My Dinner with Malcolm Gladwell (Epilogue)

Making a Living

Bounty hunter #1: You’re wanted, Wales.
Josey Wales: Reckon I’m right popular. You a bounty hunter?
Bounty hunter #1: A man’s got to do something for a living these days.
Josey Wales: Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.

- The Outlaw Josey Wales

TUESDAY: I had to come up with a plan. It had to be fate that Malcolm “Blink”ing Gladwell rolled up next to me at the Catalina having what appeared to be a cappuccino while looking nervously at his computer screen. I could leave him alone, or I could see what he was all about. This is Texas, and we are nosy, chatty, and very much want to tell people about ourselves; therefore, if I just start a chat it will either become a legitimate chat, or possibly one of the suicide scenes from Airplane. I took a shot of Rwanda to instill some bravery and —–I quickly decided that if it was fate I would indeed see him here again and we might even have a meaningful chat.

[Read more...]

My Dinner with Malcolm Gladwell (Part 3)

“and now…the rest of the story”

Paul Harvey

Scared to Death

As soon as Gladwell was gone I took a big swig of my now very cold Rwanda and gazed up at the barista. He must have seen the stupid grin on my face because he gave me a “why the hell are you so happy?” look.

Me: Do you know who that was?

Barista: No, should I?

Me: That was Malcolm Gladwell, one of the most important American writers in the world (realizing that was totally sycophantic before it left my mouth)

Barista: Cool, I have seen him in here a few times before

Me: Yeah, I think he is researching here (like I knew something)

Barista: I always thought he was pretty weird-looking.

Me: (Thinking Barista not exactly the picture of normalcy) Yeah, he is amazing..one of my idols…..I decided to announce that I am becoming a writer today and then he appears here man, and I am like, wow this is fate man, this the real fucking deal..seriously Malcolm Gladwell..wait man..wait

Barista: (confused) excuse me?

Me: Sorry dude, gotta get out of here, Gladwell’s coming to dinner (as I am hustling out) [Read more...]

My Dinner with Malcolm Gladwell (Part 2)

…he smiled to himself, adjusted his laptop screen downward hiding his work, turned his chair in my direction and told me…

Just Threw this Together

MG – I find it curious how often I am asked that question..uhm…uh..

Me – Michael…(beat) don’t worry man I am sure you forget quite a few names

MG – (cutting me off) No I don’t. I forget very few names and even fewer faces

Me – Would you say you had spent 10,000 hours getting to that level of mastery with names? (smiling to myself as I knew I had him on that one)

MG – Yes, for sure. Imagine that I have been writing for the New Yorker since 1996 and imagine the number of interviews I have conducted; with and without the assistance of recording equipment

Me – What are you drinking?

MG – Excuse me?

Me – What kind of coffee drink are you drinking?

MG – Oh, this is a cappuccino with a little less textured milk, so really it is more like a latte’ without so much milk…

Me – Or a cappuccino without schiuma

MG -What was that?

Me – Schiuma, the Italian name for the foam. Italians don’t go down the path of naming things cutely just to make a menu sound better. I mean, an Italian will use many words to describe something, but taking license with the structure of the language seems pretty Anglo [Read more...]

My Dinner with Malcolm Gladwell (Part 1)

The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright

The Top Coffee Shop in Houston

On Tuesday afternoon I went into my beloved Catalina coffee for an afternoon pour-over of their fabulous Rwanda coffee that had recently arrived. I had just eaten a below-average lunch at a “hot” joint on Wash-Av and needed a dose of quality in my diet to assuage the misery in my still hungry stomach. At my sad lunch I had ordered a Ceviche and a Mushroom tamale for my lunch. My server came to my table moments later with tamale in-hand and informed me that the kitchen had dropped my Ceviche and would be re-making it. I informed him very politely that I really wanted the cold ceviche before my warm tamale and he obligingly took it back and very likely stuck in under a lamp. [Read more...]

