOME ANYMORE” Your blog was one of the first sites that came up. I read as much as I could in one day (and fell in love!) , then I typed “1000 awesome things” into youtube. Somehow AVPM came up (I have NO idea how but I guess fate works in funny ways). AVPM is a musical by this theater company named Starkid, and…. lets just say I was hooked. Fast foward to Thanksgiving time… I have friends who really get me! And inside jokes! And many many many awesome things! And Starkids every morning would read that newest Awesome thing and talk about it. It’s become like my morning cup of coffee and newspaper. Sure, I may not comment on here (this is my first time) but your blog changed my life. I wouldn’t have the family I do now. I wouldn’t be going to LeakyCon. I wouldn’t have that freaking scary/totally awesome roadtrip I had last week.
    Without you I would have NEVER found Starkid. And without Starkid I wouldn’t have… well I don’t know if I would even be alive frankly. Your blog is FAR more huge than you think. Just because we many not comment on here, just know that you have a bunch of theater nerds in love with your blog. And for that we can’t thank you enough.
    Thank you for helping me find my way. Thank you for helping me find my family (because who knows when I would have found Starkid if I hadn’t typed 1000 awesome things on youtube). Thank you for making my mornings brighter. Thanks for the awesome.

    1. 3 Cheers for Neil for saving lives!
      Hip Hip!
      Hip Hip
      Hip Hip
      congratulations marrisa on finding the awesomeness in life!
      glad you’re still here :)

      1. 3 cheers for Neil spreading the awesome to everyone (fandom crossover? I think so!)! I’m glad I’m still here also. Very glad.:)

        1. Marrisa, your story totally made my day. I’m so thrilled for you that you have found your tribe and have joy in life again! I wish you great success and happiness for your long, long future.

          I really find it poetic that you asked the universe (aka Google) “Is there anything awesome anymore” and it gave you this blog, and Starkid. That kind of blew my mind.

    2. What an inspiring comment. Can I just say thanks for taking the time out to comment? You’ve really made a positive impact on my day.

      Thank you. Bless. Hugs.

    3. It’s so awesome that you’re in the world, Marrisa! Your post is so beautiful it made me cry…happy tears. Now I’m off to google Starkids!

      1. I’m glad that it’s happy tears! just wanted to type everything out before -sobs- he hits number one. Give me a second darling and I’ll link you. :)

          1. Bahahahaha. Their nerds. All of em, but in the best way possible. The fans are even better though, if I do say so myself. And on yet another morning it’s nearly 12am and I have work tomorrow. Bed here I come! :)

    4. Marrisa – thanks so much for taking the time to comment here and share your story. I know that must not have been an easy story to share.. but it was a beautiful..

      Keep on keeping on.. you sound awesome!

    5. I want to also say thank you for sharing your story. It was very moving and I’m glad that you have found your way now. There are many people out there that are in the kind of situation you were in and I hope one day they find their awesome just like you did.

    6. Drama people are awesome too! I used to be a very shy, closed person, that didn’t have to nerve to speak my mind. Then I started taking drama classes, and it was wonderful! People I now know almost don’t believe me when I say I used to be extremely shy and didn’t talk much. I have now made true friends and I’m no longer afraid of being myself. It is so awesome that you managed to find this blog and Starkid when you needed it most. Sometimes, things just work out perfectly.

      1. Wow! You regulars on here move fast!
        @Freddo: No, it really wasn’t that hard to share. It’s my past you know? It’s made me into the person I am now, and I have no shame in it. Life is hard at times but it gets better. :)
        @Bekah: It breaks my heart that other people had and or have those thoughts. I wish I could fix everyone, but alas they have to want to get better.
        @Becca: Ohhhhh my did I ever use to be shy. NOT now! I’ve found theater people ARE the best. :)
        @Mary- I FIND you to be totally awesome. ;)

      1. lol.. I was clicking through this, curious to see what #6 looked like – and it certainly was a departure..

        Cool link Lizzie.. not because I’m pro drugs – but only because I’m pro science. :)

        1. Wait…you’re pro drugs? Cause I’m hooked on LOTR and I think you’d really like it. First chapter is free.

          1. Crap – is that how what I wrote sounded? Hmmm.. I should’ve been more clear, particularly on something like this..

            I’m anti-drug, but pro-science.. I’m also pro-LOTR.. and whatever is better than being pro-something (pro-squared? extra-pro?) I’m that with Nutella..

      2. Trixie – Oh man he was TOTALLY off guts. No.6 is mind-blowing… Literally. >_<

        Freddo – Inorite. Scary good. Now you know where most crazy artwork comes from eh? "Abstract? PFF! More like abstripped!"

