I Love Don Week Wrap-Up

Another glorious I Love Don Week is in the books and while I only got a few things off my ultimate wish-list, it was the surprises that delighted. But truly, if you meant to buy me something, don’t be embarrassed if you send me a belated gift, card, or call the hotline. What? A hotline?

Yes, my 45th birthday featured the Don’s Birthday Hotline debut …call (231) 660-1491 TODAY because a belated birthday greeting is sometimes better than a day-of greeting (and I’m curious why nobody ever sends a pre-dated birthday greeting …like, no one ever calls a day early).

The Hotline was a BIG HIT …I got EIGHTEEN messages. Some sang in chorus with others, some shared their favorite Don Memory, and some just stumbled over their words because THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE I HAD A HOTLINE.

As always, for those who don’t know me, I do it to be funny. In this world where so many people are worried about the everyone-gets-a-trophy world, and nobody-loses, and Millenials with their helicopter parents, and where old-schoolers lament the look-at-me, center-of-the-universe social media culture where EVERYONE thinks they’re important and that happiness and self-worth is defined by Likes, Follows, and Comments …well, many say it’s a bad thing. I say it’s a GREAT thing. I would move back in with my parents if I could …who wouldn’t!!!???!!!

Anyway, it’s all for fun AND because I have this writing and a content-creation thing I do on the side, it’s all an experiment, as well. I got a call from someone I never, ever, never expected would call the Don’s Birthday Hotline (the caller is 100% not a silly person) and so my experiment and theories and hypotheses all need to be refigured because, when I tell the brands and clients I coach about social media, what I’m telling them might need to be updated.

One more time, my updated wish-list is below. Don’t think because only a few things are crossed off that I didn’t have a kick ass I Love Don Week. My wife made my favorite dinner on Tuesday. We had Big Chief burgers at Duggan’s Irish Pub last night (with dessert). I got an emergency filling on one of my molars. Eighteen people called the hotline. I’m going to see Weezer this Friday. I had a beer yesterday afternoon with an old friend and watched some World Cup soccer. My wife and I had a wonderful date-night.

Life is too short not to have fun if you’re lucky enough to wake up in the morning with good health and your loved ones around you. Last weekend a former co-worker died in a car accident (early 50s). I texted an old friend this morning and she said she hasn’t worked in 4 weeks, just started more chemo, and she’s struggling. Another friend shared how she’s having a hard time dealing with a mother-of-four who passed away unexpectedly (a young mom).

*** Please pray for J.S., S.L., and for J.P.’s soul. ***

This morning, my 11-year-old daughter is off to a commercial shoot. Yes. She’ll be in a TV commercial if things go right and I told her, “go into this production with the JOY you do everything with.” It’s great to be 11-years-old. She smiles when she dances 14 hours a week. She smiles when she does flips in the backyard. She smiles when she plays piano. She smiles when she plays soccer. Joy. Joy. Joy.

Yesterday and for the entire week leading up to my birthday, I just tried to be joyful and fun and positive. I’m certain I annoy the shit out of some people, but mostly I want to be joyful and share my joy and if I did that for even one person, I win again.

Phew. That got deep. Back to narcissism and stroking my ego. My wishlist and then Weezer’s best song ever …”The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” which is my theme song (and the video is hella good).

Love you all.


I Love Don Week, Day 2

Before you roll your eyes, you might wonder, “why does Don do this stupid I Love Don Week?” The answers might suprise you.

  1. I’m insecure, selfish, and like getting more than giving
  2. My parents spoiled me my entire life and I’m still living in a world most people grow out of after their 8th birthday where a birthday is the most special thing
  3. I write for, Blog for, create content for, and consult brands and businesses and I tell them how they should use video, content, and social media for their brand and because they want their customers and competitors thinking they do it themselves, this is like a doodle pad where I do fun and funny things to show them I know what I’m talking about.

But if #1 and #2 are the main reasons, well, here’s my list again and a little “Welcome to I Love Don Week” video greeting.

