Monday, March 10, 2014


Hi everyone.  I have not wrote anything in a while.  I have not been feeling Johnny Positive lately so there's that.

In this life, we take one trip around the Merry Go Round.  That's it.  So I have always felt it best to be kind to people, help when you can, love and be loved.  That is my philosophy.

It's a shame that many others don't share that common view with me.

I'm not going to get into specifics here, but I can tell you that in life its a sad fact when sometimes the people who are supposed to be closest are the furthest.  No matter how many times you extend your hand, open your arms, speak kind words, they are kicked back in your face and followed by spit once in a while.  I will also tell you that in this life, I feel alone at times.  However, I think we all do.  We all feel defeated every once in a while.  We feel abandoned from time to time.  Sometimes the frustrations in life get the best of you and those who are closest (and don't go anywhere) catch the shit of what you're dealing with.

We take on too much because at times we feel like we have to.  There's no choice and sometimes no going back.  We accept a job we may not be qualified for.  We bear children when we're not grown up ourselves.  We allow people into our lives that we are in no shape to be around.  Yes, we're a society that bites off more than they can chew at all times.

However there's one thing we do and it separates the can dos from the won'ts.


When I had my kids I was scared to death.  In fact, in the beginning, I was working so much I was never home to see Jersey grow the first few months she was born.  Vicki felt like she was a single mother.  I will never make that mistake again.  This is why I don't go out with the boys.  This is why I spend weekends with my family.  I want to be the greatest dad ever.  Yes I can be spacey because I have too much work shit on the brain.  Yes I lose my patience with life from time to time.  However, I love my family more than anything.  I want to be the best husband, father, and its what I aspire to.

So I need to adapt to the situations going on.

We all do.  It's in the best interest of our growth and development.  I don't give a shit what you all may think.  You are not done growing up.  If you think you are, you have issues my friend.

We all do the best we can and when we fail.  We need to get back up and try again.  Its like that

Mike C

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


The last couple of weeks have been a complete whirlwind of crap going on.  Changes at job, big plans for life, possible financial constraints, yada yada yada.  Game face is on 24/7 ready to strike.  No time for good behavior, no days off.  We are here for one reason.  To dominate the obstacles that stand in our way.

The sad thing is some of those obstacles come from out of nowhere.  At sometimes it can be the least expected source of anxiety.  It can be a family member, a friend, someone you are trying to do business with, vendors who may be participating in one of the biggest days of your life.  All this angst is enough to get you down.  I know for a fact I have been teetering between anger and despair.

However, those are feelings, thoughts and moments that last for well a moment.

To keep a guy like me down, you need a gun, a knife, duck tape maybe.  If you don't have them, don't bother showing up to the party because I am determined and driven to do good things for the people who matter most.

Sure, you may try to crap on my special parade.  You might be jealous of what I have accomplished and wish you could do it as well.  You probably could but you don't have the balls to do anything but sit around and bitch.  You wish you could find sollutions like I do.  You wish you could get back up and run like I do.  And most of all, you wish you could smile like I do.

The funny thing about the haters, if they could just take a step back and see what they are angry about, they will find it pales in comparison to the positive they could find it they would look for it.

The keys to life are love, support, belief, and faith.  If you can find these four things, you let stuff like this roll off.  No matter how hard the storm blows.  No matter how much venom they shoot at you.  No matter what they try, you have it all.  You are the best.  You can do whatever you want.  Push through the wall of problems and end up in the room of happiness.

Life is a fight 24/7.  Put your gloves on and box your way out of the issue.  You will be the champion.  Sometimes it may take one round, but others it can take a hundred.  Even if people close to you are trying to jump on your cloud and make it your own, remember they can stay they for a while, but its your cloud and you make the rules.  If they don't want to rules, pray they have a parachute on their way down.

You want in my house?  Fine.  You can drink the coffee, but you don't have to leave if you don't like how it tastes.  The people who stay in the house are the ones you can love, support, believe in and faith they will be there for you, always.

You piss me off but you won't ruin my shine.  Be productive.  Work on your shine rather than ruining mine pallie.

Mike C

Monday, February 24, 2014


There are times in life when things just happen and you do your best to go with it.

Sometimes they are good things and sometimes bad.

Life is a series of situations or as they say in the counseling world "neutral prompts."  Your reaction dictates the outcome of unexpected event or situation.  It's always good to keep an open mind everyday you live.  You never know what is going to happen.  Sometimes you may be sitting in a car and some jabroni hits you, other days you are sitting in your office and a bomb drops on you.  Not a nuclear bomb, but something really fricking cool happens.

It's these moments in life where you want to enjoy these moments.

I always try to maintain my life with these three simple principles.

First, always be kind to everyone.  No matter what.  Even if they piss you off.  Yes, Capone said you can get further in life with a kind word and a gun than just a kind word alone, but we don't all have guns because we don't need them, yet.  Killing people with kindness is always more advisable than killing people with guns.  You can always go back from giving kindness with more kindness, and there is no jail time involved.

Secondly, if you do get a gift or present from someone, always appreciate it.  Like Christmas bonuses for instances. I can't stand when people say "oh my Christmas bonus sucked."  You work at a job where you are guaranteed payment for the job you perform.  You get a bonus because it's a bonus. Many people out there get no Christmas bonus.  Therefore be grateful that you did, and love life.

And third, when you get surprised, act accordingly.

Life is about enjoying those little precious moments, and when someone gives you something, be thankful.  They thought of you for some reason.  Pay it forward, and always be respectful, kind, and humbled.  It goes a long way.

Mike C

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Here in Chicago, four words best sum up the winter.  This weather really sucks.

We have had polar vortexs, huge snowfalls, only to be followed up by a storm going on now with lots of wind and rain to boot.  I keep hearing the wonderful sound of our sump pump and the wind banging on windows.

The weather can make you depressed.  I really wrestle with it every winter.  I need to be surronded by sunshine constantly.  This is a huge reason why I want to move to Florida.  Hawaii, if not so expensive, would be a viable option as well.

However some times you play the hand you are dealt and you try to make the best of it.  And sometimes you need to be grateful of a few things and it puts it in perspective for you.

The winter night can be quite a sight, and many out there cannot see it because they are blind.

I don't have to be in the cold 24/7 because I am fortunate enough to provide that for my family, but many are not as lucky as me.

I drive my car to work, some people have to walk.  Worse yet, there are some people who cannot walk.

Many people spend this time of year alone.  I have a family that I can share good times with.

I am reminding myself that I am blessed.  Although I wish I can be somewhere else right now, I can't become depressed or spiteful because of the climate.  Weather is a problem we all deal with in some capacity.  I thank God that I can breath the cold air that's suffocating but I can go inside and walk it off.  There are others not as lucky.

Climate won't change me, and I pray to God he help those who need help.

Mike C

Monday, February 17, 2014


How nice can you be to someone?  Can you put yourself out there to really help?  Have you ever?

Tonight I was on a long trek home after a couple of appointments and I stopped at one of my favorite places, Pita Inn.  I went to get a sandwich and there was this woman who ordered food for her family and they kept telling her something was wrong with her credit card.  She plead with the cashier to run her card again and he did, but it was the same result, declined.  She ran outside frantically to call her husband and came back in to say that her husband said there was enough money.  The cashier disagreed.  She seemed very upset.

