Blowing Bubbles

100 Awesome Things

One of my favorite books is The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha, based on the blog 1000 Awesome Things. I decided to make a list of 100 things I find especially awesome. Some of these may have been mentioned in the books or blog, but that doesn’t matter—it means something to me.

The Frazzled List of Awesome

1. Bubbles – No matter how old I am, blowing bubbles always makes me feel happy.

2. Videos from my childhood on YouTube – Whether “Sesame Street” or “Jem,” I love escaping back to days where nothing else mattered besides who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

3. Finding items from my life in an antique store – Like the first Cabbage Patch doll I had, Grandma’s old mixing bowls, and my favorite childhood book.

4.  Killing the mosquito right before it bites me – So long, sucker.

5. Having train doors open right where I’m standing on the platform – It’s great being at the front of the sheep herding.

6. The moment I realize I’m going to win my game of solitaire – Now where’s my Microsoft finish of cheers and flying cards?

7. Putting the last silver arrow through Gannon in the Legend of Zelda – It was the first Nintendo game I’ve beaten, and I’ve beaten it 10 times since.

8. 72-degree days – Not too hot, not too cold. Just right.

9. Making babies laugh hysterically – The second-greatest mood lifter after bubbles.

10. Hitting every green light as I drive down a long stretch of street – Usually involves not following a senior or Florida driver.

11. Moonrises – Rare to catch, but absolutely stunning when I do. The best is when they come over the beach at Robert Moses State Park.

12. A perfectly melted grilled cheese sandwich – I usually blacken the bread or under-grill the sandwich, leaving unmelted cheese. But on rare occasions I get it just right.

13. Having all connecting trains line up perfectly – I love when I run off Metro-North to the 7 train, which is waiting at the platform, and then finding my connecting 1 train on the platform, too.

14. Finding out that something I’m buying is on sale when I get to the register – I just want to yell, “Score!”

15. Fresh flannel sheets right out of the dryer – That’s a night I can’t wait to get to bed, and then I usually sleep through the alarm clock the next morning.

16. Accidentally getting two items out of the vending machine when I only punched for one – The muffin has to hit the bag of chips juuuuust right—two snacks for the price of one!

17. Dogs “talking” in their sleep – What do they dream about when they whimper and bark in their sleep?

18. Good hair days – No humidity, no sweat, no wind. I love when my hair looks exactly liked I’d styled it in the morning.

19. Breezy nights – Sometimes I catch just the right breeze through my window, and it makes sleeping that much better.

20. Finding a dollar bill in my pocket when I switch my out-of-season clothes – Even better when it’s a $20 bill in my winter coat. It’s better than winning the lottery.

21. A dog’s unconditional love – While my dog Obi is no longer with us, no matter if I yelled at her for being bad, accidentally kicked her, or didn’t let her in my room at night, she still loved me to pieces.

22.  Shoes that fit perfectly – It’s hard finding shoes in a side 10, wide width. When I find a pair that fits perfectly, I’ll buy one in each color. 

23. A perfect cup of coffee – Not too bitter, not too sweet… just the right balance of coffee, sugar, and milk.

24.  Winning a contest I forgot I entered – Then receiving an email, call, or even just the prize itself to find out I won.

25. Receiving a package I forgot I ordered – You can see a theme here. I sometimes I forget I ordered something (especially from Amazon) and then feel like it’s Christmas morning when a random package shows up on my porch.

26. The feeling of brand new socks and sweats – The super-soft, fuzzy feeling you get before pilling from multiple washes.

27. Waltzing into the examination room minutes within arriving at the doctor’s office – Even better when the doctor comes in waltzing behind you and you didn’t have to wait long at all.

28. Nailing a Pinterest project on the first try – I’ve tried many recipes and crafts I’ve seen on Pinterest, but they’re always hit and miss. It’s an amazing feeling when you get a pin-worthy result.

29. Getting an email or Facebook request from someone I haven’t spoken to in years – I love reconnecting with people with past. Luckily, I’m not one to burn many bridges, and it’s usually a happy reunion.

30. Watching a stranger read an article I wrote – I love trying to read their reactions to my work.

31. Turning on the radio just as my favorite band starts playing – I can name that song in one note.

32. Sharing a good pun – The more groans I get from my friends, the better.

33. A hole-in-one during mini golfing – And have all of your friends bow down to, then curse you, under their breath.

34. The smell of summer rain on the hot pavement – The distinct smell (you can sometimes see it smoking from the street) is something you can only experience during the summer. It’s like dipping into a cold pool after a sauna.

35. Rainbows after a summer storm – A beautiful, rare occurrence.

36. Feeling like I’ve slept an hour in the nine minutes after I hit the snooze button – Then panicking when I think I’ve accidentally slept much longer.

37. Homemade cookies and brownies – Store-bought does not compare. Period.

38. Finding a great book in Barnes & Noble’s clearance section – Once in a while, I’ll find a real keeper with a big red sticker.

39. Rereading a favorite childhood book – It takes me  back to sneaking reads everywhere I could when I was a kid.

40. The smell of a brand-new box of Crayolas – You’d only understand if you smelled one yourself. And it has to be Crayola—no Rose Art, thank you.

41. When Santa Claus arrives during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – That’s the true start of the Christmas season, not when Halloween’s over.

