While there's no ESPN Anchor friends, like last time... this list is still impressive.
Mo Nabhani –
Most of the time I travel because I feel like it. But sometimes, I see pictures from Mo on my Facebook newsfeed and he's in some new country, and then it becomes a competition. I immediately book a ticket out of the country so as not to be outdone by Mo and his buddies. Since I can't win at anything else in life, I figure traveling to the most countries will be that lone win for me. (Although, the other day, this girl on Tinder said she had been to 86 countries. WTF! I immediately stopped talking to her because I didn't want to go back to being a loser with zero wins in life!!!) Mo and his buddy started a company called Wanderlust Tomorrow that sets you up with affordable adventures that you only dreamt were possible. Check out their Facebook page here or their website.
Kenzi Wang –
Kenzi has been on a roll lately with his company being accepted at 500 Startups and then Y Combinator, the most prestigious incubator of them all. That's like going to Michael Mina for dinner at 6pm and then having an encore dinner at French Laundry at 9pm. Last time I saw him, he had the look of a successful man, whereas I had the look of a weathered migrant rice farmer. Kenzi's company, Traction, is a marketplace for brands and companies to find the most effective digital marketers to run their marketing campaigns. Check it out here.
Melissa Low –
Melissa and I used to run the Santa Monica steps together, before I would beg of her to leave me as my jello-y legs could no longer move. While Melissa continues to run upwards with her career, I remain stretching at the bottom, afraid of injuries and sweating. (This is what we call a metaphor... I think. I wasn't a very good English student.) Melissa has the job that we all envy, because most of us would pay to do it. While she would never admit it, since she's far too humble, Melissa has had a very large role in expanding the presence of boxing in China. Fights that started with Pacquiao in Macau, she was integral in bringing in celebrities from around the world, placing stars like G-Dragon next to Paris Hilton. Zou Shiming, China's Gold Medal winner in boxing in two Olympics, has been huge in raising the profile of boxing in his home country. Like Jerry Maguire's hand showing up in the pictures of his athletes, somewhere lurking nearby Zou is Melissa's hand. (That doesn't sound weird or creepy at all!) Check out this commercial Melissa placed Zou in for Beats By Dre.
De'Niel Phipps –
De'Niel is that one black friend that I have that allows me to make borderline inappropriate remarks. Like, "I can't be racist, because I have black friends." (Then I pull up a picture of him, just to show people.) I actually only make inappropriate remarks to him to keep up with his inappropriate Asian remarks. We laugh and laugh and laugh. And then we look around uncomfortably, hoping no one has heard what we just said and quickly change the topic to the latest weather conditions. De'Niel is an Emmy award-winning director and cinematographer who is working on a documentary about his hometown, Saginaw, Michigan, and the athletes that have come out of this small community of 50,000. It's amazing the number of professional athletes (many of whom De'Niel has already interviewed) who hail from the region: Magic Johnson, Serena Williams, Draymond Green, Jason Richardson, Lamar Woodley and many more. Check out his website here.
And, finally, so that everyone will forgive me for whatever transgressions I have made (Knibb High Football rules!)...
Mothers and Fathers –
Well, there you have it! Don't be one of those haters who lurk in the background of Facebook, hating on people for being successful in life, or really happy, or ridiculously good-looking. Spread love, my friends! Take risks in life and remember to give back... (starting with housesitting duties for me at your vacation villa in the Mediterranean).