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

February 29, 2012

"Quote, Unquote" #5

This Is My Home

With Spring mere weeks away, your mind may have recently drifted to thoughts of housekeeping and purging. My mother always said "You're either a stower or a thrower." She was definitely a thrower. I am too.

The other day my friend Ron Morris shared this delightful new documentary short film on Facebook. I'm always game for the goodness Ron pollinates, so I clicked play and settled in to be entertained for 6:48. I had no idea what a gift I was about to receive...

About 1 minute into it, the thrower in me started cringing as flashes of  television shows like Hoarders and Clean House started pinging off my frontal lobe...and then suddenly I found myself completely charmed by the generous and loving spirit of one Anthony Pisano. I guarantee you will be too, this guy is a Killer Bee for sure.

Thanks to Ron for pollinating, and thank you Anthony for sharing your home with all of us. The next time I'm in New York I intend to stop in and say hello.
You may want to do the same...

This Is My Home from Mark on Vimeo.

Home Decor

I'm an interior designer, perhaps you've heard.

There once was a time here on the blog  when I wrote frequently about design. In fact at one point I was planning to launch a spinoff blog, Interior Motives. I may still do that.

I'm also an artist, and believe with all my heart in the freedom of artistic expression. But lately the popularity of one medium in particular has me scratching my nearly barren scalp. I don't know, maybe its my age. I am 40 now. The world is inking itself, and for some reason its getting under my skin.

Every one's got 'em these days-  from celebrities to my sister's kids. 
And my brother's kids. Most all of my friends are embellished somewhere, and yes many of you my gentle bleaders are too! My handsome nephew Matt has "sleeves" on both of his arms. The detail is just extraordinary. The last time I saw him I reveled in their sheer beauty but never asked why. Trust me, when I see him again I've got questions!

You see when I specify wallpaper for a client's home and they hesitate to sign off, I always remind them that if they want to to do something different 5 years from now its only wallpaper and it can easily be changed out down the road....

Metaphorically, I think of my body as the dwelling in which my spirit, my soul inhabits . It's temporary housing if you will. This house is my responsibility because its the only one I'm going to get- and I don't know how long I'm going to be needing it. Over the years my own track record for maintenance and general housekeeping has been spotty at best. Judge not, young man!
Then there's the whole fetish angle. Tattoos have long been considered to be the branding on a brute, the calling card of a Bad Boy. But how edgy can a tatt be when your Aunt Helen has one too? As an art form, the tattoo has gone viral.

I had a most enlightening conversation with my friend David recently about his bodywork, which is actually more extensive than I had realized. I got the skinny on each and everyone of his unique festoons which are all beautifully executed by the way. Each one had a point and a purpose, a symbolic, emotional backstory. As he shared these stories with me the symbology became quite powerful.

David's reasons were sound and moving, but I'm still not convinced. Of all the ways to communicate or express yourself, why through body decoration? And why does it seem that nearly everyone now has one? Is it because its finally socially acceptable? Would we have been just as adorned 200- or hell even 50 years ago, if it had been culturally admissible? Have we all just been waiting for the stigma veil to be lifted so that we could participate in a very primal inclination to self decorate?  Apparently, the day has dawned. I can pack away my Beadazzler now.

As a designer I try to give my clients a look that suits their personalities and tastes, but will also stand the test of time. I can't help but wonder how these young people are going to feel about their bodies when they're seniors! Beauty is and always be in the eye of the beholder, but lets be real. The ravages of time and a life lived are not typically kind to our skin. Ladies, if your fortunate to live long enough, saggy boobs are bound to be on your horizon, and remember gentleman- nothing's going to look hot when your this or that is faded and shriveled. Placement, or as we say in my business, space planning- is key. Don't get me started on the excessive piercings, or those giant ear plugs and the boon that's going to turn into for plastic surgeons the world over.

Forget the housing metaphor. You're a flower.
If you're already a lily, why get gilded?

It must certainly be my age. I am after all 40 now.
Who am I? Have I officially become tragically un-hip?

Truth is I'm completely preoccupied with other people's preoccupation with the surface of things. Physician heal thyself! Do I need an artistic enlightenment, a spiritual attitude adjustment about the whole thing? It really does keep circling back to artistic expression, and this is what I know about the power of art; In its constantly evolving myriad of expressions, art possesses the emotional muscle to transform and to heal things...bringing much joy into our world along the way. So can there really ever be enough?

