#111 Double dipping

Man, that’s one long celery stick.

I’m not sure if just one dip in our communal bowl of ranch dressing will be enough to coat that big green stick with enough sauce to get the job done. No, you better dip the second half in too, wet stringy bits and all, so you really get some creamy flavor on that bland crunchiness left in your hand.

Sure, maybe a couple spit molecules slip into the bowl for your best friend or little brother. But we say that’s a small price to pay for well-sauced veggies, salsa coated nacho shards, and dip-covered potato chips.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

Read More

#112 When the score is tied near the end of the game

Are you a fourth quarter fan?

Those are the folks who flip the game on with five minutes left to catch the big finish. When it’s a lopsided score they shut it off but when it’s all tied up they think “Good thing I didn’t waste two hours watching everything until now!”

When the score’s tied up near the end of the game it’s time to get ready for the edge-of-your-seat rush.

It all comes down to this.

AWESOME!


Read More

#113 Doing your thing

I am a terrible baseball player.

When I was in Little League we got to use aluminum bats but they were too heavy for my spaghetti-noodle arms to swing properly. Opponents caught on to my weakness pretty quick and I would stand there in my gray Velcro sneakers watching three straight fastballs fly through the strike zone before trudging back to the dugout like some sort of Guaranteed Strikeout Ghost.

And you know, I’m terrible at basketball, terrible at driving, and pretty terrible at cooking too.

But life ain’t about any of that because it’s just about doing your thing.

Yes, I say whatever your thing is… well that’s what you should do. Because whatever you’re pretty good at… that’s what makes you you.

Thank you so much for letting me do my thing by chatting about awesome things every day with you.

I’m so happy that The Book of (Holiday) Awesome is helping push the AWESOME movement forward in a knock-em-out streetfight against all the negativity, cynicism, and bad news out there.

I say today’s our day to do our thing and keep on moving.

Today’s our day to be

AWESOME!

Read More

#114 When you find your name on some tacky souvenir in the gift shop

Bob, Betty, Barry, you don’t know the shame.

Only Bilal, Baxter, and Bernadette know the pain of turning a squeaky metal rack full of tiny plastic doorplates and failing to find their name.

My friend Agostino has a great story about how he found his dad’s name on a toothbrush in Italy. Jaw dropping, eyeballs popping, he couldn’t believe somebody actually stamped “Guido” on a toothbrush.

To this day his dad says it’s his favorite present of all time.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

Read More

#115 The moment when you walk into the grocery store and see the first shipment of egg nog

My buddy Mike’s a sugar rat.

Whenever I visit his apartment downtown we end up watching movies, playing video games, and ordering pizza. And when we’re done snacking I always turn to him and say, “Hey man, you got any chocolate or anything?” We’re close, me and Mike, and have long passed the point where we’re too polite to only eat when we’re offered food. I’ll hunt around the man’s fridge like it’s my own and I expect him to do the same.

Now the funny thing is that when I ask him, Mike usually just heads to the kitchen and starts hunting through cupboards of really, really old Tupperware, under stale half loaves of bread at the bottom of the freezer, and behind dusty food processors above the fridge. Yes, he hunts until he pulls out a surprise pack of unopened Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or peels the lid off a brand new tub of ice cream.

My buddy Mike’s a sugar rat.

See, he doesn’t trust himself to have the good stuff in view, so he hides it in the cracks and corners of his place and hopes he’ll forget it. This is known as the Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind Diet Plan, and it seems to work wonders for him. After all, he doesn’t gorge himself on candy bars that much, and whenever a sweet-toothed pal is jonesing for a fix, he just goes hunting until he finds the gold.

I think Mike’s whole theory is the same one behind the entire eggnog industry.

Just think! They’re saying “Here, enjoy this deliciously sweet and creamy drink, but — ah, ah, ah! You can only have it in December. Here, grind some cinnamon on top, spike it with rum, break out the crystal punch glasses for sugary surprise in your mouth, but — ah, ah, ah! There’s none available in the new year.”

And thank goodness, thank gracious, thank God for that.

Because if we drank eggnog all the time we’d get pretty fat.

AWESOME!

Read More

#116 Getting the chocolate you wanted from the chocolate box

My first girlfriend may have been an alien.

Sure, she looked normal, she dressed normal, she seemed normal, but she actually liked those oozing cherry-syrup-in-the-middle chocolates from the chocolate box. You know, the ones wrapped in gold foil and stuffed with that bizarre, mutant sugar-cherry that looked like it was drenched in toxic waste, causing it to glow a strange neon red.

Those were her favorite ones!