I went into my pocket, whipped out my credit card and paid for her meal.  The cashier and the woman didn't know how to react.  When asked why, my response:

You can't go into the Pita Inn and leave without food.  

The woman was very grateful and she thanked me and left.

One of the things I have learned in life is when you put positive energy into the universe, it comes back.

I got Jersey to sleep tonight and then had to go outside to shovel my driveway buried under at least a foot of snow.  I got halfway through it with my shovel when my neighbor across the street walked over and asked if I could use help.  He had a snowplow.  I said sure and he came over and finished off the driveway.  We introduced ourselves, shook hands, had a beer and called it a night.

A nice end to a trying day of white knuckle driving.  I did not get home until late, but I did get to hang out with the kids a little bit, and saw my beautiful soon to be wife as well.

It's days like this that are special.  When you put that positive energy into play and it comes back.  You pay it forward, and someone follows you.  From what I hear it was a crappy movie, but the concept was simple and wonderful.

Find ways to take care of people when you can.  Whether you fill up their gas, help them with food, hold a door open; every move you make can and will affect others around you.  It's always important to think about what you would like someone to do.

There is so much negativity in our world.  However, we can all make a difference together if we learn how to watch out for each other, and make life better for one person per day.  

I started this today.  It's up to you to never break the chain.  Keep the movement alive.  Do something wonderful for someone.  Random acts of kindness can be the best thing in someone's day.  Life is about making people smile.  

So make someone smile today.

Mike C

Sunday, February 16, 2014


"All the noise and everything out there, you can get whiplash if you allow yourself to."-Erik Spoelstra

As you may have heard, Vicki and I are getting married in roughly 6 months or so.  The journey so far has been fun, challenging, and without a doubt, one of the biggest tests in our lives.  Not due to our love for each other, but all the stress that comes with planning an event.  The financial end, the advice, the not knowing what is the best course of action, etc, etc.  This is our ride.

What is your ride?  What is your dream?

Did you ever engage yourself in something that takes over everything else in your life?  Have you ever looked for support and what you got back was limited?  Did you ever try to get on that bicycle and start pedaling down the trail, only to have your team mates tell you you took the wrong path?  How about when you ride down that path, one of your team mates decides to stop and then take their bike and go home?  Then there's that time where you need to stop riding because you know the trail is going to get treacherous and you have to mentally prepare yourself for what's ahead of you, but one of your team mates insist that you go forward, and if you don't, you're not part of the team, and you never really did anything to contribute in the past.  You also think about the times you assembled your team and some people didn't even want to be in it.

That my friends is noise.  The noise allows you to focus on it.  To hear it can break you.  You get distracted and focus on it.  Most of the time, it is so overwhelming it is impossible to ignore.  The fever pitch of it can make you feel hopeless, hurt, angry, upset, insecure, and worst case scenario, defeated.  Noise can be a bad thing, however it can be a motivating factor to attribute to achieving victory.

I heard something new in the last month.  When someone says I can't, I say watch me.  Since I have heard that, I have decided that is one of my rallying cries.  I have spent my life proving people wrong.  I have achieved when many said I wouldn't.  I have dreamed and lived it.  I am very fortunate and blessed to have the life that I have and that God has given me the sense of direction and purpose that I have.  As I have said many times before, we are all blessed.  We were given another day.  Every time we wake up in the morning we are blessed to listen to the birds sing, smell the air, and enjoy our families company once again.

So why we would let a little thing like noise get in the way of that?

In life, some people aren't going to be supportive, no matter what their role in our lives are.  They can be as thin as that dude you grew up with, or thick as your immediate family, not everyone is going to do the right thing all the time, and sadly stated, will never do the right thing ever.  The only thing you can focus on is will you do the right thing?  Will you show people you love that you care?  Will you be there on the side of your team mates and partners?  Will you ride down that path with them if they pick it despite how you feel about it?

Once you do that, you know that you rock.  And you is what matters here.

So find that volume knob and turn the down noise.

And turn up the greatness that is you.

Mike C

Sunday, February 9, 2014


"An accident doesn't exist when it comes to automobiles.  There are only collisions.  Accidents are not preventable.  When collisions happen they're a result of poor decision making."-Some guy in a traffic school class that works for the National Safety Council.

Whether this is true or not, isn't the point of this post.

I was on my way home, family in car.  We just enjoyed a nice dinner at Mandiles in Algonquin and stopped by Meijer to pick up a few things from the store.  On our way home, a young kid didn't allow me enough time to make my turn and turned right into me.  Everyone in the car was OK.  Not much damage to my car, but the steering seems off, so I'll have to get that checked out.

When I got home, I really thought about the collision.  I thought about the speed in which it happens.  Vicki and the kids didn't see it coming.  I saw him start to turn before I completed my turn and I accelerated a little bit, but he may not have been paying attention so he bopped me.  He got the rear drivers side tire.  If I hadn't accelerated, he would have hit my door or worse yet Avery's.  The kid had to be at about 5 MPH or so.  He was leaving a stop sign.

Now think about it if the guy was cruising down the road at 35-40 MPH and hit me.  What would have happened then?

You see the point here is that it can all change for you in the blink of an eye.  Here one second, gone the next.  You may be walking across the same street you walked across for ten years, and you get hit one day.  It's good to be vigilant and watch out for oncoming cars, hazards, things like that, but I can think of one thing you need to be.


Always be grateful every day that God has allowed you another day to live and make the most of what you have.  That your number has not been called yet.  In a split second, you can be gone, and everyone you leave behind feels pain.  It was one split second when my mother passed out in a huge office building and help didn't reach her quick enough and just like that.  She was taken from me.  She fought for ten days to live, but she just couldn't do it.

This is why I exercise and make a conscious effort to eat right every day.  For my family.  I accept the life God has given me.  I will make the most of it and I will encourage others to think carefully about decisions.  I encourage you all to show a great deal of love to those closest to you.  It was once said to me "end every meeting with the people you care about on a positive note."  It's true.  I love my three girls and I make sure every night they know that.

A collision takes a second.  A life can be taken in a second.  However it only takes a second to express how much you love.  Take more than a second and make sure they all know.

Mike C

Friday, February 7, 2014


So have you found love in your life?  I did.  Almost 21 years ago.

First off, full disclosure.  I used this title because Slide In It is a kick ass album.

OK, it was a hot summer night in 1997. She showed up to my doorstep with a buddy.  I wanted her to come back the next day and have pancakes with me.  She thought I was weird.  She thought I was trying to blow her off.  We eventually got together and went out and hung out.  It was awesome.

She taught me so many things about life.  However, 7 seven years after we got together, she taught me the most important thing.

There was a good guy inside of me that could be loved.

Through our ups and downs, the craziness in our lives, and challenges that were thrown at us.  There was one thing that always was in the back of my mind.  I have always been crazy about her.  And 21 years later, you bet your ass I still am.

So why did we wait 21 years to get married?  Easy, marriage was never important to us.  She always said "I don't God and the law to back up how much I love you."  However, we are due for one hell of a party.  And the kids are going to love it.

We want this to be a special day not for a new beginning for us.  It's a celebration of a candle that has burnt bright for decades.  We complete each other.  She is my absolute best friend.  My partner in crime.  The mother of my children.  The closest thing I have ever had to a sister, and thank God she isn't my sister.  That would be wrong.  I feel I have grown leaps and bounds since my teenage years and early twenties, and I owe much of this to her.  Sometimes I don't think she understands the gravity she has had in my life.

