The three A's of Awesome - Part 1 -
A. ________I was trying to remind myself of the simple, universal, littlepleasures that we all love, but we just don't talk about enough -- things likewaiters and waitresses who bring you free reﬁlls without asking, being the ﬁrsttable to get called up to the dinner buffet at a wedding, wearing warmunderwear from just out of the dryer, or when cashiers open up a new check-out lane at the grocery store and you get to be ﬁrst in line -- even if you werelast at the other line, swoop right in there. (Laughter)B. ________And then I got a phone call, and the voice at the other end of theline said, "You've just won the Best Blog In the World award." I was like, thatsounds totally fake. (Laughter) (Applause) Which African country do you wantme to wire all my money to? (Laughter) But it turns out, I jumped on a plane,and I ended up walking a red carpet between Sarah Silverman and JimmyFallon and Martha Stewart. And I went onstage to accept a Webby award forBest Blog. And the surprise and just the amazement of that was onlyovershadowed by my return to Toronto, when, in my inbox, 10 literary agentswere waiting for me to talk about putting this into a book. Flash-forward to thenext year and "The Book of Awesome" has now been number one on thebestseller list for 20 straight weeks.C. ________2008, 2009 were heavy years for me for another reason, too. Iwas going through a lot of personal problems at the time. My marriage wasn'tgoing well, and we just were growing further and further apart. One day mywife came home from work and summoned the courage, through a lot oftears, to have a very honest conversation. And she said, "I don't love youanymore," and it was one of the most painful things I'd ever heard andcertainly the most heartbreaking thing I'd ever heard, until only a month later,when I heard something even more heartbreaking.D. ________ My sister and I grew up here, and we had quiet, happychildhoods. We had close family, good friends, a quiet street. We grew uptaking for granted a lot of the things that my parents couldn't take for grantedwhen they grew up -- things like power always on in our houses, things likeschools across the street and hospitals down the road and popsicles in thebackyard. We grew up, and we grew older. I went to high school. I graduated.I moved out of the house, I got a job, I found a girl, I settled down -- and Irealize it sounds like a bad sitcom or a Cat Stevens' song --(Laughter)E. ________but life was pretty good. Life was pretty good. 2006 was a greatyear. Under clear blue skies in July in the wine region of Ontario, I gotmarried, surrounded by 150 family and friends. 2007 was a great year. Igraduated from school, and I went on a road trip with two of my closestfriends. Here's a picture of me and my friend, Chris, on the coast of the PaciﬁcOcean. We actually saw seals out of our car window, and we pulled over totake a quick picture of them and then blocked them with our giant heads.(Laughter) So you can't actually see them, but it was breathtaking, believeme. (Laughter)F. ________So the Awesome story: It begins about 40 years ago, when mymom and my dad came to Canada. My mom left Nairobi, Kenya. My dad left asmall village outside of Amritsar, India. And they got here in the late 1960s.They settled in a shady suburb about an hour east of Toronto, and they settledinto a new life. They saw their ﬁrst dentist, they ate their ﬁrst hamburger, andthey had their ﬁrst kids.