#688 Jumping off the toboggan

gt snowracerWhen I was six I rode in the front seat of a toboggan that ended up losing control and steering sideways into a barbed wire fence. My forehead shredded, hot tears racing down my cheeks, I learned at that moment that things can unravel real quick on those steep, snow covered hills.

Yes, a rocky start and some poor weight distribution push the toboggan hard into the slick and slippery snow which sprays sharp ice chunks into your eyes and ears. Things get swervy when your buddy jumps off the back which causes you to completely lose control and gain speed just in time to notice the creek bed coming up quick in front of you.

You have no choice at this point. Even though it means hitting the ground hard, twisting your ankle, and possibly rolling down half the hill, you just gotta do it.

Bail for the moment. Bail for the memories.

And bail for your life.

AWESOME!

bail on a toboggan

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#689 When somebody holds the elevator door for you even though they totally could have let it close

hold that doorClose door people, we see you.

Don’t pretend you don’t know what we’re talking about. We see you duck into the elevator twenty steps before us in the lobby and tap-tap-tap that Close Door button so you can score a slightly faster ride. What, you think we don’t notice your attempts to avoid eye contact? Oh, we do, and we don’t like you for it, either.

No, the people we like are a different sort of people. They’re Open Door people. They’re the ones with the bruises on their forearms, tapping the Open button, and popping their head out to ask innocently “Going up?”

Why yes, we are going up. Why yes, we would love to share the lift with you. Why yes, we’ll smile and thank you for holding it. And why yes, we’ll keep it open when we see you coming the next time, too.

Now let’s all hug and chug-a-lug home.

AWESOME!

holding the doorsPhotos from: here and here

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#690 When the person scratching your back finds that one really itchy spot and stays there for a while

Congratulations on scoring some back-scratching love.

Convincing a special someone to scrape their fingernails across your unreachables is a big accomplishment. Once the magic starts, make sure you close your eyes, purse your lips, and throw out some deep mmmmm’s to keep it coming.

And sure, there may be some ticklish moments on your shoulder blades, some unnecessary clawing at your lower back fat, but once in a while, when you least expect it, the scratcher will change direction and suddenly move their hands right onto that one really, really itchy spot.

AWESOME!

scratch it like you mean itPhoto from: here

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#691 When you flip to the radio station just as that song you love is starting

you have to check every oneI’m a non-stop twiddler.

Weaving through traffic, speeding down the ramps, cruising through the city, I’ve got one hand on the wheel and the other tapping through the radio dials.

Sure, I swing by for traffic and weather, but then I’m off — checking if the host is back on my main station, cruising by the backups to see what’s playing, or even stopping in for a couple innings of the ball game.

Once in a while I end up on a station I don’t visit very often just as the opening notes are kicking in for one of my old favorites. As the drum kicks and guitar strums jolt my memory back and scratch my brain stem just the right way, I smile and settle in for a few minutes of head-bopping bliss on the drive home.

AWESOME!

crank it upIllustration from: here

Photo from: here

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#692 Eating the crusts of the sandwich and saving the middle part for last

eat it upNobody wants to finish on a downer.

If you aren’t careful the last bite of your lunch will be a big chomp of dry crusts and lettuce scraps. Your mouth will finish on a lame and boring note with the delicious middle bites from minutes ago lost in a dry, crusty haze.

Don’t let it happen to you!

Put your time in at the beginning, sacrifice early nibbles and take care of all the corners, and set yourself up for a deliciously fresh and soft, ham-and-cheesy finale to finish off your lunch.

AWESOME!

Unparalleled levels of deliciosity

Illustration from: here

Photo from: here

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#693 Waking up really thirsty in the morning and finding a glass of water on your bedside table

right there when you need itMaybe you scarfed a salty bag of chips before bed, had a bit too much at the bars, or woke up on a friend’s old pull-out couch with a mouth full of dust and cat hair.

Either way, when you blink your crusty eyes open and feel your mouth scratching like sandpaper, there’s nothing finer than spotting a calmly waiting glass of water lying just in front of your face.

