#871 Finding out your birthday is on a Friday or Saturday next year

Save the date

Planning those Wednesday birthdays is tough.

Do you party-back on the weekend before or party-forward to the weekend after? Either way, you’ll get a lot of “So wait, when’s your actual birthday?” questions, and you’ll be forced to take a sip of your drink, smile pleasantly, and casually say “Oh, just a couple days from now,” or worse “Oh, you know … two Wednesday’s ago.”

That’s just no fun.

So if you’re as self-centered as I am and the first thing you do when you get your greasy paws on a crisp, new calendar is flip right to your birthday, then you sure are loving it when that big day hits the Friday or Saturday Jackpot. Now it’s on for so many reasons:

  • Save the date. No need to puzzle over when to throw the big bash. Just start planning it for that Friday or Saturday. You have no choice and no need to waffle.
  • Party Priority. It’s true. When it’s your actual birthday, your event moves way up the party priority list. Sure, you’re still slightly below Friend’s Wedding or Out Of Town Guest, but you zoom up way higher than Poker Night or Grandma Visit.
  • More free drinks. Especially if you have a birthday party that starts the night before and kicks into high gear at midnight when you ‘officially’ start celebrating. Hopefully you don’t have to wear a tiara and a sash to keep those free shots coming.

Yes, you know as well as I do that when that big day lands right on a Friday or Saturday, it opens up a world of celebration possibilities. Because now your birthday’s going on, your birthday’s going long, and your birthday’s going strong, fool.

Awwwwwww, yeah.




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#872 The feeling of squishing sand in your feet

A million little massages

Free your feet.

When you kick off your tight, suffocating shoes, peel off your nasty, sweaty socks, and just start walking on the beach in bare feet, how good does that feel?

Man, it’s a million molecules of Earthbeads massaging your foot all at once. It’s a tickly, gripply sand sensation. It’s big piles of small cubes hugging and comforting your tired and sore and broken sole.

And yeah sure, the sand wedges itself up into your toenails, dusts up in your toe-knuckle hair, and coats the bottom of your feet like butter on toast. So your feet may look a little worse for wear.

But whatever, because the feeling of scrunching sand in your feet when you walk on the beach is 100% guaranteed




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#873 Finding an old mix tape given to you by a boyfriend or girlfriend years ago

Shoebox of memories

Stashed away in shoeboxes, basements, and broom closets around the world are some of our greatest treasures.

That’s where we might find old prom photos, expired driver’s licenses, handwritten letters from faraway friends, or maybe, if we’re really lucky, one of those beautiful gems known as an old Love Tape.

Time it right

Love Tapes are simply any mix tape carefully put together by someone who like-likes you. Yes, that blurry, distant boyfriend or girlfriend probably spent hours timing songs to fit perfectly on a side of a tape, painstakingly scrawled out love notes and drawings on stickers, and maybe, if you’re lucky, even sprayed it with a bit of perfume.

Depending on your time frame, your mix tape, or mix 8-track, or mix CD may contain gems such as:

  1. Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
  2. More Than Words by Extreme
  3. Everything I Do (I Do It For You) by Bryan Adams
  4. Can’t Help Falling In Love by UB40
  5. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
  6. I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Meatloaf
  7. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
  8. Is This Love by Bob Marley
  9. End Of The Road by Boyz II Men
  10. You Were Meant For Me by Jewel
  11. God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
  12. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
  13. Eternal Flame by The Bangles

So search your heart. Search your soul. And when you find mix tapes there, you will search no more. So don’t tell me, they’re not worth looking for. You can’t tell me, they’re not worth searching for. You know it’s true. Everything mix tapes do.

They do it for you.


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#874 The Five Second Rule for eating food off the floor

Still good

The Five Second Rule simply states that any food dropped on the floor is perfectly fine to eat as long as you pick it up in less than five seconds.

The rule has many variations, including The Three Second Rule, The Seven Second Rule, and the extremely handy and versatile The However Long It Took Me To Pick This Food Up Rule. But whatever version you use, there’s just no denying why it’s great:

  1. Makes you look less disgusting. Because now when you eat that wet grape that rolled into the corner by the heating vent and collected some cat hair and a few old, dry toast crumbs, you’re not disgusting. No, you’re just a law abiding Kitchen Citizen. Big difference.
  2. Saves time and money. Wait, wait, wait, don’t pull the peanut butter and jelly out again and make a whole new sandwich. No, we’ll just blow the floor spice off this one and maybe tear off the wet, soggy piece of crust that landed in juice puddle. It’s all good.
  3. It’s scientifically proven. Well, actually it’s scientifically proven that if a floor is covered in salmonella or E. Coli, your food will be covered in salmonella or E. Coli, even if they touch for a split second. But, and here’s the kicker, the same study showed no significant evidence of contamination on public flooring in general. Good save, Science.

