#660 Stomping dry crunchy leaves on the sidewalk

crispy crunchGreen baby buds pop out in the spring, healthy leaves fly high to the sky all summer, and aging beauties flash and change colors in the fall. Then eventually they snap off and crack off and crumble and tumble down to the sidewalk.

People, it’s true — the sun rose, the sun set, months went by, and the earth actually tilted on its axis before this moment could appear before you.

So smile a big smile on your way to school and just enjoy the crispy crunch that comes when your sneakers smash a brittle little leaf into smithereens.


Photo from: here


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#661 When you drive from a rough road onto a smooth one

Cruising onto a fresh black road when you’ve been scraping on top of a rough one is a mighty fine feeling. Yes, when you get off that chopped-up construction meat or swerve out of Pothole Alley your tires are loving you lots.

And it’s not just that:

Feels like you're wearing headphones

1. Shhhh. When you slip onto fresh road the background noise fades away and everyone realizes they can chat in a normal voice again. It’s a nice, relaxing feeling, and it sort of makes your car feel more expensive, like you tossed down a fistful of hundreds at the dealership for some primo soundproofing upgrades.

2. Gimme a break. When you start cruising smooth it’s like driving becomes a lot easier. You’re no longer swerving past giant dirt potholes on the way out of the cottage or watching you don’t slip off of pebbly gravel edges beside the ditch. Thinking of giving both your arms a rest simultaneously? Now’s a good time.


3. Mechanic on duty. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m on a rough stretch of road my tires start make whirring, click-clacking sounds and I convince myself that something’s wrong with my car. I know, I know, I’m a real hypocardriac (hey-ohhhhhh!) But seriously folks, doesn’t it feel good when you drive onto a smooth road, perk your ears up, and realize that nothing’s wrong with your hunk of junk?

Driving from a rough road onto a smooth one is a tiny gift to the road weary. You don’t know when it’s coming, you don’t know long it’ll last, but for a those few fleeting moments you smile and relax in a quiet little meditation on wheels.


smooth road

Photos from: here, here, and here


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#662 Fixing your wedgie when no one’s looking

wedgieSneak behind the bookcase, take a smoke break in the alley, grab the back row at the theater, or go freshen up before dinner.

Look left, look right, and yank.


Photo from: here


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#663 When your roommate goes away for the weekend

no roommate total enjoymentChannel surf in your underwear, crank your embarrassing dance music, and let the crumb-covered dishes pile up without guilt. When you’re splitting the bills, the thermostat, and a few hundred square feet, sometimes a weekend alone can feel like a quiet, relaxing moment of


Photo from: here


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#664 Running for the bus or train and actually catching it

running for the busI’m no runner.

Strap a pair of flashy sneakers on me, snap on an elastic waistband, and tie my golden locks back into a ponytail and I generally have no idea what to do next.

But when the bus is coming around the corner or the train is pulling into the station, watch out, man, because I am off. Yes, no matter what I’m wearing, no matter what I’m doing, no matter who I’m talking to, if I see the faint possibility of catching that bus at the last second then I’m gunning it.

We all know that Just missing the bus is something you’d find over on 1000 Annoying Things, that non-existent netherlist we’ve mentioned a couple times before that also features #995 Finding out your shirt is inside-out partway through the day, #994 When the public bathroom only has one slow, lukewarm hand dryer, and #993 Getting an all-lettuce bite in your Subway sandwich.

When you run and actually catch the bus or train it’s a great thing.

slow hand dryerFirst off, it means you managed to wait the absolute least amount of time possible. You didn’t check your watch four times and constantly stare up the street for the bus to appear on the horizon. No, you put your head down and bolted and ended up hanging around the curb for 0.0 seconds. Not bad!