So this wedding coming up isn't me finally throwing in the towel and making her an honest woman.  She is the most honest woman I know.  This isn't her trapping me.  She had me trapped the day she met me.

Hope you're ready to celebrate love.  Hug your family, friends, and significant others.  Love is everywhere.  You just need to find it.  I hope you do.  In the meantime, celebrate us.  Two wonderful kids came out of it.

Mike C


I believe you need to work hard to make things work.

Just because you work hard doesn't always mean it has to be hard.

It is 2:26 am and I am still awake.  I just nailed down an expense report for my job, filled out some other paperwork, gone over the contract for my wedding, made rice krispy treats for Jersey to take to school, got some clothes together and manly ironing them (using the wrinkle free cycle in the dryer) and getting ready to crash.

Sure I'm tired but damn do I feel accomplished.

That sense of accomplishment is like a high to me.  We are starting a new contract at work and I am chomping at the bit to get it off.  This along wth other occupational challenges are pushing me to points I never thought I would go.  It helps me discover strength I never had.

Every person on this Earth has that something inside of them that gives them the push.  That motivational to get shit done.  Luckily that's the case for most of us.  In other parts of the country/world, its a will to survive life.  To breathe, to thrive.  Many of us don't need to worry about it and take the gift of life for granted.  I know I say over and over again, every day is a fricking gift.

I just wanted to say to you that working hard is fun, as long as its for the right reasons.  I also need to remind you the importance of finding time to relax and do things for yourself.  Sometimes you need to tell the job enough.  Set some boundaries.  It is very difficult, but it needs to be done.  You need time to play hard as well.

The most important thing to work hard at is enjoying life.  Spending time with loved ones.  Laughing and enjoying as much as you can.  Always remember that is the one job you have that never goes away, and pays you tenfold more than some corporation can give you.

Mike C

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Last week was the first week of February, and the week of sickness in the Caserno household.  It was tough.  I haven't gotten a chance to get to talk to you about engagement, life, things to come, and parts of our exciting journey.  This is because Vicki got sick first, then me, then Jersey.  Somehow Avery managed to escape the hurlarama.  Good for her.  She's the youngest Caserno, so she shouldn't have to.

Yes we were sick.  Hell, at this time, most of America is sick.  However for most of us, there is something really beautiful about being sick.

We have a chance to become better.

Many people in this world stay sick forever.  They stay sick until they die.  My family and I have the grace of God to rebound from sickness.  You feel like you're going to die, but when it's over, you feel thrilled you have the chance to live again.

The way I chose to decide to live, I went and kicked my ass at Insanity, got myself to the office, and get back in the groove.  I am enjoying time with my family, and counting the days until we have a ceremony to celebrate our love.  I will touch on that one more tomorrow, however for now...

Remember that each moment in life is a gift.  Wellness is a gift that should not be taken for granted.  You need to take care of yourself for not only you, but the ones you love, and love you back.  Time is precious and time needs to be spent enjoying life rather than worrying about it.

That is what went through my mind as I drove to our possible venue on Sunday sick out of my mind.  That and the oh shit I might throw up feeling.  However, I ate a peppermint.  At first disturbing, but I started to feel a little less queasy.  Then we headed home, I went right to bed and zoned in and out.  However, the best moment of the night is when little Avery jumped on top of me, waking me up, and Vicki saying "Avery I said you could snuggle on him, not jump on him."  I hugged her back and fell back to sleep, and woke right up.

It's moments like that I love and I cherish.  It's why I work out.  It's why I watch my eating.  It's why I try to be well.

It's the reason I strive to get and feel better.

Mike C

PS: My new friend that I didn't know existed when I went to High School teaches classes at Lifetime (she's kick your ass which is always good) started writing.  Her blog contains shit you should write down.  Check it out.  Her first piece is amazing.  I will list her link here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Sometimes I have a bad day.  I bite people's heads off.  I curse. I yell.  I feel frustrated.  However I always remember one thing, it could be worse.

Some people when they wake up, they cannot do the things you and I can do.

They can't eat and drink right.  They can't get out of bed without assistance.  They can't move around without the help of a wheelchair or crutches.  Some people cannot see the beautiful sunrise.  Some people cannot hear the sound of birds chirping.  And worse off, some people don't wake up because they could be in a coma.

It's easy to take for granted all the things you have in your life because the stress and problems may cloud that.  We live in a right now mentality, where we need to take care of our business.  If we don't pay the bills, we could be homeless.  If we don't get our work done, we may be unemployed.  If we don't get food, we'll go hungry.  I think you get the picture.

This is one of my biggest weaknesses.  I forget there is a bigger picture and there is much to be happy for.  I let my problems and insecurities consume me.  However, I believe this is something that you and I can work on together.  We need to understand that when God gives us a day to wake up, breathe, and smell the roses, that this is a gift and we must take advantage of it.

Yes, we all have pressures and issues.  However we must remember the true reason we are here.  To enjoy time with the family, to make peace with our lives, and to enjoy every minute we can.  Sure we might have to bust ass to get there, but remember that its always here waiting for us, every second we take a breath on this Earth.  You and I need to take a moment to remember that.

After all, it's a beautiful morning.

Mike C

Monday, January 27, 2014


Before I get started today, I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your kind words regarding Vicki and the engagement.  Thank you so much.  It's nice to see so many of you care.

Now onto POLAR VORTEX *insert Kerry King solo here*.

The cold has crippled us this month.  We have had four snow days in school.  Four days where business is shut down, and life kind of stopped.  I had a class canceled today, and it looks like Jersey's keyboarding class may never happen again.

I saw many posts from people regarding the cold.  I wanted to share some of them with you...

Gee, a another day off of school tomorrow, as the winter of wussy continues
The worst thing about these "cold" days isn't going to be the time we make up at the end of the year, it will be the first 5 day week that we have!
Oh c' ain't that cold!
Shame on you Warren Newport PUBLIC Library! You're a taxing body, and a public building, you have zero right closing due to the cold! There are people out there counting on public buildings being open during this cold! 
How many snow days did we have growing up ?

I found these to be humorous and it brings up a great point.  Especially the last one.

Many of the people in my generation didn't enjoy very many snow days.  In fact check out the coldest days of Chicago history here.  The 1/6 day was close, but doesn't measure up to these temps.  I don't recall closing school for them.

I get it's a safety issue, but as you can see above, people are frustrated.  Many people, like me, will not let the cold get in the way of being productive.  The cold is an excuse to be lazy.  Public building should not be shut down.  Services needed to go to work.  The mail came today, but the garbage wasn't picked up.  Also, no notification came from the garbage company letting us know they were going to take advantage of this cold weather and not work.

Although Jersey enjoys the days off, she missed a new class that she really is interested in.  The schools have working heat.  The buses don't have to run and parents should be given the choice whether or not they would like to take their kids to school.  I am a firm believer that life shouldn't shut down because its cold as hell outside.

We all want to be productive and we should.  Are we going to let Mother Nature keep us locked in our house?  Or do we go outside flick her off and go to work?  I canceled appointments today to stay home with my kids.  However, I will be doing them tomorrow.  No POLAR VORTEX *insert Dave Mustaine riff here* is keeping me in check.

