#550 When your roommate cleans the place while you’re away

My friend Peter has a theory.

We were aimlessly chitter-chatting the other day when he mentioned he only does housework when his girlfriend isn’t home. I thought it was a bit strange but Peter patiently broke it down for me in three big points:

1. Hugs and kisses. When his girlfriend shows up after a long day with her bangs sweat-glued to her forehead, she’s not always in a great mood. But when she notices the all rock-hard tomato stains scraped off the stovetop and the telltale blue-tinged hint of fresh toilet bowl, her mood cheers right up and Peter scores some love.

2. Ditch the guilt. Then there’s the big problem with cleaning up when your roommate, boyfriend, or wife is lying on the couch. While you’re straightening magazines and vacuuming in front of them, they feel guilty for chilling out. Forget the hugs — this time you’re scoring a big sigh, some lazy stinkeye, and a half-assed helper.

3. Mr. Perfect sightings. Okay, my place is a mess. Sometimes I fall asleep on dirty clothes, use my dryer as a dresser, and end up with rock-hard macaroni-and-cheese dishes in the sink for weeks. Peter’s not as bad as me but he’s no Mr. Perfect, either. But see, that’s just it — the beauty of his plan is that he gives his girlfriend a chance to daydream about her boyfriend cleaning all day. Sure, the truth is that he was probably stuck in Tube World in Super Mario 3 for most of the afternoon, but that clean countertop, spotless mirror, and fresh vaccuum streaks on the rug  give her hope.

Showing up after a long day to a freshly cleaned place is such a great feeling. Toilet paper has replaced the Kleenex in the bathroom and  the rat-sized dust balls hanging out behind the TV have been whisked away. Now you get to enjoy an evening with someone you love in a sparkly new joint.

So three cheers for organized shoes, three cheers for empty sinks, and three cheers for your place looking a lot less dumpy. Yes, if you feel this buzz you’re living with someone special. So make sure you give them some hugs and kisses.

Or, if they’re out right now, maybe go make the bed.

AWESOME!

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#551 Photosynthesis

Plants convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into oxygen which allows us to live.

AWESOME!

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#552 When you went to the gym yesterday

Because now you can take a break today.

AWESOME!

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#553 When a friend returns something they borrowed so long ago you forgot you owned it

We’ve all been there.

Sometimes good friends draft the first season of your favorite DVD or stuff your tattered paperback in their saggy backpack before heading into the trenches. When you say goodbye that night you smile strongly and act brave but there are hot salty tears in your eyes.

Because you never know.

In the first few months Season 1 of ALF is serving the nation you think about him constantly and try to make sure he’s safe. You casually ask about him at parties or dream up plans to steal him back from your friend’s cold, dark basement.

Sadly, despite your best efforts, eventually the gappy bookshelves and empty jewel cases at home get dusty and memories get lost in the swirling swallows of time. It’s a funny thing but I suppose after enough calendar flips and changing seasons your thoughts just slowly fade away.

Maybe one year you upgrade your DVDs, stash your CD collection in the attic, or move apartments and put all your books in storage. Maybe one year you eventually just … forget.

It’s sad but it’s true.

Flash forward a few years later and you’re quietly making grilled cheeses for the kids on a sunny afternoon. Dogs bark in the backyard and kids play in the street when suddenly the doorbell rings. You’re not expecting anyone so you wipe your wet hands on your thin flowery apron and swipe your bangs behind your ear while rushing to the door.

You swing it open and as sun splashes into the house your eyes pop wide and your jaw drops open like a mailbox. You can hardly believe it! It’s your old book, slightly tattered, slightly battered, but finally home. Tears well in your eyes, a lump forms in your throat, and you pick it up and hug it like no time has passed at all.

Sure, your life had moved on, your kids had grown older, and all the framed photos on the fireplace mantle were slowly replaced. But although your mind moved on your heart just never ever forgot.

So even though it took forever today we say thanks, old friend. For finally bringing it all home.

AWESOME!

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#554 Staying in your pyjamas all day

It’s a rare treat.

Maybe it’s that lazy Sunday with a hot coffee, fat paper, and dusty sunlight beaming through the windows. Or maybe it’s the Friday sick day where you leave the glasses on, tie the ponytail up, and lounge around in a robe watching soaps with the cat. Or maybe it’s Mother’s Day after breakfast cuddling up with the kids watching movies before ordering pizza for dinner.

Sure, sometimes you wake up without firm plans to stay in your pajamas all day. Maybe you have some errands, a lunch date, or a grocery list. But sometimes those plans hit the ground and you pass The Pajama Point Of No Return — that moment where you suddenly realize you’re too close to bedtime to worry about getting ready for the day.

Yes, once in a while, once in a moment, maybe just once a year, it’s fun to have a super chilled-out lazy You Day full of peaceful relaxing in some warm and comfy clothes.

AWESOME!

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#555 Proper urinal etiquette

Just look at us.

We blast rocketships into outer space, talk to people across the planet in seconds, and swallow little pills to take away our headaches.

Yet despite these giant leaps forward one thing’s still pretty primal around the world. Ladies, it ain’t pretty, but most guys unzip and drip into a dirty wall toilet while standing next to a bunch of other dudes.

Thankfully there’s some unspoken urinal etiquette to help answer the call of nature with class:

1. Respect The Buffer. The goal is to leave as much space as possible between yourself and fellow urinators. Take the corners first, take the middle last, and when it’s tight out there use the stall or come back later. Elbow contact should be avoided at all costs.

2. High Shhh Alert. Talking is frowned upon especially in the mall, workplace, or everywhere. This ain’t no coffee shop, people. Save that for the sinks.

