#419 Correctly guessing if that terribly designed door is push or pull

Doors can be trouble.

Strutting to the mall, strolling to the store, you spy those glassy doubles in the distance just waiting for you to size them up and give them a big push or pull.

Sure, it looks easy, but we all know it’s nothing but.

Nope, thanks to years of tense negotiations, backroom deals, and political infighting, the International Alliance for Door Design Consistency has reached a suffocating stalemate in its goal of coming up with one door we can all understand. So while those corporate bigwigs give each other evil eyes in smoky boardrooms We The People are left figuring it out on the front lines, door by door, day by day.

It sucks when you make the wrong move, too. Pull a push or push a pull and you’re suddenly five years old again. Forget the chemistry exam, gym class, or company meeting you’re about to attend — now you’re suddenly a toddler staring back at the waiting crowd with wide eyes, untied laces, and thick boogers snaking down your upper lip.

Yes, that’s why swinging open a confusing door on the first try is such a great high. You just saved yourself a horrible second of humiliation and are now coasting smoothly through life in the fast lane.



Photos from: here, here, and here

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#420 Using some random thing as some random back scratcher

The middle of your back is no hands land.

Those itchy islands off the coast of Spine Beach see a lot of shade and a lot of showers but not much scratchy, scratchy fingernail loving. When you’re itching hard you might try the ol’ Reverse Angle Elbow Bender a couple times before giving up and going with a classic:

1. Tree trunks. Yes, in addition to life giving oxygen, skin soothing shade, and strong stable shelters, trees are a natural back scratcher. Make sure you find the old withered one full of knots in the middle of the forest. Trees: Nature’s massage therapist. Now covered on most health plans.

2. A big metal tool from the barbecue set. Using the burger lifter or rusty tongs are great moves but for extra caveman bonus points you’ve got to go with the giant two-pronged fork. Close your eyes and you’ll suddenly be back outside the cave using a woolly mammoth tusk in front of the fire.

3. Comb or hairbrush. Just make sure to rinse it afterward.

4. The corner of your wall. You keep watching football, I’ll just casually tiptoe over to the corner over here and rub my lower lumbar all over the pointy wainscoting. Mmmm, yeah. Now I know what the vacuum hose was talking about.

5. Your cat. After many patient hours of teaching you may eventually convince kitty to think of your back as a scratching post. If you get here, congratulations on reaching Total Backscratching Nirvana.

Now, scratching your back on some random thing is great because you don’t need a friend or family member to help you out. Let’s face it: we’re all gonna be alone sometimes so in addition to changing a flat tire and learning basic self defense, it’s important you pick up some solo back scratching skills, too.

Pack your bags because you’re going to Spine Beach.


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

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#421 Singing the guitar solo (or drum solo) (or piano solo)

Never stop wailing.

When you’re singing along with the lyrics of a song and a guitar solo starts up make sure you keep onnnnnn going.

We can’t have dead air in your steamy morning shower or all the fans will just hear the sound of you soaping up your armpits and blowing your nose. And that screaming mosh pit in your Toyota Camry is just jumping for more. You better blast those high-pitched guitar notes or they’ll go home cold and disappointed.

Never stop wailling.

When the words fade out and the guitar fades in it’s your big chance to keep the excitement flowing.

Maybe you already have practice from singing all the frontman and backup singer parts from the rest of the song. Now all you have to do is add in the guitar solos your fingers can only dream of playing. You’ll soon go from Axl to Slash in November Rain, start hitting the big notes in Bohemian Rhapsody, and you may even find yourself synthing along with Tainted Love.

“Sometimes I feel I’ve got to — boomp, boomp — run away. I’ve got to — boomp, boomp — get away.”

Yes, you do have to get away — get away from the notion of your sing-a-long stopping when the guitar starts slashing, that is. People, when you’ve sung the first six minutes of Stairway to Heaven there’s no way you can disappoint that packed arena now. So get to the front of the stage and shred that axe, verbally.

Feel free to also wobble your voice when you step on your air distortion pedal which may involve using meow’s for all the notes. “Meow meow meEEOW meow meow meEEOW,” you meow, in a beautifully sweaty, head banging daze.

Be one with the guitar solo, be one with the song, and be one with a few big sweeping moments of


Photos from: here and here

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#422 Hanging in there and hanging on

We’re all pretty much the same.

Packed tightly in our skintight skin is a bumpy clump of slippery organs and brittle bones. Yes, you’re a pile of bones, I’m a bucket of blood, you’re a slab of muscle, I’m a chunk of chub. And no matter what we got squeezing through our veins, zooming through our brains, and dripping out our drains, one big thing just always remains.

We’re all pretty much the same.

We’re all pretty much the same.

We’re all pretty much the same.

Baby brains buzz and little eardrums pop, baby lungs breathe deep and little eyelids flop, but as we grow up and grow older maybe we start letting differences be our guide, start choosing our own adventures, start carving paths and curving wide. We settle into ourselves, settle into our skin, settle into our lives, and find the comforts within…

We grow up, we grow older, some grow hotter, some grow colder. We focus on our tastes, on our preferences and our choices, we find our kinds of friends, we read our kinds of voices. We might cut deep paths, we may turn others away, we may deepen our divides, we may have nothing nice to say.

But way down deep in our stomachs, way down deep in our hearts, we can always remember that no matter which way we turn, which lessons we learn, which bridges we burn…

We’re all pretty much the same.

We’re all pretty much the same.

No matter what money we earn, what chances we churn, what choices we spurn…

We’re all pretty much the same.

We’re all pretty much the same.

Because we’ve all got cracks and chips, we’ve all got sores and scratches, we’ve all got doubts and dreams, we’ve all got hearts with patches. We laugh and cry, we soar and sink, we go up and down, we stop and think. Behind your favorite things, behind your bestest friends, behind your fears and doubts… we’re all waiting here again.

We’re all in this big show together.

We’re all singing the same song.

We’re all walking into the future.

As we all keep hanging on.


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

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#426 Actually managing to rip off a square of plastic wrap that doesn’t get stuck to itself

Plastic wrap is trouble.

When you’re peeling a new sheet from the flimsy cardboard box I’ve got just two words for you: watch out. We both know that plastic wrap loves blowing in the wind and get all stuck to its bad self.

Next thing you know you’re trying to frantically unpeel it, but unfortunately more and more just keeps getting stuck together. If you’re like me, this is when you realize that the plastic wrap has defeated you. With your blood boiling you roll the wrap into a tight white ball and toss it in the trash.

Now it’s time for round two.

Stare back at the cold potato salad on your countertop, steady your eyes on the thin cardboard box… and picture holding that cover tightly, pulling that wrap smoothly, and shredding that plastic swiftly on the tiny teeth. Then crack your neck, loosen your shoulders, and swallow hard before diving in…

Come in with purpose, come in with power, and just slice that wrap into one long and beautifully smooth sheet.


Photos from: here and here

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