Secondly, you score a little Mini-Workout High. Who cares if your cheeks are glowing, your neck’s glistening, and you almost twisted your ankle on the sidewalk? You don’t, because you just got some cardio in. Now you can crumble into your plastic pastel-orange seat satisfied your arteries shook off some fat chunks from the afternoon birthday party.

horseraceLastly, you give everyone else on the train some entertainment. Yes, it’s important to mention the Horserace Bettor effect you have on others. See, everyone else sees you walk onto the platform, bug your eyes out, and bolt into Super-Businessman as you start your race. It’s an adrenaline rush as they cheer you on. Will Dress-And-Running-Shoes Lady squeeze between the newspaper boxes? Will Stroller Mom get her two year old up the escalator past Teenage Cell Phone Mob? There is drama and sometimes cheering.

People, when you frantically wave at the driver from fifty feet away, leap across the platform, or jump in those slowly-closing doors, you made it. Stare up at your fellow passengers, take in a few deep breaths, and smile with your big sweaty face.

You just won a gold medal in being



Photos from: here, here,and here


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#665 Fitting every last thing in the dishwasher

Wedge those macaroni-and-cheese covered plates, butter-smeared knives, and sticky glasses in there sideways. Stuff in the stained Tupperware and double-stacked sandwich containers and then balance a crusty casserole dish on top.

Now if you think you’re done, you’re not even close.

No, now it’s time for the mad dash around the house grabbing leftover glasses from the bathrooms and greasy popcorn bowls from the basement. Then you have to come back and rearrange the clinking, clanging mess like a 3D jigsaw puzzle.

Don’t stop until everything’s jammed, rammed, and crammed.

And then stuff a few wooden spoons in the sides.

And a couple more forks.

And the can opener.



(Big congrats to Jen at CakeWrecks for her amazing new book which officially came out yesterday!)

Photo from: here


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#666 Lucky numbers

Baby DevilMy phone number growing up began with a 666.

And it wasn’t just my family who worshipped Satan on speed-dial, either. No, everybody in town was saddled with the same three-digit prefix, making it completely casual within city limits but unique and hard-to-explain beyond our borders.

“Six-six-six,” we’d recite on the phone to the insurance company operator or catalogue-company helpdesk, only to be cut off with a stone cold pause and a loud gulp.

“No, no, honestly, that’s the number,” we’d continue, trying to defend the devilish digits donated to us by the telephone company. “Now can I please order the Magnavox Laser Disc player?”

Yes, it was terrible, but it sure made me appreciate the power of numbers.

So today we say: if you have a lucky number, love it lots! Keep it as your PIN, tattoo it on your arm, mark it as your anniversary.

Because believe me.

The opposite is a real pain in the



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#667 Tips

pumpkin pie“He ate my tip!”

Tara said that with eyebrow-crinkling rage while we were out grabbing drinks on a laid-back patio. She shook her head sternly and surveyed our table of belchy beer drinkers for emotional support.

We offered none.

In my defense I had no idea what she was talking about, so I just took a sip of my beer and wiped my foamstache. When I casually glanced back at Tara I saw she was still steaming so I tossed her a thin-lipped nod and a flimsy half-hearted response.

“Your tip, huh. Boy, that is really too bad.”

I figured we were done but she wasn’t stopping. No, she slapped her palms on the sloshy metal table covered in soggy beer coasters and lemon wedges, leaned her head in real close, and popped her eyes out like a B-grade horror actress who’d just been axed in the back.

“You know, the tip of my pumpkin pie. He ate the tip of my pumpkin pie! He knows I love tips. I always talk about tips and he just stole it from me. He ate that perfect, delicious triangle at the front of my dessert. I was so mad!”

And then I suddenly got it.


“Whoa, whoa, whoa, what’d you do,” I asked, suddenly sucked into this tale of sugar robbery.

“Oh, you want to know what I did? I’ll tell you what I did. I ate the tip of every single piece of pie left in the dish. There were seven left and I just scarfed seven delicious tips!”

slice of pizzaNow this really got my attention. What a feisty little nibbler, I thought. Some dude jokingly stabs his fork in her dessert and suddenly lightning bolts flicker in her eyes, her teeth start grinding, and her lips curl into a dark clownish smile.