Mike C

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Today Vicki took my hand in marriage.  I love that girl.

This is our song...

I don't think I could live without your love
Whatever I give you, I can't give you enough
Memories of you, girl, day after day
make our love go stronger when you're so far away

Like a midnight rider on an endless road
I'm a sole survivor carrying a heavy load
I don't want to live without you
I don't want to feel the pain
I don't want to live without you
Nothin's gonna change it
Never wanna live without you
Don't think I could stand the pain
I don't want to live without you
I don't want to change it

Now I know you've been waitin' for so long
I've been lost for words so I'll give you this song
Livin' on a memory and a picture of you
makes my heart skip a beat
It's the best I can do

Just a midnight rider on an endless road
I'm a sole survivor carrying a heavy load
I don't want to live without you
I don't want to feel the pain
I don't want to live without you
Nothin's gonna change it
Never wanna live without you
Don't think I could stand the pain
I don't want to live without you
I don't want to change it

It's just me and you and not a damn thing anyone else can do
Baby, baby, our love is true
Oh, don't you change me

Like a midnight rider on an endless road
I'm a sole survivor carrying a heavy load
Baby, I don't want to live without you.
I don't want to feel the pain
I don't want to live without you
Nothin's gonna change it

I don't want to live without you 
I don't want to feel the pain
I don't want to live without you
Nothin's gonna change it
Never wanna live without you
Don't think I could stand the pain
I don't want to live without you
Nothin's gonna change it

I don't think I could live without your love
Whatever I give you, I can't give you enough
Livin' on memories and pictures of you
makes my heart skip a beat
It's the best I can do.

I love you Vicki. 

More fun stuff tomorrow kids

Mike C

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Justin Bieber is a troubled youngster.  Catapulted to fame way too early for not having talent.  Some jabroni thought it would be a good idea to give him a shot based off of his moronic You Tube videos.  That of course is my opinion because there are many beliebers out there that will tell you otherwise.

However, the fascination of his trials and tribulations is what befuddles me.

Yes I am guilty of posting a joke about him getting a DUI and going to jail and what not.  Many of us did.  It's what America does.  Pass judgment on kids who act like little shits and laugh when they fall. Ha ha ha.  Then we move on.

However, a friend of mine posted this on facebook today and I will let the video speak for itself:

So we interrupted an interview pertaining to national security and privacy to talk about this fricking clown who got a DUI?

There's only two possibilities here.

The first, MSNBC doesn't have a clue how to do things.  Perhaps, the tryst of young Justin is compelling TV and some people really care about this nit wit.

Or, MSNBC was ordered to pull the plug on the story.

The media is regulated and MSNBC is owned by NBC which is owned by General Electric.  What is the connection with General Electric and this story?  This is here in case you didn't know.

Either way you look at it, its quite a disturbing trend.  Our media is regulated by the government, but there are limits, supposedly.

Look I didn't want to write a conspiracy piece.  I really wanted to get to the meat of the matter here.  If you are someone who is into the government using mind control tricks and stuff like that, let me give you a minute to get it out of your system.

*pausing and getting a drink of water*

OK.  Here's the point.  We as a society need to understand celebs are normal people like us.  It is the American public that puts them on pedestals, silver plates, clouds, whatever.  We are the ones who fall in love with these people.  Morning radio always has a segment reserved just for them.  Some people want to defend them to the death, and others want to see them fail.

After bashing people for years, I ask you this question I asked myself...

Why bother?  It's not like they hear us.  It's not like they care, so why should we?
Yes anyone who watched SRTV and/or the mJp knows that I went on and on bashing people.  I don't know why, I guess I was an angry guy.  So perhaps I am the pot calling kettle black here.  Hell I did it to start this thing off.

The media loves to shove this crap in our face because they know 90% of the population will eat it up and talk about it.  What we need to do is show restraint and stop caring?  Recognize the talents and pieces that these artists present.  Who cares about them personally?

We know there are people making cash for reality TV and becoming household names because of that.  There are people like the Kardashians who seriously, I have no idea what they contribute to society but they're out there.  Its kind of like mushrooms.  We know that many athletes and musicians can be pricks and bitches at times.

So why should any of this affect the way we live?  How do we ignore it?

That is the only way to get the media to stop throwing it in our face. Ignore it.  Ignore them.  Hell, its getting to the point where half of what's reported is crap.  We need to stay informed through other sources. Not Fox News or MSNBC.

And instead of worrying about Bieber's DUI, lets worry about how are we going to get through the day being strong and kicking ass.

Instead of worrying about Lindsay Lohan going to rehab, let's worry about how we are going to spend the day and make the most of it.

Instead of feeling jealous and insecure because these schmucks have it all on the surface, let's take inventory of the things we do have that matter.

Because in the end, that's who matters. Us and the ones we love.

Mike C

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Its 1 am, I should have gone to sleep hours ago, but nope.  Still awake.  However, I will be passing out here shortly.  The thought of me passing out made me think of an idea to share with you.  A thought.  A question.
Do you have dreams?

You can answer either when you are sleeping or awake.  Literally or figuratively.

The literal sense of the dream is what I will be experiencing as soon as I get done here.  I mean, you go to sleep, your mind paints a video for you, and you wake up wondering what just happened.  Perhaps you may get lucky and see Dominick Cobb in your dream trying to teach you how to steal information.

But those are not the dreams we are talking about here.  Those are not the dreams that will keep you alive.  Those are dreams that simply tell you that you're breathing.

No the dreams I am talking about are hopes, aspirations, goals.

What do you want to do?  What is your mission?  What is your passion?  WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?

We just celebrated Martin Luther King Jr day.  He had a dream.  It was literal but it also deals with what I am talking about here.

So do this, write down your dream.  Your hope.  What you would like to do with your life?  What do you want to accomplish?  And once you get one down, then write more.  Hopefully you have a long list.

Dreams are what make this world go around.  Without dreams and goals, we don't have ambition to make them reality.  Without direction, we stand still.  Without hope, we live in doubt.  Without light, we stay in darkness.  Without destiny, we accept where we are.

And maybe for some of you, that's what you want, and that's OK.

However, I will tell you this.  I have dreams for me and my family.  I have visions of greatness for my two daughters.  I want to make my girls smile.  I want to make people laugh, cry, and think...and most importantly dream.  Dream of what life would be like if they would allow themselves a chance to get uncomfortable to make positive changes.

My final thought: if you stop dreaming, you stop living.  Take that one to heart, because that is where all hopes and dreams begin.

Mike C

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Let's start today with a nice little jam

OK.  Now we use the words "try it out."  That's cool.

When you're trying to do something, not too cool.

Trying and doing are two different things.  You can't do them both.  If you're trying something new that's awesome.  Good for you.  You're sick.  Go kick that ass boy or girl.

If you're still trying to do it, there lies the problem.

This is so true with self wellness.  For instance, people say they are trying to work out more. Yes things get in the way of that.  Projects at work, family obligations, the distractions are everywhere.  When you make plans, life happens, no doubt.

So when it comes to this, you either do it or don't.

You accept that wellness is not your focus and continue to let the world get in your way.  Or you say, I will make time for this, and you get it done.

As you can see, there is no trying.

In life, you can participate or you can exist.  You can sit back and let what happens happen, and then decide to bitch about it which usually will make you more agitated.  That's the easy thing to do.  Accept your role and move on.

