Bananas, Tie Bars and other Twitter Malarkey

As the August round of and the Plain Dealer’s Twitter 20 comes to a close, I couldn’t help but share some of the shenanigans enjoyed by all who’ve participated this month.

As this week’s topic was fashion (which is ubiquitous anyway), randomly related conversations cropped up in my Twitter stream; Gini Dietrich and SXSWCares, SXSWJapan superstar Leigh Duncan-Durst in particular:

@ginidietrich I LOVE monkeys!

My response:

Darwin Bananas Chucks

During a brief stint as a shoes salesman, I remember a guy coming in and special ordering these. Wasn’t sure what was more amusing: His dopey grin, nerdy insistence or his formidably attractive girlfriend‘s mortified look and futile attempts to interject her disapproval.

Perhaps Gwen was onto something (in arguably one of the most perniciously contagious, incoherent videos of the last decade)

But seriously. Don’t watch it.

Absolutely terrible.

Anywho…back to the Twitter 20.


@Tweetmeslow >> Don’t wear your meatdress at the zoo #CLE20

Meat dress

@CharitUrbanista >> A must 4 ladies “little black dress” that makes u feel gorgeous & sexy! What is it for men? @byron_fernandez @raymondromero @LTreu #CLE20

My reply: Every man should know how to rock a tie bar. 

Milo Ventimiglia demonstrates:

GQ Milo Ventimiglia Gilmore Girls Jesse guy in suit tie Ray Ban folding wayfarer

As fall fast approaches, what are some fashion/style tips you’re enjoying or observing? What other nonsense muddles back porch conversation over Oktoberfest or a few pumpkin ales (ahegghm — Southern Tier PumKing), back-to-school maladies or plans for this year’s Halloween costume?

Thoughts, criticism and general tomfoolery welcome as always


Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science >> New Findings Confirm Darwin’s Theory: Evolution not Random Dealer >> Lady GaGa’s Meat Dress Draws Crowds to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Lou Holtz, Hendrix and the Prince of Egypt on Attitude: Just Believe

Admonitions from Lou Holtz in my Twitter stream jarred me out of a summer haze (not that kind, deviants…) this morning:

Ability is what you are capable of.

Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.

Admittedly, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder lately. Too often it’s easy to gripe about perceived injustice, lack of appreciation or acknowledgement from friends, family and in the workplace.

Even if said sentiments are valid, I’ve come to realize it’s just wasted time, space and energy.

As with forgiveness, happiness is a choice. It’s a gift we give ourselves.

Again, as mentioned in previous posts: the world doesn’t care if you have a degree, nor how hard you may have worked for it.

The world doesn’t care if you’re grossly underpaid, overqualified, under-qualified or entitled. If you have a dissertation, 14K grill like Lil Wayne, 10-foot spoiler on a tiny sedan or more bling than the polar ice caps.

But the world might care if you care. Might believe if you believe. 

How many times, mornings…



Months does it get increasingly harder to wake up ready and willing to face whatever’s next?

To extricate ourselves from our own self-pity, helpless-complex or demoralizing slumps and quietly say:

I’ll try again.

I’ll be better.

And not for anyone else but me.

And with that perspective the nerve and renewed desire to lighten someone else’s load, too…

That’s commitment. That’s selflessness from selfishness. Cynics might dismiss as antiquated, but experience seems to say that forgiving yourself usually precedes forgiving others.

As Daniel Deronda said, it’s about using your unhappiness to help you see other peoples’ pain. 

One of my favorite flicks is the story of John Nash, the mathematics savant from West Virginia played by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, which garnered 4 Academy awards (including Best Picture) in 2001.  

One scene that particularly resonated with me depicts a young, salient and blisteringly impatient Nash witnessing a “pen ceremony” (where faculty present their pens in honoring and welcoming a distinguished member).

Though not an official rite of passage at Princeton, the reel goes on to Nash’s professor asking, ‘What do you see?’ Nash replies, “Recognition.”

Shaking his head, the professor elucidates him: Accomplishment.

So often we miss the mark because we’re too focused on the mark, rather than our motives and the process of getting there. Perhaps the hardest part is recognizing when perspective’s lost, where we might have veered off-course in our attempts to control where we’re headed.

The notion of a journey, not a destination. The notion of being present, and slowing down to embrace the moment for what it is.

Granted, nothing worthwhile comes without a cost. I’ve learned that the most rewarding and enriching experiences have also stretched me the most.

Have hurt the most. Have disappointed the most. But man you stretch — and that’s what truly matters.

My first annual review post-college is this month, a part-time gig at a humble, locally-owned business in the town where I attended university. Perhaps the title and the prestige aren’t there, but at some point the world doesn’t seem to care a whole lot about that either.

Rather than dwelling on the fact that friends, family and loved ones are thousands of miles away out West and scattered across the globe, I’ve learned in the past few years to focus on making the best of the people, places and time that are in front of me.

To check my attitude, and willingness to make someone’s life a little easier. To accept the only guarantee I know so far: change is consistent.

Upcoming Footloose ( ahem — remake) dude Kenny Wormald‘s onto something:

If you’re true to yourself and you work hard, and treat people with respect you will Grow… 


Dan Waldschmidt >> Why Believing is the New Selling

Spin Sucks >> Seven Habits to Change the Perception of PR

Anthony Iannarino (new site looks great) >> Unlearning Learned Helplessness

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute >> PR and Fighting the Content Marketing Battle Within



Cottone Album Release Party Approaching Sell-Out

I’m thrilled to share with you that Mike’s opening act for McCoy Tyner and album debut of Just Remember scheduled for 6:30pm Wednesday, August 3rd at the BlueNote

is (drum roll please) …

almost SOLD-OUT


BlueNote Performance Schedule

From Juilliard to BlueNote: Mike Cottone to Debut Album August 3rd

Twitter: @MikeCottone