3. Temporary Food Ban. There’s something wrong with the guy who leaves a sloshy bottle of beer or a half-unwrapped cheeseburger on top of the urinal while he takes care of business. The mental combination of food plus bathroom is far too intense and must be avoided at all costs.

4. Fart ‘em if you got ‘em. I think we know why.

5. No middles, no problem. Picking the middle from an empty bank of three urinals is considered a cardinal sin of the highest order. This terrible offense upsets the natural order of the men’s room.

6. My, What a Nice Wall. Eye contact is forbidden so keep staring down that brick wall in front of you. If there’s a poster hanging above the urinal, it’s guaranteed that every word will be read at least three times. Some people may even choose their urinal based on how good the poster looks. This is allowed assuming all other rules are followed first.

Phew!

Okay ladies, thanks for putting up with us here. Yes, the men’s room is a nasty, dirty, filthy world. It ain’t pretty and it never will be. But it’s part of our daily lives so let’s all help keep it classy and keep it clean by respecting the codes, respecting the creed, and always observing proper urinal etiquette.

AWESOME!

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#556 When you’re in the fastest moving lane in the traffic jam

Sure, maybe you’re cruising way below the speed limit, but those other guys ain’t even moving. Yes, now’s the time to smile and enjoy your few fleeting moments as the fastest game in town.

AWESOME!

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#557 When you fold a piece of paper so it fits in the envelope perfectly

Lick and load, people.

Yeah, yeah, sure, we ain’t mailing letters much these days but we both know there’s the odd time you’re forced to fold-n-crease a piece of paper and snug it tightly into a envelope for some smoooooooth mailing.

Now, if you don’t nail it properly you get a fat wedge sticking out the top of the envelope and are left with two horrible choices:

1. The Creasy Jungle. This is where you unfold and refold your crinkly masterpiece. It’s not ideal because there’s no hiding your terrible folding habits. Your letter gets so messy you may as well mail them a stinkbomb or an envelope full of fire ants at this point.

2. The Fat Flabby Fold-Down. This one’s the postage equivalent of attempting an awkward twelve-point turn when your parallel parking job ends up three feet from the curb. When you’re rocking the fat flabby you’re just bending that top crease backwards really tightly. This gives you a thick n’ chunky wedge that barely squeezes in.

Friend, between you and me: there are issues.

Yes, that’s why it’s great when you manage to fold that paper so tightly and fold that paper so rightly that your letter slip n’ slides right into the waiting envelope’s mouth.

When you nail it your eyes twinkle a tiny bit, your smile curls at the lip, and your swagger shakes at the hip, baby.

AWESOME!

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#558 Getting a stuck ball out of somewhere by using another ball

This is the childhood version of Mr. Fixit.

Whether you’re shooting free throws in the driveway, whipping tennis balls at a wall, or tossing frisbees in the park, it always happens, man. Someone tosses it a bit too high, a bit too wobbly, or a bit too wrong direction, and suddenly your whole game gets lodged in a tight squeeze.

Now, the best way to unjam that ball is of course by using its fellow family members against it. This is the backyard equivalent of putting the hostage taker’s mom on the phone during the tense negotiations.

“Antonio, please. It’s your mother. You don’t have to do this,” the bald, withered tennis ball in the crowded street pleads over the radio to the angry scarred one sitting in the gutter.

“I love you, Antonio.”

Yes, using one ball to rescue another one is a truly great thing. Just make sure you watch out for these potential trip-ups along the way:

1. Double Down. This is when your second ball joins the first ball instead of popping it out. Now you’ve got mom and son in the gutter and you’re running out of things to toss up there. Right now’s the time someone usually heads into the garage to get a ladder, hockey stick, or some long foam swimming pool noodles.

2. It’s Raining Running Shoes. This is the opposite of the double down. In this case the good news is the tennis racquet, garden stones, or running shoes you tossed up there did the job. The bad news is you weren’t ready for both to fall so you took a hard Reebok to the kisser on its way down.

3. The Understudy. The good news is you were able to pop the wedged basketball out from behind the backboard. The bad news is you got your other ball stuck up there. You can almost hear the announcer on the PA system, too. “Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. The role of tightly wedged Spalding will be played by half-deflated volleyball in tonight’s performance.”

4. The Sunset. This is where you take so long to dislodge the football out of the tree that the sun sets and forces you to come back tomorrow. This also happens when you’re the one who got the Frisbee hanging from the tree branches to begin with so your friends just wait till you pass it down and leave you up there.

Now, come on, come on, come on: Let’s not let those dreaded trip-you-ups cool down your buzz. We all know the truth is that another ball generally does the job just fine.

So while you’re out grabbing exercise, running around, and getting those cardio levels burning, just remember when your ball gets lodged and your game hits pause, you can always toss another ball up there to get your search and rescue plan running.

Yes, with a sturdy chin, firm brow, and steely determination, you’ll be just fine out there.

Good luck, driveway warriors.

AWESOME!

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#559 Getting to McDonald’s right when they’re switching from breakfast to lunch

You weren’t sure if you were gonna score that cheese-drippy sandwich or crispy hashbrown soaking through the paper sleeve. But you ran in the door and then barely scored a hot and steamy breakfast before the menus flipped, the lights started flashing, and hot burgers started rolling off the line.

Now you can kill your early morning munchies a few different ways. Yes, grab that greasy breakfast before the buzzer, snag a fresh lunch after the flip, or go half-and-half with an Egg McMuffin with fries stuffed in it or a Big Mac with a hashbrown patty in place of the middle bun.

You’re a fast-food superstar.

AWESOME!

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