Drug Dealin’ Pimp Mobiles

"Are you serious?" I simply couldn't believe my ears. Partly shocked. Partly surprised. It's not every day someone offers to give away an almost brand new car. A short while earlier, I started talking to this gentleman. Mike. Never met him before. We did the usual light chit chat. I made a comment about my podcast Long Beach Impact. He asked what it was about. I told him. People sharing stories. Having impact in the community. "What kind of stories do you share?" he asked. I told him about Helen Dolas. How she founded Able ARTS Work to help developmentally challenged individuals express themselves through art. People with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc. I told him about one of the students. Maria. Born with cerebral palsy. Quadriplegic. Can’t speak. Can’t communicate. The only thing she can move is her head. Just a little bit. When she turned 24, [...]

By |2018-01-31T04:58:44+00:00January 31st, 2018|Inspiration, Who I Am|0 Comments

All Good Things

Sometimes, the sadness is too hard to hold. I watched this show called “Six Feet Under”. It was the last episode, the series finale, during the last 5 minutes that made me ball like a baby. For those who haven’t watched the show, “Six Feet Under” was a show that focused on a family who owned a mortuary. Each episode opened with some stranger dying, sometimes in some gruesome manner, and then how that dovetails into the family story. During the very last 5 minutes, Claire is backing her Prius onto the street. She’s heading to New York to pursue her photography career. She’s pulling away from the curb, her family standing on the porch, waving good bye. This song, sung by Sia called “Breathe Me” begins to play. For the next five minutes, we see this montage showing how each of the characters dies and when. And I [...]

By |2017-07-11T10:03:16+00:00July 11th, 2017|Who I Am|0 Comments

80 Year Old Children

“Where are you?” I'm fighting not to scream. “I’ve been worried sick!” When people ask how old my parents are, I always say “In their 70’s.” This year I got a bit of sticker shock. I realized they are in their 80’s. And have been for a few years. 70’s don’t feel old to me. 80’s does. So when my parents pile into their car and begin their 4 day trek to drive to California, I get a bit wigged out. After a few days of silence, I begin to imagine them flipped upside down on the freeway on some long, forgotten mountain pass. Medi-vac copters swarming about. Snow has nearly buried their car. I ask Siri for the phone number for the National Guard. Finally, my phone chirps. "Oh we're eating dinner at Denny's in Phoenix. They have a wonderful senior menu." OK National Guard. You can stand [...]

By |2017-05-10T04:42:19+00:00May 10th, 2017|Who I Am|0 Comments

Coq Au Vin. A la Cliff.

I use to be really big into cooking.  Not sure why I gave it up. This recipe is based on Julia Child's recipe for Coq Au Vin.  Of course it's not the real Coq Au Vin.  That takes standing by a stove all day and a really, really tough old rooster. Ingredients: 1 Bottle Red Wine (Merlot, Pinot Noir preferably. Bonus points for a Burgundy.) 1 Bay Leaf 1 Can Tomato Paste 3/4 lb Shiitake Mushrooms 4 tablespoons butter 6 Small White Onions 8 Baby Carrots 6 Slices of delicious, glorious, heavenly Bacon 2 tbsp Flower 4 Garlic Cloves 2 Teaspoons Herb de Provence 2.5 lbs Chicken 1/4 cup Cognac or Armagnac Salt and Pepper Cook in crockpot (slow cooker) on LOW all day long. I know it's ready when this layer of grease appears on top.  I skim that off, leaving just the sauce and other goodness behind. Serve [...]

By |2017-04-23T09:09:45+00:00April 23rd, 2017|Who I Am|0 Comments

My First Time Was Horrible

From my email from last week (see below), Joan writes: I love it, love it when the bad guys get caught. Bad guys have multiplied. This statement is so true. That one article I referenced last week, nearly 100 brokerages are under investigation for violating federal law. Average 50 agents per brokerage, that’s 5,000 agents that may be complicit. Joan further writes: There is a certain frustration that comes from being unable to do anything about the creeps so keep up the good work. I’m rooting for you! That means the world to me. It really does. I’ve seen a lot of unethical stuff in this industry. And I would prefer if I didn’t. At times, it would always feel like I was the lone voice among millions, shouting out what I see only to be drowned out by the Unethicals. Agents who are completely comfortable with bending their [...]

By |2017-04-04T15:02:32+00:00April 4th, 2017|My Beliefs, The Unethicals, Who I Am|0 Comments

‘Tis the Season

“Did you pack the Stove Top Stuffing?” my wife asked. “Yes, it’s right next to my underwear.” I answered. It seems that after a year of doing nothing but work, we are rewarded with 3 great holidays, spanning 3 months to end the year. Halloween - Thanksgiving - Christmas And when it comes to these holidays, I always make sure the wife and I can take the time to appreciate not only what these holidays represent but also our time together. So when the wife approached me about visiting her family over Thanksgiving, I had a second of pause. Don’t get me wrong. I do love the in-laws. But giving up Thanksgiving is something I’ve never done. You see in France they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. When I made an off-hand comment to Joelle about losing Thanksgiving, she said, “My mom has already ordered a turkey. We’re having Thanksgiving [...]

By |2017-01-21T22:12:39+00:00December 9th, 2016|Who I Am|0 Comments

This Isn’t Cool. At all.

“Well, you either have liver disease, Hepatitis B or liver cancer,” my doctor said looking over my chart. You know in those Hollywood movies when they deliver bad news to the hero and this loud ringing always occurs, blocking out all other words? That’s pretty accurate. Getting the news was shocking enough. But what was to follow? This was my first time dealing with something like this. The first time is always the scariest. Do I panic? Stay calm? Freak out? Three months after getting the news about my liver, I found myself laying in a hospital bed. The time for my biopsy had arrived. To say I was freaked out would be an understatement. Before that day, I had never had a biopsy or a procedure. I had no idea what was going on or what was going to happen. I knew two things for sure. First: [...]

By |2017-03-23T05:49:36+00:00November 4th, 2016|Who I Am|0 Comments

My Broken Nose

“ChouChou! I have to break your nose!” my wife announced, as she flew through our front door one Sunday morning. I replied, “OK. But we have a meeting in a few hours. Can we do it now?” If there’s one thing I enjoy doing, it’s helping people achieve their goals. Part of my business is helping people make their largest investment. But also doing something small on your part can make a huge difference in someone else’s world. In this case, it was letting my wife break my nose. My wife, Joelle, decided to build a business around her lifelong passion: makeup. The problem is that there are a ton of “makeup artists” out there. If you post an ad, looking for a makeup artist, you’ll get 200 responses within hours. Competition is fierce! As fate would have it, a movie director was negotiating to film in our [...]

By |2017-03-23T05:49:07+00:00October 11th, 2016|Who I Am|0 Comments