I kind of liked it.

Frankly, we all did. Yes, we all laughed at Tara’s tip-eating rampage that sunny afternoon and realized that, come on, tips are great. I mean, let’s think about it for a second here:

Dairy Queen tip1. Slice of pizza. Bubbly cheese, crispy pepperoni corners, and tiny drips of hot orange oil swirl around at the center of the pie. It’s the nucleus of the pizza and the core of all taste. No, there’s no danger of uneven sauce coverage here and the crust is nice and thin. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might score a cheese dangle, which involves your pizza tip using the power of the melt to snag excess toppings from a nearby slice. And hey, if your tip is the one getting robbed of toppings here, no worries. You just scrape up bits of cheese and sausage from the rest of the box and toss on top. Everybody gets a great tip.

2. The top swirl of a Dairy Queen cone. Folks in the biz know it’s an  art to create that delicate curl on the top of a cone. It’s the only real baby-nibble on the cone and therefore a nice tease for the next few minutes. Most of the way down you’re licking and biting your ice cream, so that top swirl is a yummy appetizer.

quiche3. Quiche. Does anybody actually eat quiche? Well, if you’re in the game for this one, I’m guessing you’re loving that chunky broccoli, salty ham, fluffy egg, and oily crust combo at the front of your slice. Très yummy, yes pas?

4. First crispy nacho from the top of the tower. Full-size triangle chip with crisp corners, bubbly cheese, and little salsa puddles, waiting innocently for you to dive in. We’re not talking about bland, lettuce covered shards at the bottom of the heap. No, we’re talking about the tip of the nachoberg here.

beer5. First sip from a bottle of beer. This is the liquid tip. Not as triangular or pointy, but let’s face it: For those who drink that first sip of beer on a Friday after work can be refreshing, bubbly bliss.

6. Cakes. We saved the best for last. As those tall, wobbly cheesecake towers arrive at your table or you delicately carve out a thick slab of black forest at a birthday party, we both know you’re eying that delicious triangle tip right up front. And look at it sugar-shining in the light just waiting for you. It’s practically saluting and pledging allegiance to your mouth.

So people, come on. Let’s all hold hands today and remember the many great tips we’ve enjoyed over the years. Yes, smile at all those delicious first bites and first sips that surprised your tongue and teased your tastebuds with hints of what’s to come.

Love tips, love bites, love tips, love life.


get tipping

Photos from: here, here, here, here, and here


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#668 Walking faster than cars sitting in traffic

taxi fareHave you ever sat in a taxi cab in traffic?

Just tell me that’s not frustrating. Your heart thump-thumps and your anxiety zooms sky-high while you stare at the fluorescent red toll slowly ticking upwards. Sure, you know you shouldn’t watch it, but you can’t stop. You fixate your eyes on the tick-tocking numbers while your cab slowly inches forward through tight city streets, at rush hour, in construction, when it’s raining.

There is only one thing that can make this scene more frustrating and that is watching some dude walk faster than you on the sidewalk.

Honestly, look at them, strutting their stuff, moseying down the street at breakneck speed, while you pay top dollar for a slower service. You may as well roll down the back window and toss your wallet in the sewer at this point. Yeah, steam’s coming out your ears while your face turns red as a tomato.

But for the faster-walking guy, it’s a different story.

He just bops along and watches you sweat.


walk on

Photos from: here and here


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#669 Vacuuming a dirty carpet and hearing all the tiny rocks going through the hose

baby vacuumSince we’re lugging the heavy vacuum up from the basement, moving couches around, and getting the whole room smelling like hot dirt, it’s mighty nice when those rattling little pebbles pipe up and let us know it was alllllll worth it.


Photo from: here


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