So people, I give you a friend and savior in these tough times: The Five Second Rule. Know it. Love it.

Live by it.




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#875 Experimenting with facial hair

From this angle you can't see the toilet paper bits

I used to be The Wolf Man.

At least, that’s what a big guy named Fletch used to call me in tenth grade homeroom. He said it with a hearty, bug-eyed giggle while pinching and tugging the soft patches of thin, black hair extending from my ears to my collar bones.

Now, I wasn’t just born The Wolf Man. No, I had to create the identity by first building up the guts to trim my thin, soft mustache and sideburns for the first time. That first shave was a nerve-wracking ordeal, with a fresh razor, a steamy mirror, too much lather, and too much blood.

And I guess being around fifteen years old and new to this whole slicing the hair off your face with a knife thing, I didn’t realize that you were supposed to get the whole neck area, too. So I didn’t get the neck area. I completely missed the neck area. So for a good couple of weeks, I walked around high school with a smooth, freshly shorn face, and an untamed, hairy neck area.


But you know, looking back, I really do miss it. I certainly couldn’t pull off the Gratuitously Hairy Neck look these days, unless I wanted to leave Cubicle City to become a mountain guide, longshore fisherman, or professional scarf warmer-upper.

And it’s not just the Hairy Neck look that deserves mention. There are so many other classic facial hair experiments:

Try combing these suckers

6. Mutton Chops. Although it seems obvious, mutton chops are so named because they look just like big lamb chops. The thicker, the hairier, the better, as you can tell from the photo of famous 19th century Norwegian playright Henrik Ibsen. His closest rival for the Muttonchop Crown was probably Elvis, but really it couldn’t have been that close. I mean, just look at those beautifully shaggy chops.

Strap it on

5. The Chin Strap. This chin strip is the result of a deep study in the art of making perfect lines with a sharp razor. It shows form, style, and patience, because nobody can really nail it without messing it up a few times first and shaving the whole thing off in frustration.

Nothing wrong with a few patches

4. Weird beards. Ever seen someone who couldn’t grow a beard grow a beard anyway? And it sort of looks like a splotchy brown mess of assorted band aids and bread crumbs? Yeah, that’s a weird beard. Most guys have a few secret weird beards buried deep in their past.

Howie knows the score

3. Soul Patches. Apparently, the soul patch became popular with jazz trumpeters in the 50s and 60s because it provided a nice, comfortable place to rest their trumpet. Yeah, for real.

Running wild all over your chin

2. Handle Bar Stache. Also known as The Hulk Hogan or the Fu Man Chu, this classic moustache just screams business. You can’t have a Fu Man Chu and be a local politician, elementary school teacher, or birthday party clown. No, you have to either be a bartender at a dive bar, a cowboy, or in college.

too-much-time-on-your-hands1. Too Much Time On Your Hands. This is any intricate and detailed facial hair involving lightning bolts or abstract images that look like they’re from Spirograph.


So yeah, I miss that youthful freedom of bizarre, anything goes facial hair. Because there’s something liberating, creatively satisfying, and fiercely expressive about experimenting with a dull razor in a steamy bathroom mirror.

And remember: no matter how crooked your chin strap, how tiny your mutton chops, or how splotchy your weird beard, whatever facial experiment you’ve got going on is always just a little bit


An experiment in action


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#877 Getting in a line just before it gets really long behind you

Say goodbye to the next hour of your life

The worst lineups of all time include:

Airport security. Plastic bins, loafers, keychains, and laptop computers fly in all directions in the maddening chaos of the airport security lineup. People are getting the beepdown and guards are tearing through suitcases looking for Terrorism, while folks jostle about awkwardly, emptying and refilling pockets, the whole place smelling like sweaty feet.

The bank at lunchtime on Friday. Hey, even if you’re just trying to get at the ATM, chances are good you’ll get stuck behind someone making four or five deposits.

Wherever you get your driver’s license renewed. Toss some mugshot photos and a few eye exams in the mix and that lineup will just wrap around and around and around all day.