42. A crackling fireplace – Mesmerizing and keeps me warm and cozy.

43. Stumbling upon a favorite re-run when flipping through TV channels – Yes! Jessie on caffeine pills! I’m so excited!

44. Snuggling – Especially under #15.

45. My childhood security blanket – I’ve had mine for 37 years now, and it’s still on my bed.

46. My grandmother’s butter cookies, pound cake, pizza, and cream puffs – Anyone else’s doesn’t compare.

47. The smell of autumn – Newly fallen leaves, pumpkins, soup, crackling fires…

48. The first snowfall of the winter – When I’m still excited about snow and the prospect of a snow day.

49. Fireworks – Artwork in the sky!

50. Spending an evening looking at old photographs – The next best thing to time traveling is looking at your life through a camera lens.

51. The first ice cream truck of the summer – When I’m still excited about the Mr. Softee song and not whining, “Again?!”

52. A perfectly toasted marshmallow – Slightly charred, crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside. Hard to accomplish without burning it to a crisp.

53. A mug of hot chocolate after coming in from the snow – Nothing else warms your body from the inside.

54. Waking up to a winter wonderland – When the snow hasn’t been disturbed by cars, shovels, and footprints, and tree branches are still wearing white coats.

55. A song that transports me – Like a photograph, I love songs that bring me back to a significant time in my life.

56. Using all seven tiles in a game of Scrabble – Bingo!

57. Running into someone I know far from home – The farthest I’ve experienced is Boston. Cue Disney’s “It’s a Small World After All.”

58. Thunderstorms – When I was growing up, Mom would tell me it was the angels bowling and taking pictures.

59. Sleeping in the shade – If you do it right, you get just the right amount of warmth with a cool breeze.

60. Perfect ocean water – That means 1) warm; 2) calm; and 3) no jellyfish. Bonus: having a sandbar.

61. Beach smells – Salt water, sunscreen, coconut FrozFruit, ocean breezes…

62. Twilight – When my day feels complete, yet still has plenty of life in it. I love the serene, peaceful feeling.

63. A perfect dentist appointment – No cavities? Woohoo!

64. Getting surprise flowers – Who doesn’t love surprises? Well-selected flowers make it even more special.

65. Finishing the Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle – It’s the hardest day of the week to complete, but I do hit it two or three times a month.

66. Have an answering machine pick up or a disconnected-number tone when I dial the wrong number – There’s nothing like avoiding awkward conversation, especially when someone picks up in a language other than English.

67. Maple trees in bloom – It’s a beautiful cycle of blooming that many other trees don’t have.

68. Turning on to the Long Island Expressway from Borden Avenue – And watching all the suckers that paid to cross over the Queens Midtown Tunnel when I got from Manhattan to Queens for free over the Queensborough Bridge.

69. The first time I’m able to breathe again after a stuffy nose – Ahhhhhhhhh.

70. The moment when I realize I’m going to win a board game – Oh nice, you rolled a seven? Which puts you on my Boardwalk. With a hotel.

71. Concert encores – Even better when they’re three or four songs long.

72. The first crocus of spring – It feels like the world has suddenly come alive again, all in one purple flower.

73. Flowers growing where they’re not supposed to – I love finding flowers growing out of cracks in the sidewalk, on street medians, or other places I wouldn’t expect.

74. Temporary blackouts – It’s almost like a forced vacation, encouraging you to collaborate with and connect to others. Call it a vacation from distraction (unless you can’t find the matches).

75. Hotel bathtubs – Especially if they’re deep and have a Jacuzzi feature. Don’t mind if I dump in this whole bottle of shower gel… bubbles!

76. Pastina with cheese faces – It’s the only way to eat the star-shaped pasta: Cut smiley faces out of Kraft American cheese and place around bowl strategically.

77. The sweater I’ve owned since 7th grade – A green, cableknit sweater I bought from Aeropostale with $30 of my babysitting money. It may be slightly stained and frayed, but it’s broken into and loved.

78. My back scratcher – The next best thing to human fingernails.

79. The Muppets – No explanation needed.

80. Suitcases with wheels – I think the US put a man on the moon before it figured out putting wheels on suitcases. My back thanks you, though.

81. Free upgrades at hotels – King sized bed and Jacuzzi tub all to myself? Why not?

82. Fruits and vegetables from the garden – They taste a million times better than anything bought in a supermarket, especially tomatoes.

83. Free samples – If it’s for free, it’s for me!

84. Jammed MetroCard machines – If it’s for free, it’s for me!

85. Nostalgic dreams – We haven’t perfected time travel yet, but it’s fun visiting old places and people in your dreams.

86. Cinnamon raisin toast – My mom and I ritually eat this on the first day of school every year, although I’ve been out of school since 2005.

87. Reaching an exercise goal – It’s been a hard go introducing certain exercises into my routine, but when I reach a goal—like 30 pushups—it feels awesome.

88. The front seat on a roller coaster – An unobstructed view of danger.

89. A perfectly cooked rare steak – Not a minute longer.

90. A photograph that sets up itself – Snap, and you’re done.

91. Thanking a solider or veteran for their service – Not enough Americans do so, but the look of appreciation on their face will make you want to do it more.

92. Finding something I thought I lost years ago – Alleluia!

93. Going through a box I packed up years ago – It’s almost like opening up a time capsule.

94. Having a phlebotomist hit the vein the first prick – No digging, no cursing, no bruising.

95. Holding onto toys from my childhood – I can’t wait for my children to experience the same joy I found in them.

96. $10 lobsters – My one goal each summer.

97. A cold pool on a hot summer day – Ahhhhhhh.

98. A nice massage – Ahhhhhhh.

99.  Tomato salad – The definitive taste of summer, thanks to my grandmother.

100. Anything chocolate – No explanation needed.