#245 Cool moms

I love cool moms.

When I was growing up there was a Sunny D commercial on TV where a gang of kids in backwards caps and jammer shorts roller skates home before helping mom bring in the groceries. When they go inside they search between a fridge packed with cola and purple stuff before pulling out a jug of Sunny D to big cheers. Later they’re chilling under a tree when mom returns with an armload of Sunny D. As the scene closes one of the kids screams out “You got a cool mom!”

And despite the cheesy cheese quality of this old commercial there really is something sweet about finding out your friend has a cool mom. Cool moms are often detected in the wild after displaying some of these familiar characteristics:

· Anywhere, anytime sugar. Cool moms have candy and sugary cereals you don’t have at your house and they’ve got no problem filling your bowl with Corn Pops after a sleepover or letting you drink a big cup of Coke with dinner.

· Grease runs for fun. Loud cheers from the back of the station wagon and the Minivan Applause-O-Meter guide cool moms to ice scream shops and McDonald’s drive-thrus. Six-year soccer teams get sundaes or chip truck fries whenever cool mom is driving them home.

· Steady behind the wheel. Cool moms drive your friends all over the place. She’s your taxi to the mall food court, baseball diamond, or movie theater. Cool moms also take care not to embarrass you in front of your friends by controlling the bad jokes and goodbye kisses. Sometimes they slip you an extra fiver, too.

· Lax sleepover policies. She knows you and your teenage friends will watch the R-rated movie in the basement anyway so cool mom doesn’t fuss much with the ratings or the extra half hour of TV before bed. Let the kids talk a bit during the sleepover, she figures. Nobody’s getting hurt.

· Anonymous phone-a-friend always open. Cool moms give off sparkly vibes of open-mindedness that let kids know their questions won’t be judged. Cool moms take your friend for her first tampons, help you call the neighbor after tossing a ball through their window, and are always around to chat about anything serious.

When you have a friend with a cool mom you’re loving it lots, baby. They’re usually found upstairs at that one house everyone always hangs out at. Now, if you’re a cool mom your house sure is full of big smiles, loud laughs, and happy kids. You value the best things in life and live to love for years and years and years.

Hey, cool moms! Guess what? You’re

AWESOME!

— Big news! —

The awesome drought is over! I am so excited to announce that my new kid’s book AWESOME IS EVERYWHERE is coming out September, 2015! This will be a 32-page full color interactive kid’s book. This book has been years in the making and even included hiring photographers around the world and Discovery Channel studios to put it together. I cannot wait for you to see it. Cover below and you can pre-order today from Indigo or Amazon! Thanks so much for your support everyone! – Neil

AwesomeEverywhere_cvrcomp

 

— Email message —

“At the beginning of spring semester, I put up a sign in my dorm’s community bathroom. It said “This is the list of 1000 Awesome People….Every person is awesome in their own way, and they need a little shout out!” The girls on my floor took this idea and RAN with it. We hit 400 before midterms! The list was completed the 2nd week of April and is comprised of everybody from Cookie Monster, to a lady who helped us dig out a car from the snow, to our Resident Advisor, and the girl we saw wearing a “Virginity Rocks!” shirt. It’s pretty much the best thing ever to be able to list 1000 people and have a “spill over list” of even MORE people that rock…. in fact, I’d say it’s AWESOME.” – Sarah

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

Comments Off on #245 Cool moms

Filed under Uncategorized

#246 When you’re looking for a friend at the grocery store and then suddenly spot them at the end of an aisle after looking for them everywhere else

Sounds easy enough.

You grab the meat, I’ll grab the veggies, meet you at the front.

But after completing your Mushroom Mission and racing to the checkouts you suddenly find yourself all alone in Lineup Paradise. You can’t hang onto the awkward armload of plastic baggies for long so you trek out on a classic grocery store Hide And Seek Hunt.

Now you’re running around the store peeking your hopeful head down every aisle — hoping to spy your friend agonizing over salsa choices or sampling cold cuts way down the distant lane. You scramble forwards and back again before the big moment finally comes.

It’s your friend way, way down at the other end of the store.

And they’re waving.

AWESOME!

— Big news! —

The awesome drought is over! I am so excited to announce that my new kid’s book AWESOME IS EVERYWHERE is coming out September, 2015! This will be a 32-page full color interactive kid’s book. This book has been years in the making and even included hiring photographers around the world and Discovery Channel studios to put it together. I cannot wait for you to see it. Cover below and you can pre-order today from Indigo or Amazon! Thanks so much for your support everyone! – Neil

AwesomeEverywhere_cvrcomp

 

— Email message —

” While at the cottage reading the original book of awesome things I happened across this page and couldn’t help but sigh and think of how awesome life was at that moment. Enjoy the attached picture. :)” – Olivia from Ottawa

Photo from: here

Comments Off on #246 When you’re looking for a friend at the grocery store and then suddenly spot them at the end of an aisle after looking for them everywhere else

Filed under Uncategorized

#247 Drinking anything besides wine out of a wine glass

Suddenly your milk gets classy, your orange juice gets refined, and your chocolate milk feels more sophisticated. When you’re a kid you suddenly go from ten years old to thirty and can legally show up at the dinner table with heavily slicked and parted hair, a handkerchief puffing out of your pocket, and cuff links.