Maybe what I need is a tattoo of my own?
Yeah, maybe what I need to do is my part!

Clearly if I'm still tripping over this subject,  my own house is in need of renovations. I dunno, it might be best for me to keep working from the inside out. Speaking of tattoos, someone needs to get a sandwich in Angelina Jolie, stat.

February 21, 2012

Musical Treat of The Week

Robyn, dear you are the bees knees...

February 18, 2012

Cherrie Hanson is: BUBBLELICIOUS!

When Killer Bee Cherrie Hanson speaks of the magic behind her amazing bubble photography, it goes something like this...

"The alchemy of air, water, and soap bubbles form an endless variety of reflective, luminous globes.  Mother Nature's daily diversity varies the unique background tones and graphic surface of the delicate bubble membrane. 

Bubbles have a short life span; mere moments to dazzle those who are paying attention. Their circular shapes symbolize wholeness, unity, and infinity. I was compelled to record the existence of these simple, yet profound spheres of light.

Bubbles,Ink is a photographic anthology of soap bubbles in flight over a summer lake.  The images were born in nature, not photoshop, and given life in ink. 

The bubbles were studied and shot for one week, for 5 consecutive years, in the same location.  The names of the photographs pay homage to the spiritual journey the artist was on at the time of conception."

Personally, I think of the peace and tranquility of the lake where they were photographed. Of the bond that was formed on a pier in the middle of Wisconsin. Of the atrophy in my wrists as I tried like hell to produce as many bubbles as possible before she lost the precious end of day light! Of squealing with delight as we reviewed "the dailys" in the viewfinder of her camera each night by the light of the bonfire. Of the honor and privilege to be just a small part of something so incredibly special.

And mostly, I think of how proud I am of my friend and her brilliant artistic endeavor. YOU GO BABY!


The amazing thing about these photographs isn't their exceptional beauty, but how people react and relate to them when in their physical presence. Everyone I know who's seen them 'has a bubble' all their own that they identify with...will you find yours at Bubbles, Ink. ? I have no doubt you will.

Visit the bubble goodness NOW!

Coming Up Short

Motion pictures are made for two reasons. Artistic vision and box office reciepts.
Being an artist myself, I'm partial to the films made by artisans. The ones that are crafted with more care given to the art of storytelling than dollars spent on CGI. But that's just me. And I like to be entertained, just like everyone else.

When Cherrie called the other night and asked if I was up for seeing the Oscar Nominated Short Film Festival at the Times Cinema this week, I was thrilled because a.) I get to the movies so seldom, and b.) I'd get to see all 5 nominated films in one night! And what a delight it was.

The short film is an exceptionally intriguing art form. You've got to get in and get out -  tell a story, and hopefully do it beautifully in less than 30 minutes. I have the deepest artistic admiration for anyone who can do that. My favorite of this year's 5 nominated films is called "The Shore", and it hails from Ireland. Perhaps its my heritage, but I've got the perpetual soft spot for an Irish yarn. The craft of movie making has always been of fascination to me, and I was so impressed by filmmaker Terry George's intimate story telling paired with the simple yet grand beauty of Ireland. It was sweet and gorgeous. And now I wanna go. More than ever...

Who will take home the Oscar next Sunday? Your guess is as good as mine. Here are the other 4 nominees (and their trailers) for 2012 Best Short Film, Live Action. If you have the chance I highly recommended you see/rent them all, for they were each outstanding in their briefly brilliant way!

RAJU (Germany 23 minutes)
TIME FREAK (USA 11 minutes)
TUBA ATLANTIC (Norway, 23 minutes)
PENTECOST (Ireland, 11 minutes)

February 9, 2012

Now What Can't You Do?

February is Black History Month, and Miss. Janet has a brief message for you...

The LOVING Story

I knew when I first read about Richard and Mildred Loving's courageous story (and the important documentary that has just been made about them) several weeks ago that it would be the perfect story to share with you in honor of both Valentines Day and Black History Month. Watch the trailer for this very special  HBO film...