There is the flip side.  You go out there and kick some ass.  The try mentality may be OK in the beginning, but you need to decide if you're ready to move on and do this shit.  Your boss gives you an assignment, are you going to kick it in the ass, or are you going to half ass it?  When you fight with your spouse, are you going to accept defeat or are you going to try to build on it and strengthen the relationship.

The thing that gets in the way the most besides distraction is that four letter word we talked about, fear.

Fear of failing.
Fear of unknown.
Fear of result.

Remember this when your fear kicks in.

It's OK to fail. Everyone does.  When you get kicked down, are you getting back up?
If you don't know what it is, you can't feel anything towards it.  It doesn't exist until you know what it is.
There is always going to be a result.  You take the result, and deal with it when it happens.  Putting it off only makes it worse.

To defeat your fears, you must eliminate trying, and find a way to start doing.

I think you can run with this piece a little bit more.  Remember do, don't try.

Mike C

Monday, January 20, 2014


So hey there, did you happen to catch Seattle Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman "cut a promo" after the NFC Championship game last night?  If not, well, here you go....

Now the reaction to this is amazing.  Here are some comments from my facebook page last night.

-Richard Sherman is a classless piece of s**t!! Time to pull for the Broncos to win this SB!


-Richard Sherman was cutting a wrestling promo with Erin Andrews. Actually Richard was being a dick. Makes sense Richard = Dick.

-He said it in a way that was very ignorant over live tv were kids and fans are watching. Its one of those things u just keep to urself (sic)

And then there was the wonderful racism that followed.

My question is this.  Is it wrong for someone to go all nuts on someone who disrespects him for no reason at an event.

My point to that is this.  There is no better feeling that getting one up on the person who wronged you, doubted you, tried to hold you down.  Believe me when I tell you I have risen above many people who doubted me.  This includes people in my own family.  When someone accomplishes that mission, it is quite hard to hold the emotion in.

Here lies the case of Richard Sherman.

I am not the biggest Seahawks fan, but I do respect Sherman because he brings humanity into this game.  Many people don't like what he did.  Why are football players being held by standards of what they say during post game interviews, when really the standard they should be held to is their off field persona.  Everyone changes once its game time.

If you're involved in a game and you have been going at it with a certain member of the team, aren't you going to explode when you get one over on them?  When that boy/girl doesn't want to date you because you look a certain way, doesn't it feel good when you work your ass off to make 10 other people want a piece of you and that person is there to see it?  Isn't it the best feeling in the world when you had people you love telling you you couldn't do it, and do it and they see you succeed?

That is what happened with him.  He wasn't being arrogant.  He wasn't being a hood rat.  He rode a wave of emotion.

That happens to the best of us.  Its in our DNA to feel good about accomplishing goals and bettering ourselves despite what others think.  I myself, have had a need to prove people wrong since high school.  Teachers told me I wouldn't amount to anything, kids would pick on me because of my speech impediment.  Do you think I let any of that stop me?  As I went on in life, I let if fuel me.

Then our good buddy SFR was born out of that spite.  A hundred times worse than Richard Sherman could ever be.

That moment of adrenaline is human.  When it becomes part of character, it's annoying.

I don't think that is a part of his character.  I think he just gets caught up like we all do.

When you have your victory, celebrate it.  Then let it go.  You have a life to live.  It's not always about proving people wrong.  It's about enjoying what you do and moving on.

It has taken me 37 years to learn that.  Hopefully if you read this, it takes you 5 minutes.

Mike C

Saturday, January 18, 2014


What is the one thing you wish you could change about yourself that is the most difficult?  Mine without a doubt would be my quick temper, and insecurity about myself.
My anger is an Achilles heel towards my growth,  It's a part of me.  It was instilled in me when I was little due to many factors.  I grew up around anger in my household, I was angry at the world, I was angry for getting picked on, I was angry for my mother's passing.  In short, I was one angry guy.  I'm just "hating"as the kids would say.  LOL

These days I ask myself, what the hell should I be angry about in the long scheme of things?

When  I try to answer, I really can't think of anything.

Sure I have days when business and work bother me.  Who doesn't?  There are struggles in the house, but love conquers them all.  I have lingering issues going on and noise coming in.  Sometimes you just need to get the remote and turn the volume.  I have lived a life where I feel like I need to constantly be on.   Do I have stress and deadlines?  Of course.  Do I feel overwhelmed?  Absolutely.  However, my goal is to  not let this creep into my every minute of the day.  I try to ground myself to stay in the moment, rather than look forward to the future.  I do not have a crystal ball or Miss Cleo's psychic powers, therefore why stress?
I have learned how to let go.  Control what's in my control, and try not to manipulate what's not.  Try not to let the Indy 500 race in my head begin.  I am working hard on this daily.

We all fear the future.  In the days of good old MJP I always said don't fear the future, fear right now.  I said that because when things are happening right now, they make sense.  Well at the time I didn't but looking back, it makes sense.  I said it as a catchy slogan for my TV show.  It was cool wasn't it?

When you work to eliminate hate from your life, you bring other great feelings in.  We all have a multitude of feelings we deal with on a daily basis.  Things that happen to us are neutral.  We assign them meaning through our emotions.  If it rains, it just rains.  We decide whether we want to be pissed about it or not.  We decide if we are going to become blue due to the drops hitting the window.  When someone speaks to you, their words are just words.  Unless that person assigns the meaning, then one must respond and not react.
This is one of those practice what you preach moments for me, but I am working on it.  I ask we all work on it together.  If we master the skill, we can't lose.  No need to hate, when there is so much to love.  God gives you life every day.  Make it count and mean something through your actions and response, not through your reactions and feelings.

So did you ask yourself the big question?

What is your rough spot?  How you going to work on it?

Let me know if you need support.  I can give you that.  I want the best for you.

Always remember what Sofia said to David in Vanilla Sky...

Yeah you and me.  I think we'll be just fine.

Mike C


Advertisements infiltrate the human soul.  Everywhere you look, you are being targeted.  Many corporations out there want you to buy products.  Some you may need, others you may want, but in the end the question has to be asked like in Fight Club "is this essential to our survival in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word?"

Ads play off of emotion, and we are walking balls of emotion.  Whether we want to admit it or not.  Some people are like me who wear it on their sleeve, others keep their feelings locked in deep, but they feel.  Everyone does.  It cannot be denied.  They want you to buy the product, no matter the cost, quality, or whatever.  An ad wants to make you feel like you need a product to become a better person, but in the end, you're just a sale.

Before I continue, can you imagine what the world would be like if you had ads like this that would tell the truth...

Yes I laugh my ass off every time I see that too.

Point is, the majority of us lack confidence, lack discipline, lack a certain comfort about ourselves.  People need IPhones to feel special.  If you are not wearing Victoria's Secret, then you are not as sexy as a woman because being sexy for a woman should be a secret right?  Men over 40, you need to be having sex so take a pill.  Many 40 year old men just want to come home and watch TV and hit the bar with the boys.  Kids, TOYS TOYS TOYS.  Now that one is not fair because when kids see something cool ad or not, they want it!  Believe me they do.  The walls in my house tell me so due to all the toys crawling up it.