AWESOME!

— Big news! —

The awesome drought is over! I am so excited to announce that my new kid’s book AWESOME IS EVERYWHERE is coming out September, 2015! This will be a 32-page full color interactive kid’s book. This book has been years in the making and even included hiring photographers around the world and Discovery Channel studios to put it together. I cannot wait for you to see it. Cover below and you can pre-order today from Indigo or Amazon! Thanks so much for your support everyone! – Neil

AwesomeEverywhere_cvrcomp

 

— Email message —

“My name is Arvind and I am in 9th Grade. In the past few months, I’ve gone through hard times in school and out. I am an avid follower of TED and won’t hesitate to say that your talk, which got me into reading your blog, has changed my life. In High School, I’m surrounded by negativity every day, from the omnipresent rumors to the crying and screaming that come with hormones. These feelings of negativity that (no matter what) made it into my mind were only amplified when my parents and I discovered a few months ago that I had a malignant infection spreading through my spine. After four surgeries and no positive outcomes, I began to lose hope. Watching your TED talk gave me a flicker of faith, both in my making it through my health conditions, as well as staying true to myself in High School surrounded by all the mixed feelings around me. After that I began to read your blog; day-after-day I went through it from #1000 down, finding ones that I loved (#526, 629), ones that I would never forget (#566, 546), ones that gave me hope (#340). One day during an appointment with my doctor, he told me that there was a way to get rid of my infection; it involved a more complex surgery as well as a 3-week-long interferon treatment. There was only one problem: its 55% success rate. Sure, the odds were in my favor, but just barely. After days of contemplating (and reading 1000 Awesome Things), I told my parents that I wanted the procedure. The physical and mental pain the infection (and associated ‘medicines’) were causing me was not worth my entire life and all my goals, and though I knew I had a 45% chance of failure staring me down, I proceeded with the surgery without ever looking back. I am glad to say that the surgery was successful; I finished my interferon course last week and the infection has entirely disappeared. I came back to school last week as well, and found the atmosphere completely changed. I no longer felt the negativity pressuring me. None of the rumors or comments being spread around really mattered to me, nor did the social ‘niches’ that inevitably form in High School. I feel like I finally have a grasp on my life- that I can get through whatever hardships it throws my way. Through the storm of my health complications and friend troubles, I found myself. Without 1000 Awesome Things, I would never have had that final push that allowed me to conquer my troubles and continue to live my life with head held high and a smile on my face. Thank you. p.s. The first day I came back into school after my treatment, I received a standing ovation from everyone in my grade. I think that, is truly and entirely, AWESOME!” – Arvind

Photo from: here

Comments Off on #247 Drinking anything besides wine out of a wine glass

Filed under Uncategorized

#248 Digging out your own little wading pool in the sand when you’re at the beach

Life begins with climate control.

Since we first hung woolly mammoth furs from forest branches we’ve gotten used to getting comfy when we settle in somewhere. Just look at babies in those curly fetal poses in their flannel onesies, napping in sunhats, shades, and shorts in strollers, or cuddling up to mom in cozy carry-ons.

Folks, it’s like I always say: We can learn much from The Baby.

Digging out your own little wading pool in the sand when you’re at the beach is another beautiful moment of climate control. You strip down because you’re hot, take a dip to cool off, chill out in the sand… and are suddenly hot again. Now it’s time to get digging and fill your in-ground Sand Chair with water to cool off those nether regions so you can relax and have it both ways.

AWESOME!

— Big news! —

The awesome drought is over! I am so excited to announce that my new kid’s book AWESOME IS EVERYWHERE is coming out September, 2015! This will be a 32-page full color interactive kid’s book. This book has been years in the making and even included hiring photographers around the world and Discovery Channel studios to put it together. I cannot wait for you to see it. Cover below and you can pre-order today from Indigo or Amazon! Thanks so much for your support everyone! – Neil

AwesomeEverywhere_cvrcomp

 

— Email message —

“A co-worker and I have been going back and forth for months over who is more awesome.  I’ve bought her both Books of Awesome  and thought there was no way she could one-up me there! Well I come into my classroom one Monday morning to find a gift bag on my desk. There was a note that said “Now you can be awesome every day of the week!”  In the bag were several shirts all using the word AWESOME in some way.  I put all of my awesome shirts into one picture. Being awesome every day of the week and having a shirt that says so?  AWESOME!” – Jenni



Comments Off on #248 Digging out your own little wading pool in the sand when you’re at the beach

Filed under Uncategorized

#249 Putting a slice of lasagna on a plate and having it all stay together

We all know that slippery wet pile of steaming sauce and steaming cheese doesn’t usually hold together when you jigsaw it out of the pan. Nope, after you yank it out of the burning hot tray the rectangle hole left behind quickly fills up with lasagna swamp water.

