#655 When you get to your seat just as the previews are starting

movie seatPlop down on those fat plushy seats, take a long drag of ice-cold cola, and let your eyes adjust to the big flickering screen. Slideshow guessing games and car commercials are long gone and now only the good stuff awaits. Time to get into it, get comfortable, and get your brain ready for a couple solid hours of

AWESOME!

Hey everybody,

It’s he-ere! Yes, the 2014 Page-A-Day Calendar of Awesome has arrived! This one’s got over 30% new material and I’ve asked for a special coupon code for readers of 1000 Awesome Things. If you live in the US and want to snag 25% of your calendar and free shipping, just order from this link on the Chronicle Books website and use the coupon code AWESOME.

Neil

p.s. Unfortunately, the page-a-day calendar sold out well before Christmas the past two years so grab one soon if you’re feeling it. I sincerely appreciate the support and through projects like the calendar you’ve got my word I’ll always keep this blog ad free.

2014 Calendar of Awesome

 

Photo from: here

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#656 When the plane suddenly speeds up on the runway

airplaneBecause here we go.

AWESOME!

Illustration from: here

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#657 Memories of McDonaldland

mcdonaldlandMcDonaldland was the trippy make-believe world where all the McDonald’s characters lived in harmony.

Growing up, we occasionally holed up in the corner of McDonald’s when someone’s cool mom dropped some bills on a deliciously greasy birthday party. There was usually a giant mural along the wall with all the McDonaldland characters living fantasy lives in their all-burgers-all-the-time world. If you were lucky, you might even have played on the McDonaldland playground equipment with some of these guys:

hamburglar• The Hamburglar. He’s dressed in black-and-white striped prison garb so we know he just escaped from the slammer. Maybe he broke out after a couple days of tuna melts and grilled cheeses. Anyway, I’m guessing he’s going to get caught again because that raccoon eye patch, oversized red tie, and Jackie O retro sunhat isn’t a great disguise.

mayor mccheese• Mayor McCheese. Even though his head is a giant, wobbly cheeseburger, this guy is as suave as they come. Just look at the top hat, diplomat’s sash, and fancy reading specs. I feel like this greasy politician (hey-ohhhhhh!)  stumbled into the Happy Meal universe by accident. He should be at the opera or something.

captain crook slideCaptain Crook. Did anybody else think some lazy ad exec watched Peter Pan the night before inventing this guy?

Ronald McDonald. Sadly, the red-haired clown was the most boring in the bunch. But then again, even though he looked like a hungover 30-year old in facepaint, he did inspire a generation of goths.

grimace playground jail

• Grimace. Everybody’s favorite, the purple giant played the lovable clumsy doofus of McDonaldland. Of course, in the original ads he had four arms, lived in a cave, and stole milkshakes. Just thinking about it gives me nightmares.

officer big macOfficer Big Mac. His giant two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-seed-bun head prevents him from running fast enough through town to catch all the escaped convicts. That’s okay though, because his permanently frazzled eyebrows tell us he’s trying.

apple pie treeApple Pie Trees, Filet-O-Fish Lakes, and Hamburger Patches. In McDonaldland there were no beef processing plants, deep sea trawlers, or sugar kilns. Instead you just plucked hot hamburgers out of the patch, cast a line for Filets, and kicked the trunk of the Apple Pie Tree for dessert.

uncle ogrimaceyUncle O’Grimacey. Grimace’s Irish uncle visited in March and brought his delicious Shamrock Shakes with him. On another note, did anybody else ever wonder where Auntie O’Orangey was, because where did those delicious McArctic Orange shakes come from?

Fry Guys. These guys were called Gobblins, Fry Guys, Fry Kids, Pac-Man Ghosts With Legs, or Rollerskating Pom Poms.

mcdonaldlandcookiesBirdie the Early Bird. Poor Birdie was the only female in McDonaldland. She got out of bed early to tell us about the breakfast items. After that, I’m guessing she usually hit the pool hall or shooting range with Smurfette.

People, McDonaldland wasn’t a fictional place. No, it existed in the dimly-lit corner by the bathrooms and on the dangerous plastimold playground equipment in the parking lot.