I personally think that each of us is special.  We all have different talents and features we bring to the table that makes us who we are, and we need to learn how to be proud of those things without the help of buying that car that might get us a hand job from a stranger.  We need to learn how to be interesting without wearing that fragrance that the dude that women were gushing over during the Superbowl was wearing.  It's hard in this day an age because the deck is stacked against us common folk, but it comes from sheer will and heart to rise above the madness and ascend into greatness.

You need to know that you are great.  You have lots of love to give, you have lots of experiences to share, and you were made special.  What you should do when you wake up every day is write down three things that you like love about yourself and three goals you would like to accomplish.  Perhaps you can say them aloud on your way to where your day takes you.  Repeat them throughout the day.  Your confidence will spread and others will begin to see you the way you see yourself.  It's very hard believe me I know.  I have the worst self esteem and it stems from having a childhood where people made fun of me, and having decades of people in my family tell me that things were unattainable.

I remember back in school, I read a book called "Positioning" and I still have it. I believe in the power of advertising.  I would work in it and thrive in it, but I don't like the idea of pushing products on people when they simply don't need them.  It's up to us to turn off the sales pitch.  It's up to us to stop being a credit card number and be a person. Do we have time for this crap?  Hell no.  The distractions of life are fun, but not necessary.

So person to person, let me tell you something. You can do it.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself why you like being you.  You don't have to be like Mike, you have to learn to be you and ask yourself how am I going to make the most of it.  There is something special in all of us waiting to bust out.  Instead of being controlled by the ads, become the ad.  Show yourself off to the world.  Show why people need to buy into you.  Show people why you're truly the best.  Turn off the TV, turn on your peers.  Do it!  It will be fun.

I have faith you will succeed.  I know you will.

Mike C


I wrote this last year, and it rings true now.  I have edited it a little.

I had an opportunity tonight to find out if people were talking badly about me.  A bonafide opportunity, and I took a pass.

This is how I know I am growing more comfortable in my skin and becoming less insecure.  This is how I know I'm growing and I guess what some may call in the biz, a breakthrough.  I guarantee you a year or so ago, I would swallow that red pill and see how much shit was down there.

But not today.

It's hard for us to function when we think people, especially friends, family, co-workers, etc are "talking shit" about us.  Sometimes one may find themselves ruminating wondering what they say, and what they did to deserve it.  I think there are five guidelines we must keep in mind when dealing with this situation.

1-If someone can't step to you and tell you what they think about you, that is not your problem.  That is theirs.  Obviously they have no spine, class, or care less about you so they choose to handle their issues with you without involving you.  Sure things may sting when you hear about them being said, but know thyself.  Know what you are, and let others think what they will.  This also brings me to number two.

2-Always remember to consider the source.  Not only the source of who is talking nasty, but the one who is telling you.  First off, why is this person telling you?  Are they trying to be a friend, start drama, bored?  Ask yourself that question.  Then remember rule number one.  If they can't say it to your face, they don't deserve a place.  The place I referring to is your brain.  Put it out of your mind.

3-People talk shit all the time.  Always remember unless its inflammatory or serious, everyone nitpicks about people.  We all annoy each other every once in a while.  Don't take it personal.

4-If someone does talk about you behind your back, think about what was the nicest thing that person has done for you.  If it strikes a chord, then you might want to deal with it.

5-The only person you can make happy is you.  As I always say right about this time, everyone else, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

No one likes drama.  When you speak about people, the best way to do so is always say anything you are not afraid of coming back to you.  If you stand behind your beliefs, no one can push you around.  I read a crazy Venezuelan guy said that once who managed a World Series winning baseball team.  He knows some things about life.

Life is too short to worry about what others think of you.  Do well, live well, speak well; be kind to others and only kick people in the ass when they really need it.  That's my rule.  Whatever works for you is yours.

Mike C

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Just a friendly piece of advice.

No matter what you do in this world.  Whether you are working on something as simple as a puzzle or something as complicated as a marriage.  Don't give up.

I usually play Where's My Water 2 with Jersey before we go to bed at night.  Sometimes I will get frustrated at a board.  Jersey reminds me "daddy, Casernos don't give up."

You shouldn't either.

Especially when it comes to the game of life.

Everyday our temperature of the day swings both ways.  Sometimes good and sometimes bad.  We tend to focus on the temperature and not the climate.  Have you ever asked yourself "is all this bad shit that happened to me today going to ruin my life?"  Yeah me either.  I am quite black and white and impulsive.  However, I suggest let's get on it together.

Our moods can change because someone cut us off on the way to work.  A co worker decided to give us a hard time.  I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of something bad.  These are triggers.  They are neutral.  The thing that's nice about a trigger is you make the decision whether to pull it or not.

Are you going to cock the hammer?  Is it time for action?

Perhaps you may.  That is easier and requires much less effort than to consciously think about how you can handle the situation differently or walk away.  Pulling the trigger is giving up.  Walking away is not.

I am throwing down a challenge to myself and to anyone who reads this.  Let's see if we can walk away.  Let's see if we can hold it down.  If we can, its Miller time baby.

Get some six packs ready because I'm going to try this and I will win.

Because I am not a quitter.

Are you?

Mike C

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Yesterday we talked a little bit about fear and the fork in the road.

Today we're staying on that topic a bit but here it is.

I am about to do the craziest thing I have ever done in my life.  I can't tell you what it is because I am still thinking about how I am going to pull it off.  What I do know is, it will certainly change many lives.  People close to me will be affected by this.  I don't know what the outcome will be, but I hope its the best for everyone involved.

Remember yesterday when I talked about fork in the roads and how fear can influence fear.  I am not afraid.  I am ready to take this all the way and not worried about the consequences of my decision.

So keep that in mind, in the meantime, what is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Give me some stories.  Give me some inspiration.  Give me something!!!!!

If you can't tell me, it means you truly haven't lived yet.  You have to do something unconventional, unorthodox in your life at least once.

As Cesar Flickerman would say "let me hear it!!!!!"

Mike C

Monday, January 13, 2014


Fear is the fork in the road.  Fear leads to two things.  Yes or no.  Conquer or surrender.  Stay or go.

That's fear.

Fear stops us from doing things.  Whether we fear the consequences or fear we may fail, it's a roadblock.  It has been for many of us at one time or another in life.

I can think of five times when I was scared in my life:

  • First time I cracked open a mic on the radio
  • When I spoke to the Elgin Community College Board of Trustees
  • When I went bungee jumping
  • When I did my first interview on SRTV
  • And the most important, when I made the decision to have children
The first thing that entered my mind was doubt.  Can I make a show that people will like and enjoy?  Will I get thrown out of the building?  Is this band going to rip my ass and throw me out of the dressing room?  Will I be able to be a good provider and more importantly, be a positive influence in molding my child's life?

Doubt is a product of fear.  The more you fear, the anxiety comes crashing.  Then it's go time.

On all five of these instances, I went forward and did it.  I will tell you this my friends, there is nothing like the feeling of conquering fear.  Being afraid is normal.  Being afraid is good.  Being afraid reminds you that you're human.  Being afraid makes you alive.

In order for one to truly be alive, one must be able to go for it.  No matter how big or how small.  There is that something inside of you that pushes you to do something crazy.  It may not be crazy to anyone except you why?  You have left your comfort zone.  You have made a decision to embrace a change.  You have taken a huge gamble in your life.  Did it payoff?

