The List Guy

By Joshua Jay - Sunday, January 31, 2021


Here’s something about me few of my friends know: I’m a big list guy. My phone--where I keep all of my notes--is full of lists. Some are pragmatic, like the list of films I want to watch or shows that have been recommended to me. Some are organizational: like lists of tricks I know from a shuffled deck, or out of my stack. And others are just plain weird.

I think it all started when I read High Fidelity, a book about a few record-store nerds who would list their top five songs in all sorts of weird categories: Top Five Side One, Track Ones, or Top Five Songs to Play at a Funeral.

Here’s one of my weirder lists, called simply “Awesome Things.” I derive a lot of joy reading over this list and adding to it; it’s just my own collection of little, awesome moments. And reading over this list, or thinking about other moments to add to it, puts me in a great mood. In moments of stress, I’ll sometimes open up this note in my phone and read over it.

Now here’s my request of you. In the comments section, will you add an awesome thing or two or ten? I’d like to compile a MEGA-LIST that we can all enjoy.

  1. Drum solo in “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
  2. The last ten minutes of Karate Kid
  3. Feeling wind on your face from going fast
  4. First warmth of sunshine in spring 5, A hot shower on a cold day
  5. Knowing you were right along
  6. Being there for an important moment in someone's life
  7. Having your mind changed in the face of overwhelming evidence
  8. When someone tells you you did a great job, when you did
  9. When your planning ahead made all the difference
  10. Going to bed late when you know you don't have to get up for anything the next day
  11. An empty inbox
  12. Trying something you haven't done in years and realizing, “I still got it.”
  13. Making a swoosh with a basketball
  14. Wild animals who act human
  15. Wild animals who act like wild animals
  16. The scene at the end of Matrix when Neo stops bullets
  17. When you remember to notice the stars
  18. When the forecaster is wrong, against the odds, and the weather is perfect
  19. Crossing the last item off a list
  20. Goosebumps
  21. A cold pool when you're drenched in sweat
  22. Diving without fear
  23. The documentary series Planet Earth
  24. Honoring someone else’s worthy achievement
  25. Waking up after a good night’s sleep when you really needed it
  26. From 1:08 to 1:16 in Hugo

Reader comments:

Diego

Monday, 01 February 2021 01:53 AM - Reply to this comment

Derek DelGaudio In & of Itself!

Brandon

Monday, 01 February 2021 02:11 AM - Reply to this comment

27. Being there for someone when they are mourning the death of a loved one

Kerry

Monday, 01 February 2021 03:13 AM - Reply to this comment

The way a dog tilts there head as they listen to your directions. The feel of a fresh pair of socks after a full day of work. The cool feel of the underside of your bedroom pillow. Cinnamon...what a great smell.

STEVEN

Monday, 01 February 2021 04:35 AM - Reply to this comment

The last mile in a marathon

Jordi

Monday, 01 February 2021 16:09 PM - Reply to this comment

the smell of a newly opened book

Bob

Monday, 01 February 2021 16:48 PM - Reply to this comment

The amazing relief you feel when you wake up suddenly to realise that horrible nightmare where things go wrong was only a dream !

Blake

Monday, 01 February 2021 19:13 PM - Reply to this comment

The red sunset light hitting the clouds breaking up after a storm.

Joseph

Monday, 01 February 2021 21:24 PM - Reply to this comment

Standing in a forest and realizing that you are the Master.

Matthew

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 13:10 PM - Reply to this comment

My creative writing class had us compile a list of things we love -- Here is mine:

-Theatre
-Collaboration
-Magic
-Solitude
-Books

Feels appropriate to add here :)

Steven

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 14:23 PM - Reply to this comment

The smell of the air after a spring storm.
The awesome power of Mother Nature.
The click when learning something new and you realize, you got it!

Mark

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 14:25 PM - Reply to this comment

Surrounded by family with the family favorite foods, at a noisy, fun gathering with the kids running around playing.

Neal

Thursday, 04 February 2021 02:40 AM - Reply to this comment

When I read my first Marlo trick that “clicked”!
Reading the first Heirophant.
Building my first fire (as a scout, not psycho-arsonist)
My first paid gig.

Jim

Thursday, 04 February 2021 06:17 AM - Reply to this comment

Your infant falling asleep on your chest.

Ryan

Thursday, 04 February 2021 14:02 PM - Reply to this comment

Teller's reaction when he is genuinely fooled and loves it!

Spencer

Thursday, 04 February 2021 17:54 PM - Reply to this comment

The video of a gorilla in a pool dancing to maniac

Elliott

Thursday, 04 February 2021 18:53 PM - Reply to this comment

The first night a baby sleeps through.
The smell of freshly cut grass.
The smell of new carpets (might just be me)
The poster moment in Shawshank Redemption.
Arriving home after work on Friday evening knowing that the weekend is ahead of you.
Waking up with no washing up from the night before after a bit dinner cuz you stayed up later to get it done.
When your Yorkshire puddings turn out perfectly.
Opening the seal on a new pack of cards.
Your expected parcel arriving.
A can of Coca Cola straight from
The fridge.