Though often overlooked among the pantheon of civil rights stories, Mildred and Richard Loving’s quest to live together as husband and wife in the state of Virginia was a pivotal struggle. A white man and a part black, part Cherokee woman were in love and did not understand why their marriage was a criminal offense in the eyes of state. Their effort to make this right – to not live in shame or in exile – is a universal one and reminds us of oppressed and exiled people everywhere. The Lovings were banished from their home for their commitment to each other, and they fought long and hard to return to it, to love each other within the bosom of their family.

It is important to remember that this was just 54 short years ago...

In 2007, 32 years after her husband died, Mrs Loving - who herself passed away the following year - released a statement in support of same-sex marriage.

"Not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.'

For more about this extraordinary film visit the website:


If you're a person singular and playing the dating game, then the hilarity of the illustration above may hit a little close to home, and not in a humorous way. You know what's out there and what your up against. Why it's a great big world full of damaged goods who are in varying degrees of dysfunction- just like you! Weird kissers being just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, the landscape of love can be a tricky one to navigate-  if you're even inclined to try the slope. Not so incidentally, candy hearts are horrible tasting and come in dreadful pastel colors. Crunch on that!
I digress...

I recently had a marathon phone conversation with a friend who's ending a 2 year relationship. I could so feel her pain and heartache, having been on both sides of the separation equation. More times than I ever guessed I would be, trust. Back to said friend. She lamented that he was this, he was that, but mostly he was not the person she thought he was. In the end she decided he wasn't evil per say, but he wasn't the one and it was over and out. As in "You can leave the runway now."

She mentioned several times that she felt she had completely wasted the two years she had spent with him. After an hour (and a nearly dead battery) of crisis counseling I finally asked her "Well did you love him or not?" She said "Of course I did." Then I asked "Do you believe he loved you?" She paused for a thoughtful moment and  responded "I believe he did, yes." Well then. How could it have been a waste?

Love is supposed to be a gift, but it isn't always. Occasionally its unhealthy, and you must extract yourself. Personally, there were a couple of relationships I let linger a little too long. A couple of others were perhaps cut loose a little too quickly. But here's the bottom line. If you've decided to give the gift, then that's what it is.

Gifts, especially ones from the heart are supposed to be non returnable. And vice versa. Its bad form to return a gift, or worse ask for one back. Often in the case of romance, one person loves the other a little more. Sometimes allot. If fair reciprocity feels like an issue, then a measure of balance should be taken. But remember love, like any gift, should never be given expecting anything in return. If it comes with conditions then its not really a gift, is it?

If you've ever had your heart broken then that's some pretty hard candy to chew on and digest.

Much like a candy heart.

How do you determine who's worthy of your gifts? If you're not one of the 1.3 % of the world's population that happily married their high school sweetheart and stayed that way (happy, that is) then hopefully you've ascertained through a series of relationships that didn't work out (I abhor the word failure) what kind of person compliments yourself best...and you aren't trifling with others just for the sake of being relationship. C'mon now, its 2012.

So how do we spend our love while not pursuing romance? I mean, we don't just stop being loving creatures. Hopefully not anyway. Well you could save it for a rainy day, but I  say spend it on yourself-  and you'll never run out. And for goodness sake take a look at your own dysfunction and see how you can work on being a better you. A better you will attract a better someone else. I guess that's what I'm hoping for too, while I'm taking this time to work on me.

Indeed this Valentines day finds me squarely single, and that's quite alright. I have 23 jobs and I'm working on launching an international media sensation. This doesn't allow much time for fostering romance. Relationships done well require an investment of time and patience, in addition to love.  However I hope to not always be so busy. After all I am Michael, and I am a lover.... and I'm certain there's one more great romance left in me. When the time is right and the pendulum swings my way again, I will likely grab hold without fear and enjoy the ride. Like I've said before, the heart isn't nearly as fragile as the ego would lead you to believe.

Besides. Love can never be wasted. It isn't even possible.

More of my mushy thoughts on LOVE from the archives...

Friends & Lovers
Men Are Like Japanese Puzzle Boxes (or Happy Valentines Day)

Musical Treat of The Week

Have you seen Joyful Noise?
I did and it was delightful. I couldn't think of a better Valentine to share with you this week than this new Dolly-penned gem from the film.

February 3, 2012


My friend Richard recently shared this hilarious spin on the "Shit People Say" phenomenon with me. I find it so funny that I've watched it at least a dozen times. Today. My hips are so open right now. Namaste.

"Quote, Unquote" #4: HAPPY

Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!