Always better to ask yourself how it felt rather than what would it have felt like?

Ever since the dawn of the new millennium, I have taken chances.  When I started college, it was time to not be afraid anymore.  I stopped hiding behind people and started making better decisions.  The loss of my mother devastated me and I fell hard for months.  However I started doing TV and radio.  I started writing like crazy.  I learned how to love again.  I learned to use fear as a tool, rather than an obstacle.

When it comes to challenges, I don't back down anymore.  I want to kick ass.

Fear is the fork in the road.  When I come to a fork, I don't think about the end.  I do what it going to bring electricity into my life.

Mike C

Friday, January 10, 2014


So Friday night and I'm on Facebook.  Yeah I rock.

I came across a post that someone had and it went a little something like this:

And I looked up on Snopes to see if it was true and as usual like most of these posts, it was phony baloney.

The amount of things that get reposted on Facebook is intriguing to me.  You always read fantastic stories like this one, the one about the girl being pushed into the sewer, the Heineken sponsored dog fight, did Phil Robertson make this quote, and on, and on, and on.

The hilarious thing about all of this is that people will post this bullshit without checking into it.  Much like news organizations nowadays.  We live in a culture where we are reactionary.  I will admit to be the king of reactionary about lots of things.  I wear my hear on my sleeve.  I talk to much.  I speak from the heart about stuff I shouldn't talk about.  I bother people.  I annoy them.  LOL.

However, if I was working in a news setting (which I have in the past) I don't go forward without sources.  I make sure my facts are backed up and that no one will be able to pin me in a corner for my story.  Hell, I even research before making a claim on facebook screwing around with friends.

This is not the point of the story.  The point is how much bullshit gets thrown in our face to distract us from the real problems in life.  I really think E News does a great job of distraction.  Sports reporting has become a facade of crap over the years.  And then of course our mainstream media reports on things on a need to know basis.  Rather than report on real stories, they choose to give us crap about red states versus blue states.

I digress from my actual point.  I think we know the world is one giant hot mess.  We can question our climate cycles.  We know our government is 4 cans short of a six pack.  There are many people who shame us as Americans that are actors, but think they're political activists.  There is only one thing you can do about this.

Focus on you.

Focus on keeping your family fed, clothed, smart, and educated.  Focus on keeping yourself happy and healthy.  Focus on taking care of your own business.

Facebook can be fun, but always question what you are finding there.

And always question what you are finding in life as well.

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing-Euripides

Mike C

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


So I had an Alexander day.

I read this book as a child and the title has stuck with me ever since.  Its the story of a boy who has well, a bad day.  Kind of like the one I had today.  Almost got into an accident, found out some stuff about work, had a hard time arranging things.  I will break that down in just a moment.  The story of young Alex talks about moving to Australia throughout the book, much like I talk about moving to Florida.  The end of the story, Alexander's mother tells him that people have bad days in Australia as well.

How does this relate to me?  It doesn't.  I had a bad day like the kid in the book, that's all.

However, I did tell you about my bad day, and I felt hopeless today.  Defeated.  In fact, when I went shopping for groceries, I lost my cart in the store.  Don't ask me how, but I did.  It happened because I carried my emotional baggage with me throughout the day.  I never claimed to be an expert on this blog or someone you can go to for the answers.  I just write what I feel.  So if you came here looking to be inspired by someone perfect, you won't get that here, or anywhere else for that matter.

I decided I would break down my day and talk about each incident separately.

Almost got into an accident.  Driving down Gary Rd which was icy as hell, I slid on the ice.  I either was hitting the car or the snow bank.  I hit a hard right and went right up a snowbank and got my car stuck and almost flipped over.  The silver lining is that no damage on car, I did not get hurt. Sure I paid $80 for the towing,  However, I will be getting reimbursed.  So I came out OK.

As far as having a hard time arranging things, I will get another shot at it tomorrow.  What happened yesterday doesn't matter today so it shouldn't affect tomorrow.  I am good at arranging things, therefore I will rise up and conquer tomorrow.

Found out about something that pissed me off at work.  Yeah, kind of trivial thing, but it annoyed me and put me in a funk.  I can't change it, it happened.  I was not part of the reason it happened, I had no control over the situation, therefore, why should I be mad about it.  Just go back and look at the positives about the job versus the things that happen due to the actions of others.

The point is, I just listed everything that pissed me off today and looking back, its not all that bad.  It stung at the moment, but no need for me to dwell.  This is something I am working on.

If you are upset, list the things you are upset about.  Once you break it all down, ask yourself three questions.

  • Is this going to kill me
  • Is this going to kill those I love
  • Is this going to kill everyone around me 
If you answer no to all three, you most likely will be OK.  I know I will be.  I will not be moving anywhere.  I am right where I want to be right now.

Mike C

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


OK holidays over.  Polar vortex about done.  Jersey goes back to school tomorrow.  So now what?

Yesterday I got back on my health horse.  I watched my food and got my first workout done today with Natalie B over at Lifetime.  Insanity.  Its the greatest workout ever.  She does the class on Thursday nights at the Huntley Rec Center @ 630pm.  You have to check it out and she is a great instructor.  Keeps you motivated and keeps things light and fun.  That's all you can ask for and she will exceed your expectations.  Trust me on this one.

So how are we going to do it people?  We have been in neutral for two weeks of fun holidays.  Our kids have had two extra days of vacation and now after a long break, we need to get back in the saddle of the cycle.  Perhaps the issue is seeing life as a cycle, rather than an experience.

Life can be quite boring yes.  You wake up, take a shower, go to work, come home, eat, go to sleep.  Rinse and repeat.  Now that's not very fun is it?

So what can you do?  You have to mix it up man.  Working out is one the best things you can do.  Why?  Forget about the obvious health benefits.  Yes you can lose weight.  You can gain strength.  You can do lots of things.  However, working out to me is all about one thing.

The challenge.

I have never been an athletic person.  Couldn't play sports worth a shit, but I could steal bases well.  When we were supposed to run the mile in high school, I would do something else.  However when I participate in these classes, its about getting through the class.  It's about finding a way to push yourself through the walls you never thought you could.  Its about making differences in your life.  The best part of a workout is when its over.  I don't say that because of the reason you may think.  You know, oh boy thank God that's over.  I am to tired to go on.  No because the feeling of accomplishment.

When I did my first Insanity class, I thought I was going to die.  Just walking in the door I was scared shitless.  I thought they would have to wheel me out.  And at points, you feel like you have nothing more to give.  At that point, you reach for that something something, and you find it.  Its the best feeling ever.  Honestly, I still feel like I'm going to die.  I finally got myself a heart rate monitor and my hr maxed at 176.  That is crazy stuff, but I'm ready to do it again, because why?

Because to do is to win.

Because if you think you can, you will.

When I started working out, I was at 225 LBS.  My pants didn't fit anymore.  I felt bad.  I am now at 198.  I got myself down to 194, but the holiday itch crept up on me.  Now its time to get to my goal and to stay focused, on track and do it.

That is how I get back on track.

For you it might be something different.  It doesn't have to be fitness.  It can be anything.  Learning a new skill, reading a book, cooking that meal.  Just remember the most important thing isn't how it looks when you're done.

The important thing is the path you took to get to the end and that you finished and you have now grown.

Mike C

Saturday, January 4, 2014


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  How many times have you heard that in your life?