After silently congratulating the you of last night for good planning, you smile slowly, chug it fast, and snuggle back into your dreamy golden slumbers.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#695 When you have a black eye and everyone asks what happened

more painful than it looksLast year I went to play badminton with my friend Jon.

Yes, it turned out he was a member of the local racket (hey-ohhhhh!) and was in the business of casually inviting friends to join him for a night as his Doubles Partner.

Now badminton, like all sports, was completely foreign to me so I had a pile of excuses ready when he asked including: “I don’t have a racquet”, “I don’t have a ball”, “I don’t know how to play”, and finally my trusty failsafe “No.”

But Jon would have none of it.

“Come on, I’ll pick you up and drop you off. You can use my extra equipment and I’ll bring a bottle of water for you. Plus, the guys there are really easy going and casual. You’ll have a great time. Come on, it’ll be fun.”

There was a bit of a Mexican standoff as we sized each other up, squinted a bit, and jutted our chins out, but eventually I sucked it up, threw on some sweatpants, and went along for the ride.

Turns out Jon was a liar.

high flying asian superstarsI entered the dimly lit high-school gymnasium to the sight of high-flying Asian superstars spiking the birdie in all directions. Zipping and zooming across the court, they leapt three, four, five feet off the ground, whacking the bird in high-stakes, high-drama back and forth exchanges.

“Oh, it’s not as tough as it looks,” Jon said to my pale and worried face. “And don’t worry — no one cares how good you are. They just want to get some exercise.”

I stared at Jon with a worried glance, but eventually unpeeled my racquet, yanked up my tube socks, shivered a few times, and stepped timidly onto the court, where I proceeded to immediately get beaned in the eye by a well-smacked birdie. People, I’m telling you straight up: I got shuttlecocked.

It happened quick and I dropped my racquet stunned, cupping my eye with both hands and sucking air in loudly like a wheezy Shop-Vac. Throbbing, swelling, bruising fast, I was experiencing the birth of my first-ever black eye.

Thick and dark, purple and navy blue, I sported the big fat shiner for the next week at work. And it felt great, it felt liberating, it felt like I was free — because for once I wasn’t a wimp. No, for a moment I shed my thin, fragile shell and motored around town as a fighting thug with an attitude problem. The black eye screamed “Don’t mess with me”, “Don’t make me do it again”, and “You should see the other guy.”

Now, don’t get me wrong: it’s not great to get nailed in the face. Eyes are delicate little peeled grapes which we don’t want squash balls, door corners, or accelerating fists smacking into. All I’m saying is that if it happens and everything works out fine, then just enjoy that week of walking around with a black eye, tough guy.

AWESOME!

population you

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#696 Actually pointing out a constellation other than The Big Dipper

stare up to the starsIt was pretty rare to stare up at a dark sky full of sparkly stars while growing up between streetlights and neon pizza signs.

Now if we went camping or up to a friend’s cottage, that was a different story. That’s when we could zip open our tent or lie on the dock and just gaze up at the twinkly beauty above us all. We’d just tilt our necks, drop our jaws, and wonder how big it was, how far it went, and what the tentacled, saliva-covered aliens looking back at us were thinking.

It didn’t happen too often, but every once in a while somebody would pick out a few bright stars and point out a constellation way up there. Light years away, worlds apart, and sparkling for all eternity, we heard stories about bulls, belt buckles, and the personal business of many Greek Gods.

Of course, I could only ever see one thing up there myself: The Big Dipper aka The Plough. Sometimes I thought I’d see another one only to have an older kid tell me I was looking at a plane, a blinking satellite or, occasionally, the moon.

That’s why when you actually point out a constellation in outer space you feel like a genius astro-cosmologist with a PhD in Good Eyesight. You’re no longer the dude responsible for finding marshmallow roasting sticks, grabbing bug spray from the tent, or dumping a pail of water onto the campfire before we head to bed. No, now you’re a worldly space explorer raising your eyebrows and pointing out the window as we all fly forward through the darkness.

AWESOME!

What do you seePhotos from: here

Illustration from: here

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