It mcdonalds birthday partyexisted in the hearts and minds of kids everywhere because it was a place where we could be kids. Slam shots of orange drink, throw on some paper hats, play Pin the Arms on Grimace or Stack the Big Mac boxes, and scream as loud as you can. Then get bloated on sundaes, jump in the minivan, and smile a slow, sticky smile on the drive home.

Sure, maybe it was dangerous. Sure, maybe it wasn’t good for us.

But it sure was childhood.

And it sure was

AWESOME!

Hey everybody,

It’s he-ere! Yes, the 2014 Page-A-Day Calendar of Awesome has arrived! This one’s got over 30% new material and I’ve asked for a special coupon code for readers of 1000 Awesome Things. If you live in the US and want to snag 25% of your calendar and free shipping, just order from this link on the Chronicle Books website and use the coupon code AWESOME. 

Neil

p.s. Unfortunately, the page-a-day calendar sold out well before Christmas the past two years so grab one soon if you’re feeling it. I sincerely appreciate the support and through projects like the calendar you’ve got my word I’ll always keep this blog ad free.     

2014 Calendar of Awesome

 

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

Photos of kids in McDonald’s used with permission of Angela

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#658 When you’re meeting up with a group of friends and they stop talking to celebrate your arrival

meeting up with friendsSometimes you’re late for the date.

Stepping into the dark restaurant, shaking off your umbrella, squeezing past the bar, you don’t know what you’re gonna get: Who’s gonna be here? Have they already ordered? Will there even be a chair?

If you’re like me, baby butterflies flap in your stomach when you stumble into Tonight’s Social Scene for the first time. Brushing rain off your eyebrows, unzipping your jacket, you smile nervously as you spot your friends and walk over to their crowded table in the back.

And if your entrance is marked by heads turning, forks dropping, fists raising, and loud cheers, it means you’re hanging with a great group. So smile and accept their little Welcome Package of hugs and high-fives.

It’s gonna be a great night.

AWESOME!

high ten

Hey everybody,

It’s he-ere! Yes, the 2014 Page-A-Day Calendar of Awesome has arrived! This one’s got over 30% new material and I’ve asked for a special coupon code for readers of 1000 Awesome Things. If you live in the US and want to snag 25% of your calendar and free shipping, just order from this link on the Chronicle Books website and use the coupon code AWESOME.

Neil

p.s. Unfortunately, the page-a-day calendar sold out well before Christmas the past two years so grab one soon if you’re feeling it. I sincerely appreciate the support and through projects like the calendar you’ve got my word I’ll always keep this blog ad free.

2014 Calendar of Awesome

Photos from: here and here

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#659 When you suddenly remember it’s a long weekend

friday at 5pmMonday is the new Sunday. First off, your TV-watching schedule is messed up. The baseball game was last night so now you’re flipping past Wheel of Fortune and sitcom reruns. But no big deal, because even though the night before school or work is a bit of a drag, you can at least rest knowing you’ve got a four-day week.

Sunday is the new Saturday. Now you can make late night plans without excuses. No sister-in-laws will be zipping up diaper bags and tying their kid’s shoelaces in the front hallway at 8:30pm this time. Nope, on long weekend Sundays the party’s just getting started, so toss the seven-year-old on the bed full of jackets upstairs, and get ready to rock.

Saturday is Uncharted Territory. This is the Bermuda Triangle of the long weekend. You’ve got two more days to finish your algebra homework, plant the tulip bulbs, or mow the lawn, so that all falls off the radar. Yes, today’s the day for a movie marathon, long drive to see the grandkids, or late night out with your old friends from high school.

When you suddenly remember it’s a long weekend it’s time for some head spins. Your brain races with possibilities ahead and you’re filled with a tingly buzz of excitement. Yes, you ran up the bumpy hills of Monday and Tuesday, scraped by a muddy Wednesday, and clawed through the frozen tundra of Thursday and Friday.

Now you’re at the top of the mountain breathing the fresh air of the long weekend.

And it is glorious.

AWESOME!

Photos from: here and here

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#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.

AWESOME!

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.

mechanic

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.

AWESOME!

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.

AWESOME!

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

AWESOME!

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

AWESOME!

carl-lewis

Photos from: here, here,and here

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