      1. It’s me purple passion, Wendy:) I suppose I need to see Willy Wonka.
        Back in the day…remember #235~ Your thinking place? I find it similar to today with all the people questioning the borders and I was moved to google, “Does the mind have borders?” and google said, “The mind has NO borders,” in a voice over by Jiddu Krishnamurti:) I’m pretty certain he didn’t mind! He was a very cool dude! Perhaps the 20th. century Messiah!!! Now, that was one very awesome weekend!!!
        Marrisa, truly amazing what the universe and google will answer when we ask…outstanding at times! Beyond the beyonds of what we could ever imagine for ourselves…certain to be Gid…I mean GOD, of course! No matter what, we are together, in a thread of twinkling light, like Charlotte said to Wilbur~ Be the Miracle that you are! This year is 60th. anniversary of the literary classic. (did I say that already?) We’re never that far away~
        It’s A Small World After All! I’ll see you all in the light of the deep on the dark side of the Fly me to the moon! Rememer In the Name of LOVE, to Shine On You Crazy Diamonds!

  7. Can we get a little shootout for that town in New Brunswick..

    1) How cool is it that they have a town that promotes reading by having a town-wide book club?!?

    I love this idea.. I hope everyone in town joins in.. Imagine how cool it would be if you were just waiting in line at the DMV or something, and you know that you could turn to the person standing behind you in line and chat about the book you know you’ve both been reading.. Awesome!

    2) And they picked Neil’s book! Super Awesome!

    3) For a reason I can’t guess, there are at least 6 pink flamingos in that picture.

    1. OK, it’s late and I only see 2 right off…I’ll have to look for the others tomorrow. As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many pink flamingos. :)

    2. A town sharing the awesome…what could be more awesome, right? I love it! As for the pink flamingos, at first I thought you were just kidding because I didn’t see any first off. But now that I go back and look, I can only find one. Weird. Maybe that’s the town mascot or something….

      1. Sounds like Kathy and Bekah need to play more “Where’s Waldo?” for practice before heading back to Rothesay’s “Find the Flamingo” contest..

          1. OK, I see the six and I’m smiling! Playing where’s the pink flamingo is so much more fun that finding Waldo.

    3. It’s because “Birds of a feather READ together!” – and thanks for the shout out! I am a teacher at Rothesay High School and it truly is awesome to see all the students with copies of Neil’s book (each student gets one!) and be able to chat with them about what they find awesome in the world. My students are even making their own personal “Books of Awesome” :) Great fun!

      1. Thanks for the shout out! I am involved with The Big Rothesay Read, an annual event in Rothesay NB. For 6 weeks every year our town reads the same book at the same time, including the entire student population of our high school (who are all given a copy of the book). Now in its fourth year, I can say that The Big Rothesay Read is always a huge success in our amazing town, but … well, this year it is truly AWESOME!!! :o) The most exciting part of our community read is that at the end of the six weeks, the author comes to our town for two public talks and Q&A’s…so we’re VERY excited to be hosting Neil in Rothesay on May 11th this year!!! About the flamingos — it’s hilarious that you noticed that. Each year we try to think of creative ways to promote the read locally, to keep people interested and talking about it…this year there is a flock of pink flamingos travelling around town with signs that read “Birds of a feather….READ together! The Big Rothesay Read — Are you in?”. You just never know where the birds will land next! It’s always fun to drive around town and see that they’ve “flown” somewhere new. So, from Rothesay, thank you to Neil for agreeing to be a part of The Big Rothesay Read — you truly are AWESOME!!

  8. Hey everybody,

    I don’t know how many of you watch the Ellen Degeneres show, but if you do, I’m sure you agree that this is something that deserves to be on the show. I suggest we all send Ellen a message on her facebook page, tweet her, and email her all the stuff about 1000awesomethings that we can and get Neil on the show! More people need to know about this great part of our lives!

  9. So sure everybody finds themselves drifting off to the far corners of the mind. And just like that, this post is awesome!

    but if this is #3, the blog will finish on Thursday instead of Friday??? :(

  10. Ah yes. Nothing like just being able to sit and think…. My corners seem to be full of unfinished stories. And, you know, the occasional deep thought :p

    This is really it, isn’t it? We are on the top threes, people. I think it’s just hitting me now that on Thursday this blog will end!

  11. I feel like I missed out on all the fun that was had while I was sleeping. There were already 60 comments when I got here.
    My mind wanders away from me sometimes. I have lots of hopes and many dreams. I imagine what my life would be like if I grew up in a different time. I think about how the world was without me and how it will be when I’m gone. There are times that I’ll start thinking one thing and then end up on something completely different and wonder how I got there. Its funny how one thing leads to another. Start out talking about a tv show or something and end up talking about what it would be like if bears could fly.

    1. NO JOKE! I had big plans to stay up late every night this week to jump in on the action with everyone, and I did the COMPLETE opposite last night. I was sooooo tired while watching TV, I thought … I know, I’ll just go lay down for a second and I’ll be totally rested for some paper-grading and blog-commenting tonight. Yeah that’ll be great! I’ll just rest for a second, get up and eat dinner, and get down to business.