My Favorite 5 Blog Posts – Kind of My Greatest Hits EP

The Artist Looks at 40 - Through A Glass of 1970 Dom Perignon

After the really wonderful response I have gotten lately and some very sweet comments from new friends I have decided to re-introduce some of my favorite pieces since this Adventure began in 2010. I will post a link to the piece and some “director’s notes” about what I wanted to do or with the piece or why my grammar sucked or the reason it was verbose.

Keep in mind most of these are much longer pieces than what you have come to know from me and if you have a little time I am hopeful you will take something home with you.

Without further to do (as my old boss would say) :-) [Read more...]

Hugo's – Fight Gone Bad (or why I abhor Oil Monied DBs)

The Scene of the Crime

In honor of the great news from my friend Sean Beck (the amazing wine voice behind Hugo’s, Backstreet, and Trevisio) I decided to post a previously unfinished blog from one of my final evenings in Houston this summer.

I was jamming to some Lady Gaga and contemplating the symbolic demise of bin- laden when I got the urge for a smoky Oaxacan Margarita from Hugo’s. This stellar Mexican restaurant on Westheimer had become our once-a-week home for ceviche (the best in Houston) and killer bar tacos.

[Read more...]

Why am I here?

I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.

Joseph Campbell

"er eee eez"

That particular question has driven me to write, travel, read, and think since I was old enough to remember doing any of those things. It is now once again the question that is ringing most loudly in the storm of my thoughts. Why am I here? Why am I in Colorado? Why do I want to write? It seems with writing, it is not about want, but some inner drive to create, to see things manifest from the immaterial of my memories and the images that come from absolutely left field in my head. I have done this kind of creation with directing and acting in the theater, firework shows, stand-up comedy, and of course storytelling both written and oral. I love an audience! I am pretty sure I am better at anything I do well with an audience.

[Read more...]

Puglia in May

View to the Road

Ca’ del Fico is available in May!

Since I have been involved in Puglia my dear friend Antonello’s stunning villa (Ca’ del Fico)in the hills outside of FASANO in Puglia has never been available in May. As my readers know I fell in love with this amazing property in 2006 when I set eyes upon its’ acres of olive trees, orchards of figs, and view of the Adriatic. Now, my first year removed as owner of Southern Visions Travel, I am more enamored than ever by the region and by this stunning piece of property. [Read more...]

My Dinner with Malcolm Gladwell (Epilogue)

Making a Living

Bounty hunter #1: You’re wanted, Wales.
Josey Wales: Reckon I’m right popular. You a bounty hunter?
Bounty hunter #1: A man’s got to do something for a living these days.
Josey Wales: Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.

- The Outlaw Josey Wales

TUESDAY: I had to come up with a plan. It had to be fate that Malcolm “Blink”ing Gladwell rolled up next to me at the Catalina having what appeared to be a cappuccino while looking nervously at his computer screen. I could leave him alone, or I could see what he was all about. This is Texas, and we are nosy, chatty, and very want to tell people about ourselves; therefore, if I just start a chat it will either become a legitimate chat, or possibly one of the suicide scenes from Airplane. I took a shot of Rwanda to instill some bravery and —–I quickly decided that if  it was fate I would indeed see him here again and we might even have a meaningful chat. [Read more...]

My Dinner with Malcolm Gladwell (Part 3)

“and now…the rest of the story”

Paul Harvey

Scared to Death

As soon as Gladwell was gone I took a big swig of my now very cold Rwanda and gazed up at the barista. He must have seen the stupid grin on my face because he gave me a “why the hell are you so happy?” look.

Me: Do you know who that was?

Barista: No, should I?

Me: That was Malcolm Gladwell, one of the most important American writers in the world (realizing that was totally gay before it left my mouth)

Barista: Cool, I have seen him in here a few times before

Me: Yeah, I think he is researching here (like I knew something)

Barista: I always thought he was pretty weird-looking.

Me: (Thinking Barista not exactly the picture of normalcy) Yeah, he is amazing..one of my idols…..I decided to announce that I am becoming a writer today and then he appears here man, and I am like, wow this is fate man, this the real fucking deal..seriously Malcolm Gladwell..wait man..wait

Barista: (confused) excuse me?

Me: Sorry dude, gotta get out of here, Gladwell’s coming to dinner (as I am hustling out) [Read more...]