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.

“I Love Don Week” Day 4

Day 3 Banner

Gonna be quick, here. Day 3 and 4 were great and each day brought with is a new batch of desk decorations and, in fact, my co-workers made me a banner. A banner!!! Guess you could call it a “banner day.” Zing! With cleverness like that bottled up inside me, I need a blog for all my puns. Is “banner day” a pun?

Got some lottery tickets from the fam’ at home and won $4, which I’ll use to buy more lottery ticket scratch n’ wins. Cube neighbor C.S. bought me a pound of Tanzanian Peaberry beans from Chazzano Coffee (of Ferndale). Sooooo great.

Don’t forget the list. Not a ton getting scratched off. But I’m sure you’re just waiting for the perfect time to get me the perfect gift. I’m cool with that.

Day 4 = more new signs

“I Love Don Week” Day 3

We’re almost done with “I Love Don Week” Day 3, and I don’t wanna dive too deep into this, and yesterday was good, but …I received zero gifts (save for a free coffee from co-worker C.M., but I think she only bought me a coffee because she’s generally a nice person) on Day 2. Even my wife, while thoughtful by planning a special dinner and keeping my wine glass full during The Bachelorette, didn’t get me a gift. And “the list” (see below) is so easy, this year. Hmmm. Maybe I need to add more ideas.

Two exciting things happened on Day 2 of “I Love Don Week”. First, my desk was #Fandalized (get it? When a person’s “fans” “vandalize” something, I’ve mashed up the words). I think I need to trademark the word “fandalize” …not that I think there’s a great need for the word in the English language. Hmmmm. How do I make it part of pop-culture and the Zeitgeist?

Extra points for me for using the word “zeitgeist” in my blog. And for making up a new word.

The second exciting thing was …my house flooded. From the second story bathroom into the basement. Yes. Through the floor and down the walls. This was thanks to my pre-teen daughter running the sink at full speed, and the shower, and then distractedly walking away. But I learned we have exactly enough towels to handle a small water disaster. Had it been any worse, we would’ve been borrowing towels from neighbors. I happened to be taking a shower in the downstairs bathroom (which is immediately below the upstairs bathroom) and when I got done I was like, “hmmm, why do I hear water dripping?” And then when I opened the bathroom door I saw water dripping.

That was the anti-I-Love-Don-Week moment. Can’t wait to see what else my kids have in store to ruin my week.

I did have a great conversation with a very good friend and it gave me the shot in the arm I needed to be optimistic about turning 42 and not worrying about that which I’ve not done and things I’m not doing and keep focused on the great and wonderful things I am doing and that are in my life.

Speaking of things “in my life”, I wouldn’t mind a few of these things “in my life”. Plenty of time for Amazon to still ship anything on this list.

I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully to brag about some of the great gifts I received.


“I Love Don Week”, Day 2

Can you believe it’s already Day-2 of “I Love Don Week”? I found myself outta town and without Wifi and unable to blog, yesterday, the official Kick-Off of “I Love Don Week.”

But my wife did not forget it was the start of “I Love Don Week” and I got a magnetic Spartan logo to put on my car. And I had quite a bit of windshield and fishing time to daydream a few more items for the “I Love Don Week” wish-list. Sorry for the short blog entry …had every intention of getting up early and blogging all about myself and my birthday (and working out), but the bed was pretty cozy this morning.

For the newbies, “I Love Don Week” is the 6-days leading up to my birthday, July 11th, and this is a long-standing traditional summer holiday. Plenty of time to shop.

More tomorrow or later, tonight. Don’t worry.