Clearly, whenever we split a box I always scored my first overall pick: the dream team of strawberries and cream. Yes, I loved those goopy pink innards oozing out like a smacked bug on a hot windshield and I had no shame with diving into the second layer to mine out all the artificially-flavored strawberry in the entire box. (You know you’re sharing with a pro when only one specific chocolate is missing on both levels.)

So what about you! Do you like the thick fudgy ones that get stuck in your teeth like brown-sugar fillings? Do you prefer those squares with the dry flaky white stuff in them, like expired icing sugar? Do you hunt ruthlessly for the one chocolate truffle, get your Vitamin C with orange cream, or just pop the lid off and swipe the rectangle hunk of plain milk chocolate sitting in the middle?

Well, whatever your pleasures, whatever your tastes, we both know it’s a beautiful moment when you score the chocolate you want from the box. After all, nothing’s worse than when your kid brother loses the little index page and you’re forced to play Russian Chocolate with your picks.

Except maybe coming across a box completely empty except for the cherry.

AWESOME!

Join the awesome movement on Facebook.

Photos from: here

Read More

#117 Driving down an old road with trees that touch overhead and cover all the sky

Sunshine scatters in speckled shadows on pebble-coated roads as you cruise through the neighborhood on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Tufts of grass punch through asphalt cracks, rusty sewers clink under your wheels, and kids race down crumbly sidewalks on wobbly bikes. Shimmery rays of sunlight flash and gleam off basketball rims, side mirrors, and banana-colored fire hydrants with thick chipped paint. Above it all, tall trees twist their crooked skinny fists to heaven while spreading their leathery leafy arms up and over the world. As you pass through the leafy green tunnel winds whisper through jagged branches, squirrels jump across tree tops, and everything zooms out as your world suddenly … stops.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

Read More

#118 Completely crazy bets

It’s cold, it’s chilly, it’s November.

That’s why was strange when my friend Jenn was dropping her daughter off at school last week and noticed a student wearing shorts. “Wait, it’s freezing out,” she said to her daughter while zipping up her jacket and pulling her hat over her head. “Does that kid have Hot Leg Syndrome or something?”

“Nah,” her daughter replied, pulling her backpack on and climbing out the door. “He just has a bet going with another kid about who can keep wearing shorts the longest.”

I laughed when she told me this story because it reminded me of my college days when crazy bets were standard. I bet my roommate Dee a dollar he wouldn’t eat a nacho chip covered in Crisco (I lost), I entered a Sideburn-Off on who could grow the scraggliest muttonchops in a month (I lost), and I bet my friend Gillian she wouldn’t race around our cafeteria at full throttle and slide headfirst into our punnily-named drink station “Thirst Base.” (I lost, and thankfully the chocolate milk on tap wasn’t harmed.)

None of these bets made sense but they somehow made sense at the time.

The best crazy bets are like that.

Because we aren’t here forever and crazy bets add laughs to our days and our weeks. So what are you waiting for, betting geeks? It’s time to shake hands and enter a Beard-Off, it’s time to drop five on who’ll catch the kickoff, it’s time to steel your gaze for the Staring Contest Standoff. Yes, it’s time spin in circles fifty times the fastest, it’s time to see who’s after-dinner burp can be the nastiest, yes it’s time to tell the naysayers that crazy bets aren’t dumb, because it’s time for us all to recognize they’re part of the World Of

AWESOME!

Read More

#119 Watching butter melt on hot toast

When I drop a hard chunk of butter onto a slice of hot toast I like to pretend I’m an adventure guide helping a pack of rich tourists through some rough jungle terrain when we suddenly stumble upon some dangerous quicksand in our path. “Stay back,” I caution, squinting my eyebrow and holding my arm firmly to my side, causing the portly Hawaiian-shirt-and-binocular covered tourists to stop and stumble into each other.

“Shhhhh … watch this,” I whisper to them, my eyes popping wide as I fumble frantically in my backpack. They stare breathlessly in their brand new Tilley hats and hiking boots as I peel out a giant hunk of butter and toss it straight ahead of us. Toucans squawk overhead and snakes rattle in the bushes as we hold our breaths and watch the butter slowly melt into the unforgiving sea of brown. “Just what I thought,” I say to them.

“We’re toast.”

Seriously, that’s what watching butter melt on hot toast feels like to me. It’s mesmerizing seeing that white fatty block that came from a cow dissolve into invisible liquid and soak deeply into the crispy crust of hot bread. Next it’s time to scratch the butter in further with a knife … smear sticky sweet jam all over it … and then chomp right in.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here

Read More