#181 Gravy

You gotta love the Egyptians.

According to our egghead pals at Wikipedia our taste-loving ancestors from Egypt started putting gravy on food over 5000 years ago. Seriously, hieroglyphics in the tomb of Djer, an early first dynasty pharaoh, show diners feasting and drinking from gravy boats. Sure, building pyramids is nice, but making gravy for the world is even even better.

Gravy tastes delicious on Thanksgiving turkey, freshly baked biscuits, mashed potatoes, french fries, roasted chicken, country fried steak, meatloaf from the diner, slow-cooked pot roasts, greasy poutine, fried eggs, bangers and mash, pork chops, vegetables, and everything in between.

Breakfast or lunch, dinner or brunch, pour it on hams, drench it on yams, straight from the glass, right after Sunday mass, gravy, gravy, gravy!

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#182 Spotting your house from the airplane window

AWESOME!

Hey everyone,

I’m launching a super secret new project this Fall called The Institute for Global Happiness. Sign up for my new email list to learn more. As a thank you, I’ll send you The eBook of Awesome, a 46-page designed and illustrated eBook (PDF format) containing the fifty most popular awesome things that didn’t make it into any of the books. Don’t judge me on what you read inside!

As always, thanks for reading and sign up here. (And, of course, I’ll never spam or share your email.)

Neil

Illustration from: here

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#183 Sleep lines

Sleep lines are any line on your body when you wake up from sleep.

They’re little indents on your arm from the pillow case zipper. They’re creases on your face from your corduroy covers. They’re just cute little lines and dents on your arms and legs that tell everyone that you just went down for the count.

And went down for the count good.

Yes, sleep lines tell the story of your beautifully restful nap. Maybe you were hanging in a backyard hammock after cutting grass on a hot and sunny day, maybe you were sleeping in with your husband on your weekend getaway, or maybe you were snoring on the ride home from work at the back of the subway.

No matter what, the sleep lines show a little moment of relaxation in the middle of your hectic life.

For bonus points add drool stains.

AWESOME!

Photos from: k_oosterhouse and here

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#184 Hands-free-everything bathrooms

It’s known as the Paper Towel Pile.

Germophobes, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that filthy stash of crumpled wet paper towels sitting in a pathetic heap behind public bathroom doors. Bacteria conscious citizens aren’t above using paper towels like gloves to avoid touching the pee-stained bathroom door handle. With no garbage can nearby the towels hit the floor where they serve as dark reminders of our big preference for hands-free everything.

Bathroom designers, listen up: Most people don’t like touching rusty urinal flushes, crusty soap pumps, and bacteria-covered sink faucets. Nope, that’s why the Holy Grail is the hands-free-everything bathroom, ideally featuring all these family favorites:

1. Angled bathroom entrances. Top marks are awarded for bathrooms that don’t even have a door. Paper Towel Piles and pee-hands are non-existent because a simple Hallway 180 keeps bathrooms private and entrances hands-free.

2. Self-flushing toilets. I remember when I first met a urinal that flushed on its own. “Clever little fella,” I thought to myself, as the auto-flush waterfalled down and got ready for its next customer. Ladies, it may surprise you, but urinals that require manual flushing don’t always get flushed. Anyone’s who waited with a lineup of sweaty guys during the basketball game halftime will agree that self-flushing urinals are the dawn of a new day. And actual self-flushing sit-down toilets are almost beyond mind-blowing. They’re a sign we’re becoming The Jetsons.

3. Hands-free faucets. Gold standard here is a highly-sensitive faucet that delivers warm water in high volume. Unfortunately, it’s more common finding faucets that require non-stop herky-jerky hand spasms to keep them going, after which they deliver thin, wildy-shooting sprays of ice-cold water. Hey, we’ll take what we can get.

4. Automatic soap dispensers. If all the automatic bathroom machines were sitting down for family dinner then the soap dispenser would definitely be the crazy uncle. He’s unpredictable, shoots his mouth all over the place, and frankly, just cannot be trusted. Pink sink smears and foam explosions on the mirror show his wild side. But he’s part of the family and we love him for who he is.

