#720 The final seconds of untangling a really big knot

undo that knotI don’t know how to tie my shoes.

I know, I know, it’s terrible, it’s embarrassing, but I seriously can’t tie my shoes the way most people do. I just — my fingers don’t slide the right way. When I try the loop-around-and-pull-through move I end up with a limp and loose version of the finished product. As a result, I’m stuck with The Bunny-Ears Method also known as The Double Loop or Grandma Knot. Yes, I make a loop with my right hand, a loop with my left, and then I tie them together. It’s a tiny bit slower, but that’s not the worst of it.

The worst of it is that it often results in massive, tightly wound knots that take forever to untie.

The Bunny Ears MethodAs a result, I try to avoid tying my shoes altogether. Instead, I spend one or two minutes wedging and banging my foot into them each time I leave the house. Although this technique results in completely squashing the back of my shoe, I find it preferable than sorting out the grandaddy knot waiting for me down there.

But sometimes there is no choice.

See at some point my scraggly knot will lay lazily on the side of my shoe staring up at me with its sad, dusty face. And I can only smile wearily, shake my head, and sit down on the step, and get ready to slog away in the five-minute heavyweight title card of Me Vs The Knot.

order a pizza insteadI’m not going to lie: I often lose this battle, choosing instead to throw on a pair of sandals or stay home and order pizza. But there are also days where I come out on top. There are days where I stick my fingernail in there as hard as I can and pick and pick and pick until the lace finally starts to give. And then I start pulling it this way and that way until I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the moment of truth, the dream becoming a reality.

Those final few seconds of untangling a really big knot happen in a hazy slow-motion. A twisted lace becomes loose, and then another, and then there is some frantic untying as it all comes undone.

Yes, whether it’s headphone wires, Nintendo controllers, phone cables, or skipping rope, it sure feels great during the last few seconds of untangling that tightly tied mess.

AWESOME!

37_knotPhotos from: here, here, and here

Illustration from: here

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#721 Drinking anything through the little hole in a coffee stirrer

ready for sippingMy sister and I took skating lessons when we were kids.

For years my parents drove us down to the rusty old arena around the corner on Sunday nights. Cheap coffee, chilled sweat, and change room mold lingered in the air as we laced up our skates between other two-foot tall kids in big swishy snow pants.

They haunt me stillMost of my memories of the place involve hitting the ice head-first, hitting the boards head-first, and getting ice shavings up my mitts. But it was all worth it.

Yes, it was all worth it because I got to enjoy a celebratory chocolate milk at the end of each trip. And since chocolate milk was such big deal to me I did my final laps of the rink just dreaming about the stuff. And sure, I had many dreams on those nights — mostly of well-stocked first aid kits, dry mitts, and space heaters — but nothing was better than that chocolate milk.

Now, nothing made my chocolate milk last longer than drinking it through the tiny hole in a coffee stirrer. Oh sure, maybe it felt a bit unnatural at first, and I admit it’s probably not the greatest move for picking up chicks down at the drive-in or dirtbike tracks, but come on: how good does it feel to suck your cheeks in real hard and vacuum up your drink through that tiny pinhole?

Plus, there’s the Maximum Drinking Time (MDT) factor as well. While my sweaty buddies gulped down their milks in thirty seconds I got to enjoy mine over the next few days — taking it in drop by drop, molecule by molecule, and letting it just soak up and into my mouth every so sweetly.

People, if you’re with me then just suck it up kiddy-style once in a while.

For old time’s sake.

AWESOME!

Fond memories

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#722 Watching seniors do water aerobics

seniors in aquafitSpeedos snapped on and earplugs pushed in, old folks dip into the local pool for a cardio session on water. And if you happen to catch a glimpse of the jumping jacks and karate kicks or happen to be in the game yourself, then you know how fun it is to see all the wet perms, dripping glasses, and smiling faces.

They just look so happy.

AWESOME!

37_swimming

Photo from: here

Illustration from: here

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#723 Seeing a huge tree and remembering how small it used to be

they grow up so fastI was at my parent’s house this weekend and holy smokes.

The three tiny evergreens out the back window have now bloomed into thirty-foot monsters shading half the backyard.

Driving by your old school, visiting relatives you haven’t seen in a while, or just walking around the neighborhood you grew up in can give you that sudden sense of life slowly moving onwards and upwards.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#724 Placing the last piece of the puzzle

start with the edges next time kidsI don’t have the patience for puzzles.

If I’m hanging out at your house late at night and someone walks into the room shaking a big 500-piece box with a cover photo of a gray boulder balanced on a gray cliff, then I’m not having it.

Okay, I might help you find the corner pieces or start the first edge, but that’s it, honestly. After it gets into the no man’s land of middle pieces, and people start making stack-piles of colors, passing around the box-top and squinting, and silently trying to clip piece after piece after piece together, well I just can’t take it anymore.

When everybody crowds around the coffee table I start sulking and retreat to the couch where I occupy myself with productive jobs such as stacking all the coasters, finger-dragging the crumbs out the side of the cushions, or trying to eat a potato chip without chewing it, which is actually much more difficult than it sounds. (Quick tip: focus all your energy on sucking the flavor powder off very slowly and make sure to avoid all accidental biting in order to score a soggy and bland potato slice perfect for swallowing.)

But see, give it a shot!this is why it’s so great when somebody finally places the last piece of the puzzle.