Announcing I Love Don Week 2018

We’re officially TWELVE DAYS away from the start of I Love Don Week 2018. Can you believe it?!?!?!?  Only twelve shopping days. And now, for the official announcement.

The list…

That’s all I got for now but that should get you started.

I Love Don Week, Recap

At work, we set goals, we launch initiatives, we have budgets and we work to make them happen. After a time, we review and assess performance. I Love Don Week should be treated the same. Let’s look at the good and the bad and next year, make it even better.

My Dollar Shave Club razors and shave butter arrived today. Hooray. Can’t wait to shave in the morning.

I received the following items, too:

  • brandybigBlack iPhone charging cord
  • A new desk
  • Barsmith Old Fashioned mix
  • Tickets (from my sister in law) to Cedar Point for her whole family and mine and it turned out to be the best day ever at Cedar Point – no lines. Seriously. No. Lines.
  • Patriotic Detroit Tigers T-shirt
  • Loud dress socks
  • (2) outdoor chairs and outdoor lights
  • Hosted a small gathering at my house (I like having people over, what can I say?)
  • Lusty Claw Bourbon (from my co-workers)
  • Dinner of my choice on my birthday

I gotta say, with the trip to Cedar Point, the amazing Saturday evening hosting friends, and then the strolling, progressive series of birthday meetings that started my day at work on Tuesday, bookended with a quick happy hour with more co-workers, only to arrive home to homemade Chick-Fil-A (my daughter found the secret sauce recipe online and, shhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone) …hard to imagine a week could be much better and end much better.

The only thing I might say could be better is more random gifts from random people, which is really on me. I should’ve posted a more comprehensive list. So that’s something I’ll do next year. Also, because I pretty much stole the entire concept from my brother-in-law (a week devoted to himself prior to his birthday), I might as well steal his idea of having I Love Don Week t-shirts.

So, next year, let’s keep doing what we’re doing, people. Gifts. Over-the-top recognition and praise. And …next year, we’re making and selling t-shirts.

If you have other ideas on how to improve I Love Don Week, please leave a comment. No idea is a bad idea. Green light thinking.

Thank you, everyone, for playing along with my birthday madness.



I Love Don Week, Part 2

Day 5 (or was yesterday Day 4?) was a fantastic success. It took nearly 3 1/2 hours, but the desk is complete and it’s glorious.


I can just picture myself sitting there writing my collections of short stories into a book about growing up in the Midwest – stories that everyone can relate to and someone will option for a movie. All because of the desk. When I accept my Oscar, or whatever award they give authors before that, I will thank my agent, my family, and my Ikea desk.


Also, a gift I didn’t even know I wanted – Barsmith’s Old Fashioned mix. I typically drink Manhattans (as the four or five readers of this Blog already know), but I like the idea of an Old Fashioned. Enter Barsmith’s Old Fashioned mix.



Maybe longtime drinkers of Old Fashions will scoff at this, but last night, while having friends over, I found my new favorite drink, and it goes like this…


  • 1 oz. Barsmith Old Fashioned mix
  • 2 oz. TC Whisky’s American Cherry Edition Bourbon (this is my favorite bourbon …period …the cherry flavor is only a hint, but just enough).
  • Splash of bitters
  • Orange wedge
  • Lots of ice

It would not surprise me a bit if next year about this time I’m Blogging about a drinking problem. OK. That’s a bad joke. It won’t be a “problem”.

If you’re keeping score, I’ve gotten a black iPhone chord, Tigers t-shirt, loud socks, two deck chairs, a new desk, Barsmith Old Fashioned mix, and entry into Dollar Shave Club.

I hope you’re having an equally amazing I Love Don Week.

I Love Don Week 2017, Part 1

Just because I haven’t Blogged anything about I Love Don Week, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening and isn’t amazing. I guess you could say I’ve taken I Love Don Week underground and now it’s a sorta cult type thing. People are toooootally into it and give me gifts and praise me, just like normal, but it’s, like, veeeery exclusive.