5. Automatic paper towel machines. Swipe once for some paper towel, swipe twice for more, or stick your hands in the Insanely Loud Hand Dryer for some quick-style cleaning.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, it’s time we delivered a clean cracking high five to all the hands-free-everything bathrooms of the world. After all, when we get back to hands-free-everything we’re getting back to our roots. Squatting off the side of a cliff, our ancestors probably had a no fuss, no mess, no problems attitude to getting the job done. Now here we are in the future and it’s fun finding occasional mall, airport, or restaurant bathrooms who pay tribute to the past with their hands-free-everything ways.

The only thing left to invent is auto-unzipping and cyber wiping.

AWESOME!

Hey everyone,

I’m launching a super secret new project this Fall called The Institute for Global Happiness. Sign up for my new email list to learn more. As a thank you, I’ll send you The eBook of Awesome, a 46-page designed and illustrated eBook (PDF format) containing the fifty most popular awesome things that didn’t make it into any of the books. Don’t judge me on what you read inside!

As always, thanks for reading and sign up here. (And, of course, I’ll never spam or share your email.)

Neil

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

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#185 Splashing somebody beside the pool with a cannonball

Bombs away.

Bring on big splashes, wet clothes, and hot sunny afternoons of

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#186 When your friends with kids don’t just talk about their kids

We love your kids.

We do, we do, they’re cute, they’re adorable, they’re beautiful little Future You’s who will rule the Earth just fine when we’re all done living. And it’s fantastic they won bronze in high jump,  scored a Wise Man part in the Christmas play, and got an “A” in their VCR Repair course down at the community college.

But can we talk about something else now?

AWESOME!

Hey everyone,

I’m launching a super secret new project this Fall called The Institute for Global Happiness. Sign up for my new email list to learn more. As a thank you, I’ll send you The eBook of Awesome, a 46-page designed and illustrated eBook (PDF format) containing the fifty most popular awesome things that didn’t make it into any of the books. Don’t judge me on what you read inside!

As always, thanks for reading and sign up here. (And, of course, I’ve never spam or share your email.)

Neil

Photo from: here

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#187 That moment just before you fall asleep when you know you’re about to fall asleep

It’s been a long day.

Flick off the lights and rest your broken bones in bed. Collapse under the covers, twist out your spine, and crumple into your cozy cotton cocoon. Feel your eyes warm your lids after long hours looking at the screen. Let your jaw unclench, let your blood swim around, and sneak your arm under the pillow till you get comfy.

Sometimes if you’re lucky your body lands in that fleeting flyaway period where you know, you just know, that you’re about to fall asleep. Your brain unhinges and signs off for the day, your arms and legs feel like they’re floating away, and your eyeballs roll back to say they’re finished now, okay?

Yes, say goodbye to the sun, tell your body you’re done, feel the sleep wash right over you, and feel the rush of

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#188 Hoods

I have short hair.

People, this is what happens when you’re going bald. Now I’ll probably always have short hair and I’m really hoping it doesn’t go too far out of style. Because if the new thing becomes dreads, french braids, and ponytails, then I’m screwed. You may as well throw crimped bangs, sideburn steps, and a rat tail on me at that point, because I’ll be dressing from a different decade.

Now I’m pretty sure my short hair is one reason why I really love hoods. Unlike Severus Snape, I don’t have a scalp-grown version, so I flip a hoodie over my sexy bald spot to find that private and secret home away from the bells and buzzes of the outside.

Hoods give us getaways from the everyday as we go stealth walking down the street. Fancy hairdos don’t get blown and wind and rain leave us alone as we cruise calmly down sidewalks on our hooded way home.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#189 Anything that gets you really, really sweaty

I’m no tennis pro.