There’s usually some giddy anticipation as the pace quickens towards the finale. All fingers get into the game, attaching major edges together and finally finding that one piece we all knew was here somewhere with the other half of the bird’s wing on it.

Hey, the last piece of the puzzle is great because it means you have the last piece of the puzzle. Let’s not overlook this fact. After all, who among us hasn’t picked up a cheapo garage sale special and only discovered it was four pieces short when you were putting it together? Talk about a buzz kill.

Secondly, it means you finally get to see the big picture. Up until that point it’s all poking, prodding, and passing around the dog-eared box top, but now we’ve got a poster. Some people even mount these things and stick them on a wall.

Lastly, there is a thick and heady sense of smoking satisfaction in the air. Even though I’m probably drinking a tall glass of wine and flipping channels past infomercials at this point, even I can feel it. The gang all pitched in, all helped out, and together accomplished the mission.

Now the party can really get nuts.

AWESOME!

breathtaking boulders on the sunny cliffside

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#725 When the lights turn green just as you’re approaching the intersection

Green traffic lightEngines revving, drivers idling, traffic lights flash red and stall the scene. Then just as you’re pulling up and about to slow down everything suddenly flicks to green.

Now you’re pounding the gas and zooming right through the intersection in a blurry blaze. Fellow drivers start up in your wake but by then you’re long gone, coasting home, smiling wide, and just enjoying the ride.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#726 Eating the part of the cookie that fell in the milk

milk soaked cookies awaitFinishing your snack with a bite of cookie leaves a nice sweetmouth feeling but clogs your molars with sugar-paste and practically begs for something to wash it all down. Then again, finishing with a big swig of milk rinses away the delicious flavor-saving chocolate chip fillings you’ve got back there which is just no fun.

People, there’s only one option here.

Finish by eating that soaking-wet cookie chunk that fell in the milk earlier.

Yes, maybe you forgot about it so it’s a surprising little dessert encore. Or maybe you pre-planned the whole thing because you’re crazy like that.

Either way, when you toss that milky soaked-to-the-bones leftover into your mouth it melts into a  sugary, chocolate chip crumb-puddle and splatters in all directions.

Yes, that’s when you know you just experienced unparalleled levels of deliciosity.

That’s when you know you made it.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#727 Letting go of the gas pump at just the right moment

the right tool for the jobI hate $19.98.

When I’m pumping my car full of that sweet-smelling black gold, I get tense when I’m two cents away from a nice, round number. Maybe I’ve got a twenty dollar bill in my pocket or maybe I’m throwing it on a credit card. Either way, I just can’t be that satisfied with a $20.01 pump. If I hit $20.03 or $20.04, it’s like I wasn’t even paying attention. Call me The Big Squeeze at that point, because I clearly don’t know what I’m doing.

Not the same thing at allBut if the opposite happens, if I tap that handle ever so sweetly and let a little thimble of gasoline drip into my tank so the numbers curl up to twenty bucks even, then it’s time to high-five the passengers, call the papers, and get ready for a beautifully changeless transaction.

For a split-second you transform.

Gone is mom driving the kids home from ballet, gone is the pizza driver doing a quick fill before midnight, gone is the sweaty suit pumping a fast one before riding the expressway to the office downtown.

Obviously a ninja

Gone, gone, they’re all just gone.

Passers-by will squint at those pumps and swear they noticed something. Kids staring out the back of the station wagon will turn to each other and drop their jaws. Later on, newspaper reporters will write down eye-witness accounts from old folks on the porch across the street. “It must have been my imagination,” they’ll say. “But I swear I saw someone dressed all in black.”

People, if you let go of the gas pump at just the right moment, they’re talking about you.

Because you are The Pump Ninja.

AWESOME!

Twenty bucks? I'm on it

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#728 Interspecies action figure wars

a royal rumble gone badWhen I was a kid and played with He-Man guys or Transformers, there was always a time when the scale of whatever war I was waging grew beyond the number of figures I had from that set. This meant that I had to throw in other guys to pad the numbers to make sure everything was just fine.

He needs backupFor example, He-Man would help The Autobots when Skeletor was bearing down on them with all his henchmen, some bad GI Joe guys, Randy Macho Man Savage, and a lone Captain Planet villain from a random aunt two birthdays ago.

This also worked for tournaments, Battle Royals, and no-holds-barred street races.

Can carry thirty Micro Machines no problemYou knew the races were getting out of hand when a big Tonka dump truck started playing dirty and dumped a half-dozen Micro Machines on the carpet to scramble and run the Batmobile off the road.

Sometimes my sister got in on it, too.

If the Decepticons kidnapped Barbie then Ken would jump on My Little Pony to try and rescue her. And if that didn’t work, she’d be forced to wheel out the big guns.

Yes, I’m talking about the Cabbage Patch Kids.

Now it's really overOh sure, they were just stuffed dolls, but they were also four times the size any of my action figures and had really heavy faces that were strong as steel. Basically, the game was over at that point because she’d capture all my men and just toss them in the Easy-Bake Oven.

And come on, there was something great about those interspecies action figure wars. Think back and remember sliding across the carpet in your overalls, making spitty sound effects, and zooming your head into an imagination world that was so fun, so real, and so

AWESOME!

37_actionfigures

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

Illustration from: here

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#729 Passing under a bridge on the highway when it’s pouring rain

here comes the silenceYour windshield wipers have no idea what’s going on as you enjoy your blissful two seconds of silence.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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