Category Archives: that’s all

So the nice lady bartender has a familiar accent. I look at her and ask, “Australian?”braveheart

“No,” she said. “New Zealand.”


So I share the story where I once asked an accented bloke if he was English, after which he spent a great deal of fury defining how offended he was of my assumption. “Ever see Braveheart?” he asked.

Back to the bartender–“Is it like that?” I asked.

Yes….just like that,” she half whispered.




I hate New Year’s resolutions!

Let me say it again, “I HATE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!”

They don’t last.


Sure, there is  ado with the notion of an “accountability partner” or some other “coffee talk” idea.

Blah, blah. Doesn’t work in my world.

It’s always been easy to create the year-end muse. Formula = list the regrets and all things that pissed you off this year. Then go backwards.

My examples have been… Shoulda spent more time with the kids, didn’t finish writing my book, blew that relationship, forgot to call mom on her birthday….

“Voila!” sez me.

  1. Spend more time with the kids
  2. Finish the book
  3. Grow the love
  4. Call Mom

Whew! Let’s call it a day and party in the New Year, yes?

Not so fast. At the risk of offending Hallmark, Bev-Mo and Yahoo E-cards, I say it’s all a scam, designed to put you in a mood to buy cards, gifts and booze, once you realize you have again failed your astute goals.

What to do? Can’t let the ball drop without some sort of life altering commitment, right?

A friend’s recent question—“What are your resolutions for 2012?”  inspired this rant and also caused me angst to find an answer.

I hung up the phone and decided to jump off the planet for a minute. Turned off the media, hushed my son and sat in silence.

Within a moment, it filled my senses to where I had to jump up and write the words. Didn’t jump though, rather stayed put and let the thoughts season. Still in that quiet place…my inside voice spoke, “It is not empty promises to yourself that effect change.

Gotta go deep. To the core. Don’t change anything; rather take what you do now and simply focus…”

So——–my 2012 direction is simple. Less than a sentence even.

… breathe….. look around…breathe again…then act…..

Happy New Year, with side dishes of hope, love and prosperity. ♥♥


Never did you fail to light a room, for you always managed to connect with whomever was near. Your humor was contagious and navigated through many a pickle—even when you were in serious trouble by me. No one has ever received so many new chances in my circle—as you told me often, “Mike, you should have fired me long ago.”

But…you were indeed a talented, charismatic and most importantly genuine member of our extended family. Wouldn’t have been the same without you.

You have left us…and also the world behind. There is a void of unfinished conversation, laughs and memories. No more, will you so openly offer anyone who seemed to need it…a kind word. After my mentor and partner passed less than three months ago, you reached out to offer freely the use of your cabin and second home in Oregon. No hoopla, simply a private gesture by a friend…

We will miss you Steve Litsey. Yes, Steve Williams and I would call you “Lipitski “and you would so calmly reply, “There is no ‘P’ in Lipitski.” …to be followed by a series of back and forth good-humored digs—as us “regular” guys often do.

Rest peacefully my friend. You will always be a part of our family tree and as you would joke, “A ghost in the night who wreaks havoc with the up-room computer.”


Who I Woke Up With This Morning…

“It seems like a good day.”

Sure, the rain pours outside, laundry needs washing and all those problems I left at the office will be waiting first thing Monday morning.

But it still seems like a good day.

Woke up to an empty bed. Again. To boot, my kids are with their mom this weekend.

Even so…seems like a good day.

Another year is almost past. That book I promised to finish…hardly a word added these past 12 months.

Wave of blue—but…seems like a good day.

Received an early morning wake up call from a friend. She asked, “Tell me again, why did you sell that successful restaurant in this enchanted coastal village? Then you packed up to live in Paradise, California? Isn’t that a poor mountain town? And you are in the real estate biz?  Michael, Michael, Michael. What were you thinking?”

Yes, she did say my name three times. Felt like a dull, serrated knife stab with each echo.

Just took a sip of  coffee. The steam rolled and fogged the glasses I now have to wear for reading. The radio blasts a song. Same tune I once gifted to my very recent past girlfriend. Have to close my eyes for a moment…

Turn my head toward sliding glass door. The back yard is cold, dark and wet.

But it still seems like a good day.

Everything is stacked against this Saturday. My arguably ADD mind races with all things wrong in my life, while the external forces slap me silly. I should be in my cave, under the covers, yes?

In 1939, Lou Gehrig said to a packed Yankee Stadium, “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

Keep in mind, he had been diagnosed with a fatal disease that forced him to retire from his passion and would kill him two years later.

I have not been diagnosed with a fatal disease—in fact I’m quite healthy. Four beautiful children  love me unconditionally. I am in awe that so many friends accept, care and check in with me—a lot—despite the flaws and idiosyncrasies I bring to the table. Oh yes, there is an absolutely wonderful group of people that I have the pleasure of working with each day.

As I tell my 12 year old Nick, “Take the time to stop…then breathe. Look out the window. What do you see? Chew slow and laugh out loud.”

I am not a famous ball player on the national stage, rather a simple guy in the foothills of northern California. I will pirate Lou’s quote though, cause I am overwhelmed with the abundant wealth and fame that I do possess. Yes, rich with love and happiness and certainly well known to all the people who are important in my world.

Today is a great day!