Sure, your soaring lasagna piece flies high with elegance and grace until the moment it lands with a sad wet slap on your plate. Limp dark mushrooms slip out of noodle chokeholds and smear and slide across your plate in a slithery mess of mush.

But that’s what makes it so great when your plated piece of lasagna actually stays together. That’s when it’s time to celebrate the saucy noodle integrity of this beautifully delicious dish.

AWESOME!

— Big news! —

The awesome drought is over! I am so excited to announce that my new kid’s book AWESOME IS EVERYWHERE is coming out September, 2015! This will be a 32-page full color interactive kid’s book. This book has been years in the making and even included hiring photographers around the world and Discovery Channel studios to put it together. I cannot wait for you to see it. Cover below and you can pre-order today from Indigo or Amazon! Thanks so much for your support everyone! – Neil

AwesomeEverywhere_cvrcomp

— Email message —

“I live in Kiev, Ukraine. and work at the YMCA where I meet lot’s of nice people. One of them was a girl who gave me The Book of Awesome when she was leaving Ukraine. My friend Bob is a Peace Corps volunteer and he is leaving in 19 days from now. He’s a great guy and I will probably never see him again. But a part of me will go with him in the form of The Book of Awesome. Here is a picture in Kiev, Ukraine.” – Maria

Photo from: here

Comments Off on #249 Putting a slice of lasagna on a plate and having it all stay together

Filed under Uncategorized

#250 Inventing new words and phrases with your friends that only make sense to you

Ten goods.

That’s a phrase my friends used in high school to express our casual annoyance with minor problems. Extra homework for the weekend? Ten goods. Cafeteria sold out of panzerottis? Ten goods. Tennis ball stuck in the gutter during road hockey? Ten goods.

Now you got it.

Ryan started saying it first and Chad caught on and soon it became one of those made-up phrases we used all the time. It was a secret code, scrambled joke, and private head-nod with its own set of rules on how it was used.

For example! Minor things such as falling off Rainbow Road were shortened to the simple ‘Ten’ with sarcastic eyebrow raise and one-second lip curl. Major things like getting assigned an essay just before the long weekend was met with the long drawl version of ‘Tehhhhhhhhhhhn.’

I’m not saying it made sense but it made sense to us.

Yes, when you hang with a tight pack of peeps long enough it’s amazing how new words start filling the tiny cracks between sounds and sentences. It’s strangely beautiful to see language evolving before your eyes and be part of its creation. Brains suddenly push past booky norms to create clarity in dark vacuums of vagueness.

Just remember — every word we use today came from a group of friends who started using it long ago. So to those long gone packs of chatty teens and wordy queens we say thanks for helping us understand…. everything we’re talking about. And when your group of friends comes up some good ones… make sure you keeping using them and shout ’em out.

AWESOME!

Follow us on Twitter.

— Email message —

“Over Easter weekend my friend and I were hiking along a gorgeous trail in the Slocan Valley, British Columbia. We were almost back at the car when and I needed to use the facilities…well, the wonderful folks who maintain the trail also have out-houses just for people like me! I opened the door and SQUEALED with delight because there, resting above the fully stocked toilet-paper dispenser, was The Book of Awesome!” – Jackie L.


Photos from: here, here, and here

Comments Off on #250 Inventing new words and phrases with your friends that only make sense to you

Filed under Uncategorized

#251 When none of the peas fall off your fork on the way to your mouth

Piling those slow rollers onto your fork and steering them straight into your mouth is Kitchen Table Victory. It requires intense mental focus, steady wristing, and a slow-steering speed.

A little mashed potatoes on the fork also helps.

AWESOME!

— Twitter message —

“Check out my new bracelet of my fav books I got from sophiesbeads on etsy… look @postsecret @1000awesome-you’re on there!” – @Yasmine730

Photo from: here

Comments Off on #251 When none of the peas fall off your fork on the way to your mouth

Filed under Uncategorized

#252 Taking your makeup off after wearing it for hours

I was a cakey mess yesterday.

Before going onstage at The Today Show I was painted up by a friendly makeup artist wielding a messy palette full of assorted bottles and tubes. Clear gels, paintbrushes, and foam triangles came at me in a blurry daze before I teetered back to the leather couch in a blurry haze.

When I looked in the mirror I noticed my shiny forehead, bumpy cheeks, and bright red zits had just … disappeared. Yes, I was in the clear — the proud new owner of a no-money-down-no-interest-New Face.

