#194 – Taking Your Morning Dump (In Your Own Toilet)

I realize there are a number of feelings on this list that could be squarely classified as male-centric. At first glance, this is almost certainly one of them. However, that’s under this ridiculous societal gaze we have, within which women never do anything other than pee (heaven forbid, a fart!). So, women out there, if you’re reading this and quietly thinking, “Yes, I agree with this 100% but don’t feel like showing that in public”, that’s OK. It’s between you, me and WordPress.

This feeling, that of the morning dump, is always a great one. It came to be a part of my life more as I got older. When I was younger, I could go at any time, anywhere—didn’t matter. I used to be baffled at how long my father could spend in the bathroom in the morning, how that was seemingly a spot of comfort, escape for him. Now, at 27 going on 28, I get it.

Throw in the modifier I have at the end there–that we’re talking home-toilet advantage and now you’re really cooking with gas. I don’t know about you, but whenever I sleep over someone’s house or apartment, it’s like my colon knows what’s up. The sphincter knows all, friends. And frankly, it’s a bit shy. Not gonna just open on up, share his world with everyone in every environment. He likes home field, the comfortable surroundings.

When you and the guy below are on the same page, that’s a great feeling.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Spending the night out drinking way more than you should, you attempt to go through your routine in the morning. You know that it’s not the same as it’s coming out, but you forge ahead, only to realize, midday that you’ve made a big mistake—but now you’re in a public place of some kind.

Three Guys, One Book: Best to Laugh – Review

Recently, I read the book you’re looking at to the left here. I actually came across it while I was fortunate enough to have garnered a spot at the Book Expo America with the fine gents from ThreeGuysOneBook.com.

Walking through the aisles of the convention center as things were being packed up, I came across this (really cool looking) cover. I chatted up the two reps for the book’s publisher and discovered the author had been a stand-up comic (something I figured by the mic cord at the bottom of the page) and that the story was based on her experiences.

I could go into more, but let’s save it for the review, no?

Click here, or on the image to your left.

Oh yeah—enjoy.

#204 – An Unexpected Friend Showing Up at a Party/Bar

I don’t mean that as a clever way of disguising something else. I meant that title as literally as possible.

You’re at the party, you know who is supposed to be there. You have an idea of who might show up. Then, there’s that list in your head of who it would be awesome to see. Not necessarily because that man or woman is better in any specific way than the people that are already there… It’s more because you never expected them to show up. It’s their rarity that makes the visit worth the time.

There’s the obvious fun of the initial surprise, the joy of the greeting (multiplied by how drunk you may or may not be at the time) and of course, the actual fun being with the person. The irony is that once the person has arrived and the initial hello-period has passed, you typically don’t spend more time with them than anyone else.

But, damn, was it fun that they showed up.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Expecting this girl to show up, but that one does. Then, so does the first. Fun.

#171 – Making Strangers Laugh

This can apply to a number of situations—witty banter with a cashier, that quippy comment to your fellow subway rider (both of which, I must humbly say, I’m quite good at)—but what I’m specifically referring to is stand-up comedy.

Now, you may be wondering, how can making a room full of strangers be this low on the list? Well, for one, it’s not that low. It made the fucking list and it’s a good deal under 200. Second, to me, making your friends laugh is a much better feeling. Not that that’s a hint to a latter, top 50 feeling or anything…

I used to do stand-up pretty regularly for about three years. I’ve since stopped to write books no one gives a shit about, but in any event, I’ll never forget the feeling of making a room of strangers (admittedly, some were friends) laugh. It’s the unknown, the lack of context that makes it so satisfying. I say that because—and pardon the arrogance here—the ability to simply make someone laugh isn’t the amazing part. I know, every time I go on stage, that I can do that. I even know that a lot of the material I’m using has been and will be funny. But, what creates the great feeling for me, is making this particular group of strangers laugh. I don’t know anything about them, I don’t know how old they are (will they get this reference?) or where they’re from or where they’re going.