Side note. Did you see how I wrote “tooooootally” and “veeeeeery”? When you write something you’re going to say slowly, make sure you’re multiplying the correct letter. There’s a woman at work who would write those as “totallyyyyyyyyyyy” and “verrrrrrrrrry” but if you said those out loud, it wouldn’t be the effect you were hoping for.

OK. Back to me and I Love Don Week. For those new to this worldwide phenomenon, I Love Don Week is the 6 days prior to my birthday (July 11th). I looooooove my birthday, but one day didn’t seem like enough, and when I heard my brother-in-law had invented a week for himself, and when I started Blogging and embraced social media and saw how our narcissistic society was evolving, it seemed to me just posting on Facebook wasn’t enough. I needed lists, and daily updates, and demands for praise.

Here we are, already on the fifth day of I Love Don Week, which amazingly kicks off on July 4th and everyone shoots off fireworks to mark the start of the week, and this is my first Blog entry on me and my week.

It’s been quite fantastic, so far. First, I got a black iPhone-to-USB connector chord to replace my ugly, awful white chord. I get it, Apple. Your thing is white. But my thing is black and pretty much every day I hopped in my car and had to plug a white chord into my iPhone and that white chord just sat there looking awful in my black car with black leather interior – it’s been hell. Now I have a black chord, and it looks much better.

Then, my daughter picked out some loud socks, which is still trendy, and an Independence Day themed Old English “D” t-shirt that I can wear once a year (or maybe I can wear it on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day). A t-shirt and socks, you ask? Isn’t that kinda cheap and insignificant? Hey! My 10-year-old picked it out, and I’m not going to yell at her for lack of effort and value.

On Day-2, as a gift to myself, I joined Dollar Shave Club and almost 90% of the reason I picked Dollar Shave Club was because of the video the founder has on the home page (embedded below).

Day-3, my wife bought two fantastic outdoor chairs for my deck that match the existing outdoor couch and table almost exactly. We toasted me with a whisky-gingerale as we sat in said chairs.

And then, on Day-4, my wife bought me a new desk. I had a “writing desk” but it was black and didn’t fit the new color scheme of our family room. Yes. I love black but I had to give-in on this one, because the kitchen into the great room is all brown tones, and the black didn’t work. Hence, a white desk. And the desk is better because it’s built to hide my PC tower, has drawers and cabinets (my “writer’s desk” didn’t) and my son and I can’t wait to build it and hide all the wires and make it ‘simple.’ That’s a big thing with some desk/computer people. My son and I actually follow a few ultimate-desk set-up fans on Instagram (examples here).

Day-5 will be building that desk and having people over for drinks and bonfire.

Want to get involved? Comment below. Send me an Amazon gift card. Buy me a new pair of Bedphones, or send me coffee. If you need ideas, Tweet me at @donkowalewski.

It’s Like I’m Not Even Excited About I Love Don Week

UntitledI need to seek counseling or perhaps mood altering drugs, because here we sit exactly 4 days until the kick-off of “I Love Don Week” and I’m not excited. My list is pathetic

  • Cub Cadet riding lawnmower
  • new Shieldon case for my iPhone 5s
  • more Kiehl’s stuff
  • Leaf blower (exactly like the Black & Decker I have that’s dying)
  • Men’s Health subscription
  • Johnston & Murphy classic penny or tassel loafers

Just …look …at …that …list. It’s sad and pathetic. How can anyone get excited for “I Love Don Week” with a piss-poor list like that?

I knew this day might come when I …gulp …mature a little and grow up. I was walking around today thinking how blessed I am and thinking, “I have my family and my health and that’s all I want for my birthday,” and I really had to take my temperature. For the record, I’m not running a fever.

Help me help you celebrate me. Help me get excited. What am I missing? Why am I feeling content and feeling like I don’t wanna make a big deal about the week and my 43rd birthday!?!?!?

Help. If you need me, I’ll be at Urgent Care asking them to check all my vitals.