Does anyone ever know what the size of the lemons are?  Perhaps your problems don't equate to fricking fruit.  I know people who have serious issues.  Issues with health, children, cancer, and other "lemons" that you really don't know how to make juice with.  These people don't have a pitcher, blender, ice, sugar, or whatever to make that glass of lemonade with the sour fruits life have given them.

Yet, some of them stay positive.  Some try to live.  Some try to deal.

I believe the saying is wrong and generic.  I believe in order for one to live a greater life they must aspire to greater things.  I think people need to get off their ass.  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  Shit, what if you don't even life lemonade?  What do you do with those lemons then?

The answer is quite simply, smile.

Everyday you are alive, you have a chance to attempt to make change.  Everyday God wakes you, you're given a second win.  A chance to do something great.  A chance to be awesome.

We all have ups and downs in life.  It's a roller coaster and if you don't like roller coasters, I am sorry to say this but you are screwed.  So what do you do, buckle up and prepare for the next hill, next drop, next loop, next corkscrew, next whatever, and hold on tight.  Hold your loved ones tight, hold your spirit tight.  Know that if you had such a shitty day one day, that the next is a chance to change your luck.

If people that I know that have terminal issues can find it in them to stay positive, then perhaps you can as well.  Just need to figure out what makes you happy and keep yourself grounded.

And try to enjoy a glass of lemonade when you do.

Your buddy,
Mike C

PS...speaking about lemonade, here is a video my kids love that will cheer you up.  Save it for a bad day...


So a friend of mine on Facebook asked me to list ten albums that stuck with me for a while and I did.  They were as follows:

1. Grant Lee Buffalo-Mighty Joe Moon
2. Fear Factory-Demanufacture
3. Nine Inch Nails-Pretty Hate Machine 
4. Ice Cube-Death Certificate 
5. Fleetwood Mac-Mirage 
6. Type O Negative- World Coming Down 
7. Smashing Pumpkins-Siamese Dream 
8. Deadmau5 - Random Album Title 
9. Pink Floyd-Wish You Were Here 
10. Armin Van Buuren - Mirage 

And after I did this, I thought to myself, there are a hell of a lot more.  So basically, why did these stick with me?  I can explain...

Grant Lee
The second track of the CD is a wonderful track called Mockingbirds which I fell in love with the first time I heard it.  It also got me into an XRT phase for a while because I worked at an Olds dealership when I was 19 or 20, and I heard this song and was hypnotized by it.  Just loved the music, the sounds, the lyrics.  It compelled me to ask for the album on Christmas and I loved the album.  Still to this day I listen to it quite a bit.

Fear Factory
Demanufacture is one of my top 5 albums hands down bar none, and it should be one of the top 20 greatest metal albums of all time.  Burton C Bell is the first singer I can ever think of who took that death metal growl and mixed it up with the melodic voice he possesses.  One of the best set of pipes ever.  Soul of a New Machine was the one that got me, but I absolutely LOVE this album.  The lyrics that reek of anti establishment and rebellion.  Every track on this album kicks your ass.  Obviously the title track, Self Bias Resistor which just knocks you back to the floor, Replica is the anthem, and it closes out with the somber Therapy for Pain.  I LOVE THIS ALBUM.  

Nine Inch Nails
No one does it like Trent and his debut album I listened to like 100 times when I first got it.  One of my friends freshman year told me about Pretty Hate Machine and I was a fan of Ministry at the time, said to me "you can't listen to Ministry without listening to Nine Inch Nails."  So I did. and I killed the CD because I listened to it so much in 1992 (yes I was a couple years late to the party as I am with everything else in life) and I must of killed the speakers of the stereo my parents got me for Christmas. 

Ice Cube
1991 Tony Montana.  At the time, I was hanging out with people who really enjoyed gangsta rap and this was Ice Cube's follow up to Amerikkkas Most Wanted.  Way before Ice Cube was asking "are we there yet?", he was "steady mobbin."  I loved this album and it was like my thing for the last few months I spent at Elk Grove HS.

Fleetwood Mac
I was working at a place called Absolute Exteriors at the time during the summer of 1996. and I owned a 1979 Cadillac Coupe De Ville which I lived out of for 2 weeks before living with my grandmother.  There was no stereo in the car, so I bought a boom box from K Mart.  I listened to so much Fleetwood Mac that summer and for some reason I was listening to Mirage constantly.  Although Rumors without question is my favorite Mac album, Gypsy, Wish you Were Here, Only Over You, and Hold Me, always hit my heartstrings.  I was once again a missing link in my life at that point and Mac brought me back along with my angel.

Type O Negative
Peter Steele, rest in peace.  Once again not my favorite by this band but my life was very complicated and this album helped to sink it in.  For one, I lost my Mom and just after this album came out with the song "Everyone I Love is Dead."  And I remember at one point I was sitting in my apartment just listening to the title track over and over and over again.  I think my surroundings were not helping as well.  An honorable mention album I did not mention during this period was "Portishead" self titled album as well.  However, you have to give the nod to Type O because "White Slavery" the first track turned out to be the opening theme for SRTV just to give you an idea of how sucked in I was.  And the next year, they were the first band I interviewed on that very show.

Smashing Pumpkins
I would like to say a disclaimer that the Pumpkins are not one of my favorite bands, however this album was a transitioning part of my life.  It was when I went to a new school, had a new way of life, new friends, and of course, that special woman I met that still puts up with my shit to this day.  The Lemonheads, 10,000 Maniacs and The Cranberries were also very prolific at that time, but Today was the greatest day I ever known.

The guy with the mouse head who came up with haunting beats.  When I first got Sirius radio in my car, I also was switching jobs.  The station I listened to more than anything was Area 33 because I had a love for electronic music.  I was totally into trance, techno, house, mixes, etc, etc.  When I first heard Deadmau5, I was on my way to the office late at night because people called in.  I heard this little ditty "I Remember" and I fell in love.  Other tracks like "Brazil" "Alone with You" "Faxing Berlin" and "Not Exactly" were played on a regular basis.  This was my first official modern EDM album.  Then there's this video with Tommy from Snatch.

Pink Floyd
When I was a teenager, I first heard Shine On Your Crazy Diamond.  Not only did I think it was the longest song I have ever heard, it was one of the best. My junior year of HS, I went to sleep to this album every night.  By the way, you bastards better come back to Chicago sometime soon. I had the tickets, but couldn't go.

Armin Van Buuren
Not too many people know him but he is one of the best trance producers today.  His album Mirage (two albums called Mirage, hinky) has some of the greatest tracks I have ever heard.  The opening for Mirage is unbelievable and is very motivating to me.  The first time I really heard it was when I took on my new position and business started blowing up for me.  The song goes right into a track called This Light Between Us. It is such a flawless transition and other tracks on the album like "Drowning" "Feels So Good" "Not Giving Up on Love"  Check out the video

Some other albums that I can name that are honorable mentions are Metallica, And Justice For All, Pantera Cowboys From Hell, Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet, Dido No Angel, Lords of Acid Lust, Bethoveen 9th Symphony, Garth Brooks Ropin The Wind, 2 Live Crew As Nasty as they Want to Be, Sacred Warrior Masters Command, Anthrax Persistence of Time, there are more but these were the important.

So what are your ten best? I would love to know.

Mike C