So, while I’m not shotgun-to-the-chest stunned each and every time I make a group of people laugh, it never stops feeling great. It’s a wave of adrenaline that, honestly, is unlike many others.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Being the guy that continually gets up on stage, despite having no discernible talent and no record, whatsoever, of making anyone laugh. Good for you, pal, for keeping at it. But, jeez, that ain’t easy.

#95 – Having Someone (Actually) Enjoy Your Food

I like to consider myself a decent cook. I’m no chef—that’s my brother who actually does cook food for a living. I’m not even my friend Rob who, while not a professional, is pretty fucking good. No, what I am is a guy who likes to eat, knows how to read and turn on a stove, and can make a few dishes well, and many dishes decently.

That all said, more often than not I’m cooking for myself. I have my own particular preferences–almost everything I make has one or more of the following attributes: spicy, Italian, soup, stew. So, when I do get the chance to cook for someone outside of myself, it’s always that rare combination of excitement and nervousness. Happy that I’ll get a chance to show, nervous that it’ll come out terribly and (worse yet) the person will be forced to lie about it.

We all know the liars. Hell, we’ve all been the liars. Mmmm, this is delish*… Yeah… I’d love some more. Of course, the less experienced among us will make it easier for the cook to figure out, but the point is, there’s no denying when someone really can’t get enough.

Every year (for the past few), I have a bunch of my pals over to my apartment and make a huge pot of sauce and meatballs, all from scratch. Not every single person scarfs it down, but there’s a few (one guy in particular) who would eat the plate if they were allowed.

Especially when it’s a recipe you’ve made for years, passed down from your dad’s grandmother to your mother to you… That’s a great feeling.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: I’d quote Sugar Hill gang, but you might as well hear them do it for you. It’s being this friend.

*Why am I saying delish? I never say delish. I hate myself as much as I hate this food.

#166 – Watching Your Bonus Card Actually Work

I feel like Bonus Cards fall in to one of two camps… they either consistently save you money, or they do nothing at all. Shop Rite and A&P’s cards are good. Walgreens’ card is awful. CVS is decent, I’d put it more in the former than the latter.

Either way, I’ve got a little quirk when it comes to buying stuff at these places. I don’t like giving them my bonus card until the order has been completely finished. Especially when it’s a big load of groceries.

I like to see the high total and smugly think to myself, “I’m not paying that amount!” After having ignored the cashier’s initial question about the card, I produce it from my pocket and watch as the savings (almost literally) fly off the screen. When it’s done item by item as they’re scanned, it’s not nearly as fun. I like seeing it fly off all at once.

Think of it this way… would you rather lose weight in one workout or slowly, over two weeks? Exactly.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Thinking you’ve purchased something that will either save you money or get you points (Who is using these? Honestly) and finding out you didn’t get the right thing (ohhh, I needed four Crest products… My mistake!)

#179 – Recalling Knowledge

I searched for “recalling knowledge”. The CEO of GM talking about recalls came up. Here you go.

This one comes from my younger brother, so obviously, the appropriate hat tip and all that.

The idea behind this feeling is that we spend seemingly forever in school learning miles and miles of nonsense to simply regurgitate for the nearest test. How much of Catcher in the Rye, or the geography of central Africa, or the difference between sin and tan, or the French-Indian War do you honestly remember?

If you look at it that way (as opposed to: all that learning is like painting over the same canvas, over and over. It may not show itself eventually, but those thin layers do make a difference in the end), it’s sort of depressing, right?

This feeling rescues it all.

The example my brother gave me (I’ve had a similar experience) dealt with something from his job. A couple of the dudes he works with speak English, but barely. So, to communicate, he tried to break out some of that old school Español. He’s 23 years old, so we’re talking no less than six or seven years since he actually learned to habla. Probably even more since he last paid attention in that class.

And yet, despite how the oddmakers in Vegas had it panning out, he was able to communicate. And not just by yelling fake Spanish, louder*. So yeah, it’s a feeling of recall, of accomplishment. I guess we all have more reserves of knowledge than we expect, but it’s still nice to find it out every so often.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: I’m not sure this has one. Please, enlighten me. UPDATE: This comes from Matt Finkel via Twitter. Check it out.

*My mom would do that all the time. I had to explain, “Mom, they’re not deaf. They just don’t speak English.”