Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

July 27, 2010



July 26, 2010



They say if something really irritates you about someone else, you should check yourself.

One of my favorite sayings is that I like fancy things, but I'm not a fancy person. I'm a gay Interior Designer. Its my job to like fancy things. Yet I'll be the first person in line to pass judgement on people who are obsessed with the surface of things, especially physical beauty. Oooh, check!

However for many, it's where all of their faith lies. In appearances and facades. In who's wearing what labels and driving which kind of car. Truth be told, I've never been a label whore. Nor have I ever cared much about cars.My parents were clear that a man's worth should be judged by the contents of his character, not his bank account- and I believed them.

But if I'm not stereotypical in that regard, then why does it irk me so when I see this trait in others? I think I figured it out today. I'm envious. Even though I could honestly care less about "things", I'm envious that I've never had the luxury of buying the clothes or cars of my choice- but what I can afford. Envious of others beauty- not because they possessed something I didn't, but because my ego always wished that I could be regarded for my attractiveness. Eeew. Note that I'm purposefully using the term envious, and not jealous. Envy, jealousy, take your pick- it's all ugly.

So 10 to 40 is about realizing that the surface of things are usually an illusion. How can something that isn't real keep me from contentment? Better yet, what kind of power do I give that illusion when I allow it to color my judgement of other people or situations, or let it put distance between us? Hmm. Perhaps its time to scratch it.


July 23, 2010


My August column over at STACEY'S HOT DISH is a Crook Neck Squash Double Feature! Just in time for the bounty, I present 2  recipes that make this delicious and prolific Summer vegetable their star. First a savory squash and custard casserole, and then a creamy coconut milk and squash soup with fresh corn and chorizo meatballs. If you want the recipes, head over to The Dish....!

July 22, 2010


In the past calendar year, no fewer than 7 of my friends have said goodbye to a parent. Stacey almost lost his Mother (again), and my friend Jeffrey lost his sister Susan in a tragic car accident.

I suppose it is a function of getting on, that we and our friends begin this inevitable process. I, in-fact have  had say goodbye to both of my parents. But 6 in one year? Seriously? Since I can't make heads or tails of it, I thought maybe I would try and learn something from it. There's no need to probe deeply, for the lesson is obvious.

It's easy to say "Don't take life for granted.", because it's so easy to do so. By virtue of being born, we ARE. In contrast, taking other people's lives for granted should be less easy. The people you hold dear may be here today, and gone tomorrow. That isn't dramatic, its simply a reality for us all.You simply never know what tomorrow brings. Just because you woke up this morning, doesn't mean that everyone you love will.

Parents, siblings, friends and extended family- even coworkers! In this life we have so many opportunities to love. It shows a serious lack of gratitude to not express it, when you feel it. Let the people you cherish know that you do. Like I said, it's not deep. Just blatant common sense.

Science has been unable (as with most things mystical) to determine a reality in reincarnation. This being said, you may only be able to know the people you love in this life, in this life. Let them know how you feel.. Have you experienced an estrangement with someone- related or not ? How big is the THING you've been tripping on? What if that person died tomorrow? Would you be cool? Think about it...

And please. If you are still in the fortunate position  to be able to do so, call your folks. Because I said so!

July 20, 2010



Stacey shared this video with me the other day.

A Senior couple walks into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup, and spots a piano. She's 86,  he'll  be 90 this year, and they've been married 62 years. Check out their impromptu performance...

July 19, 2010


Kerry Dean Shannon is one of my dearest friends, my business partner, and one truly gifted Interior Designer. I couldn't have been more proud when his very own "Washington Heights Jewel Box"  was featured in the Sunday edition of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel!

Naturally now that he has it almost finished, he wants to sell it...this fabulocity  could be all yours!

Mr. Jasper and Miss. Sally aren't keen on moving....

For more pictures, the back story on the renovation, and Kerry's thoughts on design....:

July 18, 2010

Color Me Michael: TURQUOISE!

Pantone ARE the people who bring YOU color, and their "Color of  The Year, 2010"  is an absolute winner...
 It's15-5519- and that's Turquoise, baby.

Over the last decade we've seen all of the pales blues in the spectrum claim their moments of glory. Powder, Tiffany, Robin's Egg, or Spa- they've been making the rounds.  Turquoise is a welcome departure for 2 reasons. Firstly it's punchy, in-your-face cheerfulness is some thing we all seem to be in need of these days. And frankly, in the cyclical world of color trends and combinations, it's due! We haven't seen it as a power player in homer decor since the Mid-1960's. I have to admit that I've always been a fan....

From bed and bath linens to drapery, vases, dishes, wallpaper, pots and pans-, and outrageously  present upholstery, there is no escape from the color that defies you to not have an improved mood in it's presence. I'm seeing it used allot with other punch colors like yellow, or orange, and in a very graphic way with black and white. While I love that  kind of eye candy for all the obvious diabetic reasons, I like to use in this timeless color in a different way. When paired with the intensely sophisticated palette of stoney-warm and muddy grays, a contrast so beautiful and completely unexpected occurs....try it.

Turquoise Fun Facts!

Turquoise, the "fallen skystone", "gem of the centuries", is indigenous to the Americas, Egypt, ancient Persia (Iran), Tibet and China. Throughout human history, the stone has been revered and admired for its beauty and reputed spiritual life-enhancing qualities. The oldest known piece of jewelry, a turquoise bracelet, was found on the wrist of a 7000 year-old mummified Egyptian queen.

Turquoise has been known by this name since the French purchased the "turkey stone" from Turkish traders, never realizing that the turquoise was mined in Persia and later traded to the Turks.
Turquoise is one of the oldest protection amulets, and was also known as a symbol of wealth in many ancient cultures.

Blog Discovery: HOUSE of TURQUIOSE

House of Turquoise's webmaster Erin, makes no bones about her obsession, and revels in sharing it with you on her elegant and well-researched site, which features everything from home decor to ladies fashion...

Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!