#311 Finding out what song is playing in that commercial

Your brain is glue.

Long after the cars are finished off-roading up a mountainside or speeding around a cliffside bend the jingle-jangly tune that accompanied those smooth rolling moments is still smooth rolling around your head.

Yes, it bumps around your brain at the office and you find yourself finger-tapping the steering wheel home. It jumps around your brain in the shower and you find yourself humming when you’re all alone. So maybe you search online for broken lyrics until you find spam-filled discussion boards full of other people looking for the same tune.

But that’s what makes it so great when you ask your friends, you wait for it again, you look online, and eventually find those few blissful minutes of soul-strumming

AWESOME!

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#312 The sound of the train chugging into the station

First you wait.

Cold wind whips you on the lonely platform as you shudder and shuffle in the rain. Whether you’re catching the commuter train downtown, backpacking home from college, or visiting in-laws out of town you’re alone in that barren platform zone, baby.

So you wait … and wait … and wait … and wait… and wait… and wait… and wait…until!

There is a light.

Yes, staring down those distant rails you spot a tiny yellow light glowing like a flashlight of hope at the top of a dark well. Reflections flicker and shine off the metal rails and suddenly your desires, dreams, and destiny all twist into a long string of giant metal cars rushing and rumbling towards you.

Crowds jostle and businessmen sigh while bells start ringing and babies cry. If you’re lucky you might get that whisper-flipping sound of a thousand panels in an old train schedule board flipping all at once while the chugging engines and screaming steam whips the wind together and that streaking steel finally slows to a screeching stop.

AWESOME!

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#314 Super fast bartenders

It’s more than a pour.

Watching a bartender work really fast is like staring through the factory glass and watching all the whirring parts bump and grind before your beautiful finished drink pops out. Yes, you’re the foreman in a hardhat standing with a clipboard and a smile watching all the bells ring, springs spring, and assembly lines ding before a glass full of ice, cherries, and umbrellas pops out right before your eyes.

Now, there are some key moves mastered by most really, really fast bartenders:

1. Throwing things. There’s no time to place the bottle cap in the trash can so it’s important to fling it off the mirror and let it Plinko down between all the vodka and Peach Schnapps bottles on the bar.

2. Absolutely no talking. In a way really, really fast bartenders are like really, really fast mimes. Usually they’ll raise their eyebrows or put their ear in for the order and then immediately start slicing lemons, stirring glasses, and squeezing taps without speaking. Black clothes and painted teardrops optional, unless you’re in a goth bar.

3. No official measurements. Forget the rules because really, really fast bartenders trust their eyeballs and know their mix ratios cold.

Yes, when you watch a bartender work really fast you’re seeing an expert in action. Eyes are focused, feet are fleet, and hands are steady in these beautifully intense scenes of quick pours, expert fills, and fast and furious moments of

AWESOME!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4x1eZSUYYk]

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#315 Lockers or cubicles decorated for your birthday

It’s your second home.

Sure, you might shower and sleep on a suburban street but you probably spend most of your waking hours somewhere else — at a high school, in a cubicle, at the factory, on a farm. Maybe your second home is a dimly-lit and dusty hallway or maybe it’s a dirty desk near the bathroom.

That’s why it’s such a beautiful moment when you arrive at that second home and find it completely decorated for your birthday. Yes, the gang all pitched in to tie streamers around your monitor, tape Hubba Bubba wrappers to your locker, or drape a spraypainted bedsheet reading “Happy 40th!!!” around the grain silo.

It’s a sign behind all those marathon meetings, late-night projects, and crazy deadlines there’s a bunch of great folks who care about you. When your daytime pals celebrate another year of your life it’s another moment of smiles, another moment of laughs, and another big moment of

AWESOME!

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#316 Grabbing a tissue at the very last second before a disgusting wet sneeze

You’re Jack Bauer.

The clock’s clicking and sweat is pouring down your forehead because you know a bomb is about to go off… on your face! You can feel that sneeze tingle up where your brain connects to your eyeball and you know it’s about to boom out in a showery snotstorm the likes of which this dentist’s waiting room has never seen before.

Now it’s time to look left, look right, and get ready to pull off one of three big moves:

1. Slime Explosion. You didn’t make it. Cue the Family Feud buzzer. Nope, after frantically checking your pockets and combing through your glove compartment you eventually came up empty as the sneeze blew out your face. Now your hands are drenched, your lips are sticky, and you’re disgustingly snotty slimeball of humiliation. Time to find a bathroom or get licking. (-5 points)

2. The Understudy. This is where you couldn’t find a tissue but managed to sneeze into a substitute, just in the nick of time. Yes, you scrounged whatever random thing you could find in two seconds and now you’re holding a slippery n’ soggy Burger King placemat, grocery store receipt, or sweatshirt sleeve. (+5 points) (Note: +3 bonus points are awarded for pulling this off while holding a cafeteria tray in both hands.)

3. Mission Accomplished. You made it! You tapped your jeans pockets, fumbled through your fat purse, or ran to the bathroom as that sneeze was tickling the top of your nose. You dove for the tissue box and scrunched it to your nose just as the bomb was going off. (+10 points)

Grabbing a tissue at the last second before sneezing is a beautiful moment. You just swooped in when time was counting down and saved the day doing what you do best.

So today we say thank you for dry shirt sleeves. Thank you for dry lips.

And thank you… most of all… for freedom.

AWESOME!

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#317 When you can actually hear it snowing

Just listen.

When the white sky splits and the big flakes fall there’s a certain peaceful calm that covers everything like a blanket. Floating flurries flutter and fly past dull yellow streetlamps before covering coats and cars in a thin layer of icing. Whistling winds fade to whispers and street beeps get muffled into the slowed-down scene in front of you.

Yes, when snowflakes blow those brake lights glow and everything slows into

AWESOME!

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#318 The perfect long distance shopping cart throw

Ready, aim, fire.

After dumping piles of frozen pizzas and melting ice cream into your trunk it’s time to turn around and fire the shopping cart into the big pile on the other side of the lot. Sure, sure, you could always walk over, but there’s something much more satisfying about sending it flying thirty feet and having it loudly crash straight into the other carts.

AWESOME!

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#320 When your friend calls or texts you to say they got home safe

Say goodbye.

Watch your high school pal slowly fade into the foggy shadows at the park after a long night catching up on the swings. Close the cab door on Grandma after the smoky bingo parlor clears out and watch her swerve down wet-slicked roads out of sight. Flick on the porch lights as your late-night college chat dissolves into dawn and your friends throw their hoodies on to shiver and slide their way home.

Brush your teeth, wash your face, check your watch … and wonder. You’re ready for bed but that feeling in your head makes you suddenly stop before slumber. You stare at the night, you flip on the light, and you worry with fright until —

The phone rings.

AWESOME!

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