Yet somehow this past weekend I got tricked into playing a game with my brother-in-law Dee. I hadn’t played tennis in years, but Dee and I managed to scrounge around my dad’s basement to find two wooden rackets and a tube of balls. Even though each tennis ball was sunfaded to its own unique shade of light green and the rackets were made before I was born, they managed to do the trick.

We played five minutes before losing two of the balls. I nailed one over the fence into a dense patch of shrubs and Dee hammered one behind the neighbor’s shed. But we kept going and managed to whack our remaining ball around for about forty-five minutes, slowly getting a little bit better, then a little bit better.

By the end we were wet sweaty messes. I had a bit of a Smiley Face on my T-shirt, with two dark sweatstains below my man-boobs and a big one over my apparently sweaty belly button. Foreheads dripping, sweatstaches glistening, we headed back to my parents’ place tired and satisfied.

And while collapsing on the couch and peeling off my sticky socks, I started thinking there sure is something great about anything that gets you really, really sweaty:

• Intergenerational dancing at wedding. We’ve chatted about this before but when you’re grooving with your six-year-old cousin or shaking your rumpa rumpa at the back of the conga line, you’re loving the late-night sweat-dancing that comes with shaking your well-dressed groove thing until late at night.

• Doing something that scares you. Maybe you’re rocking the sweaty armpits before writing a big math test, asking a girl to prom, or giving a speech at your daughter’s wedding. And sure, these things are stressful — but how good does it feel after you nail them and walk out clean the other side? Sweat marks the day.

• Chilling on the beach under the sun. Sure, we know too much sun ain’t great for you, but when those wavy rays are beating down while you’re playing in the waves, building sandcastles, or just lying around, well that’s a beautiful feeling. Let your skin glisten and be happy to soak it all in.

• Saunas. This is the laziest way to get sweaty. The only requirements are being able to sit on a towel. If you can do that, you pass, so just smile and enjoy the drips.

• Playing drums for two straights hours in a rock concert. Sometimes you see a drummer really going at it, wet hair flying everywhere, eyes squeezed shut, and glistening cheeks. I say these hardcore rockers deserve a bullet point all their own.

Yes, today we say that anything that gets you really, really sweaty feels pretty good. It’s a sign your body is cooling itself while engaging in something fun. Nerds even suggest sweating is great for you physically, too — opening up your pores like a fancy steam facial and containing a natural antibiotic that helps kill bacteria on your skin.

Push harder, reach higher, play stronger, live longer.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#190 Making disgusting slurping noises while eating a really juicy peach

You can’t fake a peach.

Juice and candy companies keep trying with their Fuzzy Peach gummies and sugary peach drinks. But those molar-clogging sugar clumps never do the real peach justice. They’re an insult to peaches everywhere and mock the regal beauty of the Lord Of All Fruits.

Now there’s something beautiful about loudly slurping up a juicy peach in its prime.

It starts when you pick up the peach and notice it’s dark orange and pink and dented all over. “Here we go,” you say to your buddies down at the bus stop, planting your feet in the ground, steadying your grip.

“Let’s get juicy.”

You dive in teethfirst and feel that ripe flesh flashflood your mouth and fill your throat with a sweet and juicy waterfall. Drips start streaming onto your fingers so fast you might have to move to the Flying Saucer Landing move which involves tilting your head straight back and eating the peach above your mouth.

Rogue peach juice splashing in your eyes doesn’t stop so when you’re past the first few bites it’s time for the classic Sucker Fish Liplock where you cover the open wound of your peach and suck as much juice in as you can.

The final step now is the Dry Bone Breakoff, where you pull the last few chunks of peach flesh straight off the pit without leaving any peach molecules remaining. The opposite here is when the peach refuses to slide off the bone and you’re stuck with a wet-n-hairy peach pit.

Don’t forget to make a lot of noise and get into it. Grunts, squeals, and vacuum cleaner noises are all completely acceptable, just as long as you live for the moment, chomp for the memories, and slurp for your life.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here, here, and here

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