Some people are still waiting in this one

The bathrooms just after a movie lets out. How bad does it feel when the lineup is long enough that it reaches right up to the inside of the bathroom door but no further? And you’re the person who opens the door to find a bunch of fidgety folks wedged in that little Bathroom Lobby with their arms crossed and their faces all scrunched up. It’s just a sardine tin of quiet, anxious, heavy-bladdered folks, man. Not a great scene.

Post-Christmas Returns line. This one is the worst of all. Honestly, you may as well just keep that novelty wine bottle opener and ice cream maker at this point. Just give up, go home, and drown your sorrows in a big bottle of Merlot and a bowl full of warm, runny ice cream.

So yeah, there sure are some terrible lines out there. Sometimes you beat them, sometimes they beat you, but one thing’s for sure — it’s a great feeling when you enter one of those classically long and winding lineups just before it gets long and winding.

Yes, when you’re first through the maze of velvet ropes, when you grab the empty handicapped stall in the corner, when you get the new line at the DMV with the lady who just came off her break, well — doesn’t it sort of feel like you bucked the system or solved a mysterious riddle of life?

That’s when you can hardly believe your luck. You look back at the poor souls waiting and you just smile sadly, because you know you’ve been there before and you know you’ll be there again.

But this time you won the game, you’re riding high, and you’re feeling so completely


Add it to your pile


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#878 The crackles and pops of a campfire

Feel the burn

Slicing and dicing a dead tree, tossing it on a pile of dirt, and setting it ablaze is pure joy.

As that dry, withered stump slowly releases years and years of energy soaked up from the sun, the air, and the ground around it, out come bright lights, whispering hisses, sizzling pops, and a thick, intoxicating smell of Musky Smoke N’ Pine Needles.

You can close your eyes and let your eyelids paint yellow and orange kaleidoscopes as the heat washes over you, rosying up your cheeks and giving you that nice, warm Hotface Effect. In that cold, dark forest, on that cold, dark log bench, beside that cold, dark lake, your ears and nose perk up, as you call on some of your primal, caveman instincts to focus on every little sound and smell around you.


Tastes slightly better than a flaming log

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#879 The Classic Parking Lot Pull Through

Sweet roll

Backing out of a parking spot is no fun.

You’re turning side to side, checking mirrors, moving real slowly, trying to size up how far away your car is from the next one. It’s an awkward three, four, five-point turn, as you twist your spine up, scrape your tires up, dent someone’s fender up, and narrowly avoid hitting a baby in a stroller up.

It’s a risky, twisty game of Lot Danger.

Ripped from the pages of How To Awesome Park

So take no chances and go for that beautiful Parking Lot Pull Through, a classic parking move that lets you drive right in and drive right out. The trick to pulling it off is finding a double-empty parking spot, entering it, and then driving up into the second spot.

And it’s great, because you get two smirky, satisfied smiles for the price of one. When you nail that PLPT, you’re loving it. And when you return to your car and drive right out, you’re loving it again. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s two awesomes for the price of one.




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#880 When someone piggy-backs you anywhere

Walk this way

This ancient and mystical mode of transportation deserves big ups for big reasons. Piggy-backing makes you happy in so many ways:

1. Give yourself a break. Piggy-backing about town is a relaxing way to get around. You just focus on holding on and not strangling the piggy-backer and you’re golden. It’s quite relaxing, really.

2. See the world. Piggy-backing is all about extra visibility and fresh perspectives. Sitting up high piggy-style is good for the back row of a crowded concert or for a kid trying to get a better view of the fireworks show. Yes, piggy-backing shoots you up where the air is thin, the world is small, and the bald spots swim around you like shiny coins at the bottom of a water fountain. The world is new again.

3. You’ve been shot by Cupid. Yes, according to ads for online dating, jeans, or wedding rings, there aren’t many things that scream true love more than piggy-back rides. Makes sense, too. Giving someone a piggy-back is a tough slog and not the kind of transportation perk you’d casually offer to a first date or office coworker. Therefore, if you’re piggy-backing, you’re in love.

4. You just got married in South Korea. Believe it, because according to our egghead pals at Wikipedia, after a South Korean wedding the groom often gives a piggy-back ride to his mother and then his bride, symbolizing his acceptance of his obligations to both. This tradition was possibly invented by banquet halls tired of sweeping up rice and confetti at two in the morning. But either way, congrats on just getting married in South Korea.

So let’s get down with the carry-around.

Jumping on someone’s back and being lugged around town is a sweet deal. If you’re lucky enough to score a piggy-lift somewhere, I say wear a big smile, try and return the favor the next time, and most of all, don’t forget to thank your little piggy.


Thank them don't strangle them

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