Brian

Thursday, 04 February 2021 20:49 PM - Reply to this comment

That moment when you perform a close-up trick for a person who has never seen magic in person before, and they just stand there wide-eyed believing in real magic.

Jose Manuel

Thursday, 04 February 2021 21:41 PM - Reply to this comment

Any spring afternoon back in my youth, with nothing to do just be there feeling the wind and the enjoying the colours of the sun through trees leafs

JR

Thursday, 04 February 2021 21:50 PM - Reply to this comment

The ending in "Secondhand Lions". Hub and Garth leave a will saying "the kid gets it all, plant us in the damn garden with the stupid lion"

Martin

Thursday, 04 February 2021 22:48 PM - Reply to this comment

Running a pencil up the side of my neck and slowly around the ear.
Running that pencil slowly across the forehead
The smell of Palmers Coco Butter hand cream
The smell of freshly sawn wood
Managing to rationalise all my lists into one - if only for a short period of time
Recognising the voice of Mike (Breaking Bad) in the kids film Incredibles 2
Finding out that you are born on the same day (not year !) as somebody famous (e.g The List Guy)
Catching up with a friend that you lost touch with because of marriage/kids - and 18 years later pick up where you left off.....
Reminiscing with friends about the crazy things we did in our youth
Staying in touch with colleagues in other countries
Overpacking a 20Kg suitcase and getting to the airport and you are still "under" on their scales

Robert

Friday, 05 February 2021 00:59 AM - Reply to this comment

The smell of salty air by the ocean.

Robin

Friday, 05 February 2021 04:34 AM - Reply to this comment

"That'll do, Pig."

Dawn sunlight on fresh snow.

Every track on Clapton's "Just One Night".

Elephants.

Joe

Friday, 05 February 2021 05:15 AM - Reply to this comment

Alec Baldwin's "Always Be Closing" speech to the salesmen at the start of Glengarry Glen Ross.

Mike

Friday, 05 February 2021 11:23 AM - Reply to this comment

Some additions to your 'Awesome Things' list, Josh,
* Watching people's reactions to 'Balance'.
* The feeling after my daily, early morning 30-minute meditation routine.
* Being out walking in glorious unspoilt countryside here in England on a clear, still day.
* My wife's ecstasy when she has her first capucchino coffee of the day!
* The emotional warmth from direct eye-contact from my best friend.
* Just being alive!

Take care.
Mike Jeffries

Peter

Friday, 05 February 2021 13:00 PM - Reply to this comment

Listening to “Take Five” by The Dave Brubek Quartet.

Art

Friday, 05 February 2021 14:14 PM - Reply to this comment

The Grateful Dead going into "Lovelight" after "St. Stephen" on the Live/Dead LP.

Thanks, Art

Michael

Friday, 05 February 2021 20:37 PM - Reply to this comment

Being a great friend.
Having great friends.
Watching your children productively struggle through something new until they finally get it!
When your children teach you something.
Reading books to your kids and then talking about it later.
Going on hikes and just pausing to notice the beauty of nature using all of your senses.
Learning something new every day.
When your kids get old enough to laugh at all the "adult" humor in the Disney movies that they missed when they were little.

Neil

Friday, 05 February 2021 21:21 PM - Reply to this comment

Riding a great roller coaster.
The final scene in Casablanca.
Synchronicities.

Marco Batista

Sunday, 07 February 2021 13:04 PM - Reply to this comment

Some of my awesome things:
* The taste of a fresh beer in a summer hot day;
* The pleasure of opening a package in the mail full of books;
* The peace that comes from having the family around;
* Finishing a book with a great story and missing the main character;
* The joy in people's faces when you are able to comunicate magic with them.

Christopher

Sunday, 07 February 2021 20:21 PM - Reply to this comment

for self reflection...... the albums Soul Mining by the The
and Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk

Kenneth

Sunday, 07 February 2021 21:47 PM - Reply to this comment

related to your #5, Knowing you were right along:
When a Leap of Faith proves correct.

Marc

Monday, 08 February 2021 09:45 AM - Reply to this comment

* The smell of a freshly opened pack of coffee beans (especially in the morning)
* Surprisingly seeing a shooting star
* The sax solo in Van Morrison's "Haunts Of Ancient Peace"
* The very first sip of a cold beer
* Watching my beloved ones sleep

Lewis

Monday, 08 February 2021 22:55 PM - Reply to this comment

Receiving a call from Mark Wilson, where he complimented me on a segment of my Magic performance he saw on TV

Waking up the first day when I no longer needed to go to school.

The first time I kissed a girl and she kissed back.

Bowling a 300 and having a witness.

Teaching my girlfriend Magic and seeing her performing on stage at The Magic Castle. She was substituting for Shimada.

Robert

Tuesday, 09 February 2021 00:28 AM - Reply to this comment

When, after he kneeling, you hear the crunching sound of General Zod's hand in his. As Zod gasps for breath, the timeless classic piece of music starts to play. Superman stands tall with a cocked smile on his face and Zod's simultaneously clenched and limp body is held in Superman's fist.

Brandon

Wednesday, 28 April 2021 01:54 AM - Reply to this comment

Clean sheets in your favorite hotel.

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