      Fast forward to my alarm going off at five this morning, me waking up in my clothes and contacts, my doors unlocked and garage door up …


      EVEN WORSE, now I have to go to work and stuff and I’ll have to wait even LONGER to jump in on the action! UGH!

        1. The second’s never long enough. D:

          “Just… Okay maybe five minutes” *eight hours later*

          “How did… What di-… FUUUU”

  12. This was a very inspired selection! I imagine most people don’t wish to gaze upon the contents of the farthest corners of their minds, but this was cool nonetheless!

  13. Ahhhhhhh, I LOVE Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!! I keep my VCR mainly so I can continue to watch my favorite movie in its antique form. The lovely VHS video, in its yellowing case, shall stay with me forever. =D

    By the way, favorite line of this post: “Yes, let the marbles roll till the table ends.”

    1. Aw…yeah! It’s a pretty fantastic film. Quite revolutionary at the time. I have always really loved the “Pure Imagination” song. Kenny Loggins did a children’s lullaby-type album back around when geekteen was born (late 90’s) that had this song on it, sung like a lullaby. I used to hold the geekbaby in my arms and dance around my house to it. So I have very fond memories of this song.

  14. I clicked the link to The Book of (Even More ) Awesome and read the first review…made me giggle.=D I think it’s great:
    “This may be the greatest piece of literature on awesome the world has ever seen. If Ernest Hemingway were alive today he’d say, ‘I’m one hundred and twelve years old. Someone please kill me.’ But I also think he’d like this book.” —Justin Halpern, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Sh*t My Dad Says”

  15. I wish it was that easy.. letting things roll… unfortunately it is not. The truth is very few of us can truly follow our dreams hidden in far corners of our minds. That’s pure reality. What I think is “awesome” is believing that it can eventually happen even when being totally aware that it simply won’t.

  16. I think we should pull an all nighter tonight and create the longest awesome thread in history…around the world in every language in 24 hours…invite the world!!!! Nice dream ,eh:)

  17. I think I reach the far corners of my mind best when I’m dreaming. That’s when I go beyond logic and see my imagination go wild! Sometimes I remember what I dream and go “I have no idea what that was, but it was cool!” I find it funny when I’m in the middle of a dream, and my alarm starts to go off, and my dream self goes “What is that?” Then I wake up, and vaguely remember the dream and go “What was THAT?” When I can remember a dream well, I realize how it mixes with my fears and goals and whatever is happening in my life at that time. I’m thinking up solutions to my problems without even realizing it! That is awesome!

  18. Marissa’s post inspired me to come up with a list of all the things I wouldn’t have read, seen, tried or otherwise experienced without this blog! Here goes…
    > Nutella (heard of it, but had never tried it!)
    > Hyperbole and a Half (which gave me spagatta naddle, simple dog, and the Alot)
    > Left Pizza with None Beef (can’t remember if it was MikeDover, Freddo, or someone else who shared this!)
    >Mean Girls (also heard of, but never saw it!) and a few other great movies
    >Ketchup chips
    >All the books of awesome
    >Bed head baby
    >Jelly Man Kelly
    >and knowing that there are people all over the world who laugh, cry and giggle at the same weird things as me!!

    Thanks guys!!

  19. I didnt have time to comment properly here the other day- this is really cool! I love the corners of my mind. Some things are a little scary, some are completely awesome and some things are really sweet, like those small details I remember from a wedding way back when I was 3 :) But I hate when you think of something awesome, then it gets stuck back in the corner of your mind and you can’t pull it out again!
    Also, I’m loving all this rhyming happening in these last few posts.

  20. Neil, we are excited that you are coming to speak to our town – Rothesay New Brunswick on May 14th! The entire town is enjoying reading your book “The Book of (Even More) Awesome”!! For anyone in the area, come to Rothesay High School, 7:00 pm, Friday May 14th to meet Neil and thank him in person for his inspiring, entertaining books and wonderful blog!!

  21. Rated the third most awesome thing, the far corners of your mind should be rated the first, for within it are all the other existing – maybe even non-existing – things!
    It’s funny to think that our mind in infinite, and so we could know “everything”, by exploring the depths of it. Even the end of the universe we live in has already been fotographed, so we can say that the limits of the inside of our minds is far beyond the outside of it! (and by the outside I mean the physical one, the whole world and such).
    To sum up, everytime you are puzzled, you can always dwelve inside yourself and look for a lot of forgotten – maybe never found – lore. That makes things simple and always looking good, because When you have a problem and your mood is bleak, just remember: you know the answer!

  22. Appreciate your working on the time to put together this post. I can tell that you invested a bunch of time investigating for this guide. I just need you to know that you are revered. I discovered a lot!

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