“I could get used to this,” I thought to myself as I blinked and curled my lips into a clown-faced grin. My mind flicked forward to scenes sitting cross-legged atop of mountain of pillows as someone gave me a silky smooth New Face while others tenderly clipped my nails, softly brushed my hair, and gently massaged my pointy hunchback.

Jokes aside, the gang at The Today Show was truly, truly wonderful — supportive, thoughtful, and obviously massive pros. Flash forward a few hours later and I was back in my cramped hotel bathroom wiping soggy tissues down my color-fading cheeks. Pimples came back, mustache hairs said hello, and the forehead bumps got bumpy again. But you know what? The massively refreshing feeling of cool air rushing back to my skin more than made up for looking ugly again.

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

AWESOME!

Join us on Facebook.

— Email message —

“Using a community pool of crafts from friends I perfected a poster for The Today Show. I woke up way before dawn cracked and hopped on the first train to the city with a friend. The conductor thought the sign was clever as she punched my ticket. We ventured to the studio and eagerly waited in line. Although the smell of free coffee was tempting I didn’t want to lose my spot in line. Security finally let us into the plaza where I pressed against the fence to ensure my sign was seen. We picked a perfect spot and were seen on camera as it panned by the crowd!” – Casey

Photos from: here and here

Comments Off on #252 Taking your makeup off after wearing it for hours

Filed under Uncategorized

#253 Optimistic Weather Dressers

The jig is up.

Nobody knows what the weather’s going to be.

Not your nannie, not your newspaper, and not that guy on TV. So starting today we’re shredding the five-day forecasts, scrapping those swirling charts, and blowing the hot fronts out the window. Because after closer inspection we all sorta know what we shoulda known before: that the weather is what the weather is right outside our front door.

And as for the day — well who’s really to say? Partly cloudy, chance of showers, it could go any which way. So when it comes to what to wear… well it’s up to you, son. You can plan for a bad day or get ready for a good one.

Optimistic Weather Dressers are the folks walking around dressed for better weather than we actually have. “It’s going to clear up,” they seem to say. “Partly sunny, you mean, not the other way.”

Yes, there are all sorts of Optimistic Weather Dressers but let’s chat about three of the most common types:

1. Open Toe Flo. Sandals are mandatory in this woman’s books. Cloudy, windy, chance of rain – whatever you pick she’ll just wear ’em again. She’ll sandal-step over squished worms, salty slush, and mud puddles because her feet will survive the trip, she figures. She is ruled by comfort only.

2. Bare Leg Craig. This is the guy who wears shorts on the first non-freezing day of the Spring. Snow starting to melt? Shorts! First robin sighting? Shorts! Everybody else still in pants? Shorts, shorts, shorts!

3. No Umbrella Sue-Ella. She’s cruising around town on cloudy days wearing sunglasses without a care, concern, or umbrella. Dark days don’t scare her because she knows big drops aren’t a big deal.

Yes, today we salute the Optimistic Weather Dressers of the world. Let your thin T-shirt flap by the windy seashore as you smile and deliver a firm thumbs up to the rest of the world. Today we salute your bare legs, open toes, and optimism, my friends. Today we declare you

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“It has been my morning ritual to visit 1000 Awesome Things for some time now. I have grown to really appreciate everyone on here who comments and shares. We have had a lot of great laughs and a lot of big smiles. I even announced my pregnancy and welcomed my son Zach into the world through this blog.  Thank you to everyone in the awesome community for making my days!” – Bekah

Photos from: here, here, and here

Comments Off on #253 Optimistic Weather Dressers

Filed under Uncategorized

#254 Finding a chocolate egg way after Easter

Surprise!

While mindlessly dragging your hand between the couch cushions, sweeping the backyard patio stones, or searching for extra batteries in the junk drawer a tiny foiled egg suddenly appears like a sugary gift from the heavens.

And when you score that surprise chocolate dropping just remember there can be absolutely no stopping before quick-peeling and quick-popping that chocolate straight into your mouth. Time of day, hunger level, age of chocolate — none of this matters. Frankly, if you’re stuffed on breakfast pancakes and the chocolate is powdery white and tastes like foil from two Easters ago… that is victory.

Yes, finding a chocolate egg way after Easter is an eyes-wide moment of taste-based wonder.

Finding a chocolate egg way after Easter is

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“While reading The Book of (Even More) Awesome at least 80% of the awesome things I could relate to. I really want to share it with others so they could know how awesome life is sometimes even when they’re at their lowest. Another great thing is that you can pick whichever page you want to start! There’s no beginning or an end to it! I swear, this book will make you day better!” – Karen

Photos from: here and here

Comments Off on #254 Finding a chocolate egg way after Easter

Filed under Uncategorized