Adapted from "The Book of (Even More) Awesome" by Neil Pasricha by arrangement with G.P. Putnam's Sons/Amy Einhorn Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Copyright © 2011 by Neil Pasricha. Illustrations by Monsieur Cabinet (www.monsieurcabinet.com).
Hi Huffington Post readers,
My name is Neil Pasricha and I'm a no-name 31-year-old guy who started a tiny blog called 1000 Awesome Things back in June, 2008 with the goal of writing about one awesome thing every weekday.
I did this as my world was falling apart. In addition to all the bad news about melting ice caps, swirling hurricanes, and raging wars, like many of us I also had personal issues. My best friend very sadly took his own life and my marriage crumbled like crackers. We sold our house, I moved to a tiny apartment, and I tried to get things back on track by talking about one simple, universal little joy every single day -- like snow days, bakery air, or watching "The Price Is Right" when you're at home sick.
When I started 1000 Awesome Things, I got excited when my mom forwarded it to my dad and the traffic doubled. Then I got excited when friends sent it to friends and strangers started sending me suggestions like stepping on dry crunchy leaves on the sidewalk, finally peeing after holding it forever, and landing on a round number when you're pumping gas.
Over time, the site started attracting millions of visitors, winning awards, and landed a book deal. Last Spring The Book of Awesome came out and stuck on bestseller lists for a year straight. Support from The Huffington Post community helped my blog and book grow and I'm massively flattered, thankful, and appreciative for your amazing support.
The Book of (Even More) Awesome comes out today and I wanted to share some excerpts from the book. Hope you enjoy them.
Thanks for reading and have a great day,
Power-napping on bumpy airplanes, crashing on a flabby futon or jabby mattress, sleeping in a rainy forest in a leaky tent, you've had your fair share. Bad sleeps, sad sleeps, sack-pillow heaps, weird alarm clock beeps, and through it all you enjoy long, fidgety nights of groggy pillow turns and fuzzy blanket burns. But after those killer sleeps in nightmare paradise, it's always a great feeling to return to the warm and cozy comfort of your sweet, heavenly bed. Yes, you're like a bear scraping together filthy leaves and warm mud for a long winter of hibernation or a soaring eagle swooping home from the windy treetops to the twiggy goodness of your comfy nest. Your dented pillow, warm flannel sheets, and preset alarm clock wait for you. So welcome home, baby. You made it. AWESOME!
You can do it. Motor around filling your basket with food before spying the checkouts and picking your poison. Avoid people with baggies of random herbs that require code look-ups, skip the double cashier with training mode warning signs, and forget the notion that you can bag as quickly as the guy doing it full time. Picking the fastest moving line at the grocery store is such a great high. When you get it right you're like the undercover cop of the store -- spying customers, eyeballing cashiers, and then swooping in smartly to get the job done in style. AWESOME!
The Kids Table is where all the kids eat dinner at holiday family gatherings. It's generally a rickety card table from the basement pushed beside a yellow plastic one from the playroom that ends up turning Grandma's hallway into an eat-in kitchen. Sometimes it's two different heights, sometimes the chairs are broken and, usually, the whole thing is covered in a plastic Christmas tablecloth freshly ripped from the dollar store cellophane. No matter what, though, The Kids Table a great place to find burps, laughs, and juice spills at a holiday meal. Everyone's enjoying a warm evening with cousins decked out in their finest cableknit sweaters, rosy red cheeks, and massive bedhead. AWESOME!
Sniff up some fumes and get ready for a brain cell party. Yes, those sleeping memories from long ago will wake up and bounce and crash around your head as you close your eyes and let that salty-sweetness take you back to Kindergarten. Fade to black and remember slightly greasy hands with bits in the fingernails, remember mixing all the colors together until they turned purple-brown, remember rolling out lots of cold, lopsided worms, and remember the taste-test incident that resulted in a mouth full of salty chalk. Yes, that smell of Play Doh takes us way back to the old school. If you're sniffing up what we're putting down, then you're an old fool, who's so cool. If you wanna get back, let us show you the way. Whoomp, there it is. Lemme hear you say. AWESOME!
Sometimes you enter a little steam dream in the shower and end up slowing down and thinking to yourself: This is good. This is really good. This should not stop. Yes, in this magic mist of steamy smiles your brain quickly flips into Nothing Else Matters Mode, where all other thoughts just wash away in favor of showering a little longer and living for the day. Hitting that moment in the shower where you decide to make it a really long shower is a great feeling. As the hot water beats down into your swirly, steamy headtrip, you get to relax and enjoy a few extra minutes of AWESOME!
Contraband candy tastes better. Here's how to make the magic happen: Step 1: Bag Up. Ladies, pull out the fattest potato sack you got and sling it across your shoulder with pride. Business folks can pull off the classy briefcase. The only things to avoid are Matrix-style trench coats with burrito dents in all the inside pockets. Step 2: Food Up. Stuff that puppy with gummy worms and Cinnabons, baby. If you're feeling risky, throw a couple cold and slippery cans of soda in there or a bag of microwave popcorn. Know your limits, though. Steamy meatball subs and hot curry dishes are typically for experts only. Step 3: Walk Up. Hold your head high, strut a mean strut, and you'll be just fine. If you get caught you can always pretend you're diabetic. "Honestly, this is prescription Everlasting Gobstoppers." So get in there and get munching. Get in there and get crunching. Get in there and get AWESOME!
It's a great feeling when you pull a weed and get all the roots with it. First, you eye it slowly and grab as closely to the base as possible. Next, you gently yank and wiggle it a little bit to lower its defenses and loosen it up. Then, it's time for the big moment where you quickly pull it straight up and outta the dirt. Seeing a long trail of dirty roots hanging below that weed you just pulled out of the garden? Say it with me now. AWESOME!