#25 – Getting Amped Up

Even writing this post is getting me so fucking jacked I can’t stand it.

There’s so many ways to approach this I’m not even sure where to start.

How about this? Watch this and tell me you don’t want to fuck someone up.

Or this. Seriously. The first thing that happens in this video is a guy literally getting ripped from his truck. Let’s go.

I could go on for literally hours with videos that get me super jacked, but I’ll spare you. Songs, clips, highlights, movies. Sometimes combinations of all the above.

But that’s the beauty of it. It can literally be anything and you can go from where I am now, on my couch writing this up, to completely hyped in a matter of moments.

I know I said, literally sentences ago, that I was done with the videos… but just one more, for illustration purposes.

What follows is a clip that is, on its face, extremely boring. It’s less than 30 seconds long, features a “highlight” of the most boring team in pro basketball doing the most fundamental thing they do (having their best, most boring player shoot a regular, non-contested jump shot). There’s words on the screen flashing along as the clip progresses which even tell you how boring the highlight is.

So what gets me amped? The music. “Shook Ones” by Mobb Deep drums murderously in the background and revs my engine. This clip gets me so hyped I barely have the focus to finish this post.

That probably did very little for you and I totally get it. But I know a version of this video exists somewhere out there in the ether for everyone.

If you haven’t already, stop reading this and go watch or listen to that thing. You deserve to get hyped.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Getting all jacked for something, like an intramural basketball game, only to arrive at the gym and be told you can’t play that week because the floor is too wet. Or the ref didn’t show up. Not speaking specifically or referring to ZogSports.


#26 – The Moment You See Someone You’ve Been Waiting for at the Airport

Young couple in airportThis may very well seem like the same feeling as this one. Or at the very least, its inverse which makes it basically the same.

And to those haters, I say this: good on you for paying that close attention to this list.

(Note: If anyone actually noticed the similarity between these two feelings I’d be blown away because I can’t imagine anyone gives enough of a shit about this whole thing)

However… to the matter at hand… there is a difference between these feelings.

Number 86 is more about the surprise. You’ve been alone or without great company for a decent stretch and you get the fun reveal of someone important in your life being there for you. There’s also the convenience factor that’s been added: it’s now incrementally easier for you to get home.

The most important thing is that you didn’t expect it. The joy you’re feeling from this one is the suddenness of it.

With this feeling you’re the one bringing the joy. You’re on the other end of this surprise, you’ve been missing this person and planning how to greet them when they arrive.

Essentially, it’s like gift giving. If you get more satisfaction out of giving a great gift than receiving a great gift, you’ll totally understand this feeling.

If you’re a gift-receiver person… well, keep doing you, dog.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Arriving at airports as I always do… alone and with no one waiting for me. Single life, son.

#27 – Not Having to Wait in Line at a Place Where There’s Always a Line

standing-in-lineI participate in online dating.

In doing so, you come across all sorts of pictures and one-liners and questions. Men and women fill out profiles that ask questions about their preferences in any number of ways and the answers are pretty wide-ranging.

One thing you will not see on anyone’s profile is that their “Happy Place” is waiting in a line. Or that “you should message them if…” you love waiting in lines. Or that “something people find hard to believe about them…” is that their favorite thing to do is wait in a line.

No one likes lines. We all fucking hate them. Yet somehow, there is a decent segment of the population that is more OK with them than the rest of us.

Me personally? I’d rather go without than wait on the line. It’s one of the main reasons I enjoy working odd hours: no one is around when I need to do shit, thus, no lines.

These people that get up early to wait in a line for hours to get the newest donut/crepe/bagel/sour patch kid flavor… get the fuck out of here.

So the idea of being able to get that thing, whatever it is, that you know typically has a line without having to actually wait on one feels like you’ve won the lottery. It honestly doesn’t even matter if you’ve got anything else to do. The rest of your day is irrelevant: what matters is that you don’t have to spend it waiting in a line.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Being in a short line, thinking you’ve got it made, only to be behind someone that causes any number of the following issues that delay the process: paying with a check, causing a fuss about a coupon, asking for a manager, asking for something behind the counter, returning something, causing a fuss about a credit card issue.

#29 – Finishing a Collection

hard-rock-cafe-honoluluFor some reason, when I was a kid I started a collection of Hard Rock Cafe pins.

To this day, I’m not quite sure how or why this began.

Regardless of the answer to either of those questions, it was a foolish collection to start because it’s almost impossible to finish. There’s a seemingly endless amount of those restaurants and there was no way on God’s earth I was ever even coming close grabbing them all. Hell, if it was just a collection of Hard Rock pins from the USA, I’d likely never finish that.

This is all to say that this is the type of collection I’m talking about. Finishing a collection that takes time and money and effort and more time and more fucking time. Like anything else, the effort makes the reward sweeter.

I’m not sure that I collect anything else that could be considered part of a series, so this feeling has likely passed me by. But that doesn’t mean it has for the rest of you.

So go out there, hoarders among us, and keep collecting.

Eventually when you die, your progeny will have to throw away your “hard work” but until then… keep it up. It means something to you, if nothing else.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling? That moment when you realize you spent tons of money and time on a collection you’ll not only never finish but wouldn’t know what to do with even if you did.

#30 – Leaving a Conversation on a High Note

What a fleeting feeling this is, no? How quickly it evaporates and the difference between being in the pocket of this one and just outside it with no chance to recover is almost impossible to tell in the moment.

The true value of leaving on a high note doesn’t measure up in all groups. Generally speaking, if you’re the alpha in the group it typically isn’t a big deal for you to have that ‘on top’ moment. You know you’re gonna get the rock passed back to you again, the coach is going to draw up the shot for you regardless of how it all goes down.

But let’s say you’re at a work meeting wherein you’re one of the lowest ranking people in the room… or, despite being in your 30s and being well past caring about how cool someone is, there’s still that guy or girl you want to impress in a non sexual way… or, you know, any dating situation.

In any of those, this conversational joy can arise.

Unlike most of the feelings on this list and particularly those located higher on the list, the greatness of this idea isn’t just how rare it is but rather how quickly you can dance into the exact polar opposite of the feeling and how bad that can be.

It’s truly a matter of timing. One more joke, one more off-color comment, one more anything really and you could lose the momentum.

For someone like me, with a tendency to drone on and on and an inability to self-censor, it’s far easier for me to blow way past the line and never leave on a high note. Greed kicks in and you start believing your own press clippings, that if you could get to this one high note, of course you can do it again and again.

And to be clear, there are those silver-tongued enough among us out there that can dance with the devil in the pale of the moonlight. But, for the rest of us, the pocket is small.

You get in, you get out.

#31 – Flossing to Get a Big Piece of Food Out

flossingA handful of years ago, I had my wisdom teeth taken out.

All four, clean sweep, right at once.

I was having some irritation, knew they’d need to come out eventually and decided to do it before it got any worse.

The actual surgery and recovery from said surgery wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting. A day and a half later I was totally fine and basically pain-free. I assumed, incorrectly, that this was the end of the story.

Unfortunately, a small side effect of the removal of those teeth was that there seems to have been some shifting that took place, ever so slightly, in the back of my mouth.

The impact of said shifting?

Every single time I eat anything, if I’m chewing on the right side of my mouth which I eventually will wind up doing, I get an enormous piece of food wedged right in there.

It happens literally every meal, I cannot avoid it. At this point, I’m used to it and have floss in multiple locations (backpack, desk at work, car, home).

But sometimes I’m nowhere near any of these safety zones. Sometimes, I have to wait hours until I am comfortably within distance of floss.

That piece of pulled pork or wedge of carrot or (honestly anything, because after a while, it’s all irritating) has been grinding away at me for hours, and finally, with one easy swoop I get to feel total relief.

I honestly even like looking at the chunk on the floss before I rinse it down the drain. There’s some weird conqueror-conqueree-type-shit going on there, can’t explain it.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: The interminable wait between that bite and that floss.

#32 – Being Recognized for Something in Public

photodune-652445-cheerful-business-people-pointing-at-you-copyspace-xsI debated how high or low to put this feeling for a while. There was a significant time when I wasn’t even sure if it should be on the list.

How often do you get recognized in public for something you do? And if you do get recognized often, do you even like it? Isn’t it just commonplace or irritating at a certain point?

I don’t have the answer to any of these questions and that’s because I am never, at least not any longer, recognized for anything in public.

The reason this feeling made the list and why it made it this high (or low) is because there was a time when it happened to me and it was fucking amazing.

In college, I wrote a humor column for the daily school newspaper. I only wrote it for a year and it would come out once a week. This was back in 2007 and 2008, before the meteoric rise of smart phones and back when people would actually read newspapers to distract themselves from having to pay attention in class.

As a side note, what I just said feels positively prehistoric at this point. Keep in mind, we all had phones and we all had computers. But, very few of us had smart phones and even those that did barely used them in the way we do today–mostly because the devices couldn’t even remotely handle the workload. This was just 10 years ago.

So yeah, people read the columns and this made me something like an E-list celebrity around campus for those few months. Every so often someone would come up to me and tell me they read it. It happened at parties, at the bar, in class.

I can say all of this without fear of looking like a douche because it was 10 years ago and who the fuck cares at this point, right? It’s not like I still think I am the man. But back then? You couldn’t tell me shit.

The idea that this rinky-dink little column I was scratching out in my room once a week was being read by a bunch of people I’d never met before and enjoyed by those same people to the point that they wanted to tell me so when they’d see me…man, it was too much to wrap my mind around.

For someone that’s never been and never will be famous in any way, shape or form, it was cool to think that someone out there enjoyed what you were producing.

It’s a pretty cool feeling, even for something as obviously insignificant as a humor column in a college newspaper.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: The person coming up to you to say that you fucking suck. That also happened.


#34 – Your Favorite Sports Season Starting

rejoice-that-football-is-over-now-can-we-move-on-to-baseball-c5d8aMy two favorite sports are easily basketball and baseball. However, depending on what part of the year you ask me, my answer will easily be one or the other.

That’s because nothing beats your favorite sport starting up again.

There’s so many reasons this is an incredible feeling, many of which are obvious.

From the fan’s perspective, there’s the obvious: renewed hope this could be the year. No one will get hurt on your team, only on the other teams. The breaks will finally go your way. The young players will all reach potentials, the old players will maintain. If you play fantasy sports, that starts up again. You get to go to games again. You have something to do at night again.

It’s all good, and it’s all fairly obvious.

Two other, slightly less obvious, reasons this is a great feeling?

First off, they signal new weather. Football and basketball season signal the coming of fall and winter. Baseball quite plainly signals that those two are over and better weather lies ahead. Even though I can’t say I’m a big fan of winter, each of these sports seasons ushering in a new weather season associates positive memories for me.

The other reason has become much more apparent to me as time has gone on. Boiled down, it’s really just the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” theory. Inevitably, the length of a professional sports team wears on an adult fan. If you’re a fan of a good team that has legit aspirations of postseason play, you’re likely ready for said playoffs by around the midway-to-three-quarter mark of the season.

But after a full offseason, that exhausted feeling is a distant memory. It’s only excitement, only joy about the start of your favorite sport season FINALLY getting going.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Every sport has this point where all you want is the season to end and just get to the postseason. That point, specifically in basketball, happens in the dreary month of February so it’s doubly a downer.

#35 – The Beginning of a Road Trip

200412179-001They say that the journey is more important than the destination.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true in every situation, but in the case of the road trip I’m fairly confident in saying that the journey is, at the very least, equal in value to the destination.

A handful of years back, my roommate and I would go on mini-road trips during the summer to various baseball stadiums. One year we hit up Toronto. Another year we took in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The only rules were home games and seven hours or fewer of traveling (each way, not combined).

In both cases, the destinations were really amazing (I mean, as amazing as Cleveland can be, sure). It was really fun to get to see those ballparks, to explore those cities, to travel.

But, for me, the definite highlight was the journey. There’s so many parts to the road trip that are fun–the random stops along the way, the radio stations you pick up, the music you bump–but easily the best part is the beginning.

You’ve loaded all your shit into the car, you’ve got your snacks and your gear and your waters. If there’s a God in this world, the sun is shining and the sky is clear. You lower your windows, slightly put on the AC, turn on the navigation and crank the fuck out of your music.

Carefree, as a descriptor of the feeling you have at this moment, isn’t a carefree-enough term. It’s beyond that. It’s so devoid of concern for anything other than absolute fun and total enjoyment that you’re in a state of pure bliss.

That’s what starting a road trip feels like.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Getting in the car for the ride back to Hoboken from Pittsburgh. Giddy up.


#37 – A Friend Visiting From Out Of Town


This feels authentic.

Most of my college friends do not live in the area.

Somehow, despite having gone to college in New York state at a school that sends primarily from the Tri-State area, all but one of my friends live elsewhere.

Chicago, Vermont, South Carolina, the greater Boston area, Florida. They’re fucking everywhere but here.

As such, on the rare occasions when any of them decide to leave their homes and get onto a plane or bus and visit New York–and as a by-product, visit me–I’m fucking elated.

I suppose that is what makes it such a great feeling, no? If they lived close and visited often, it’d become commonplace.

Either way, the anticipation of the arrival and the actual arrival are my two favorite parts.

You know this person is coming for a good month or so, but in the days leading up you’re as excited as you’ve been in a while. Finally, something to distract you from the monotony of your every day life. Finally, you get to share your boring shit with your friend. Thank the lord.

Of course, the actual arrival… the first hug or pound or high-five or whatever your pleasure… that’s pure joy as well. It’s been months or more since you’ve seen this person–that release of happiness into a greeting is unlike many others.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Your friend is visiting and they didn’t tell you they’re bringing along their girlfriend or boyfriend or wife or husband. Of course, you don’t really like this person but beyond that the weekend is irrevocably changed and there’s no way you can explain that to your friend without sounding like a jerkoff.