"I have a few long-term goals in my life, I want to share a personal one with you: To find the one man in the world who is looking for me. If you have read my website to this point you will realize I am a person with an active intellect, a great capacity for love, a personality of honesty and the willingness to trust and respect the other person. I am looking for the one man in this world who can return that love, honesty, trust and respect in a relationship that will endure without interruption and grow to the end of our lives."

A Beautiful Eurasian-American actress, Nancy Kwan

Nancy Kwan is an Eurasian-American actress, who played a pivotal role in the acceptance of actors of Asian ancestry in major Hollywood film roles. Widely praised for her beauty, Kwan was considered a sex symbol in the 1960s.

Nancy Kwan is the daughter of Kwan Wing Hong, a Cantonese architect, and Marquita Scott, a model of English and Scottish ancestry.

A wonderful 50-year marriage

Paul Newman was a hero of mine. I loved his rebellious, sometimes cranky nature, his smouldering good looks with the piercing blue eyes. I loved it that he drove fast cars well and that he was so satisfied with what he had that he could donate some of his wealth to worthy causes. He exuded contentment in life and within his marriage. He was a wonderful cook – so much so that his friends inspired him to market his own sauces and dressings. What else could we expect of someone with the Moon in the 2nd house? In time, “Newman’s Own” brand, donating all its profits after tax to charitable causes, threatened to overshadow his acting career. Not that Paul himself seemed to mind very much! When he died, I couldn’t help but think, what if there were a few more celebrities like Paul Newman in the world?

The 2nd of February 1958 was the date of Paul’s marriage to Joanne. On the day, transit Pluto was opposite his natal Moon, showing a powerful emotional shift, and Venus was passing over his natal Sun. It was an auspicious start to a marriage that would be hailed as one of Hollywood’s strongest. Some time later, when asked about temptation among so many beautiful Hollywood starlets, Paul quipped, “Why have hamburger when you can have steak at home?” Joanne was with him to the very end.

Paul Newman was perhaps Hollywood’s greatest entrepreneur and philanthropist. Certainly he was one its greatest actors. Paul’s “Newman’s Own” line of food products of pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, salsa, and wine, among other things, continue to flourish, and as of early 2006, the franchise has resulted in excess of $200 million in donations. The franchise had begun in 1982, just as he began another new progressed lunar cycle, and this plus the love of his family and his wonderful roles during his acting career are his legacy. As David Letterman said: “Paul was not just a great actor, a race-car driver but a man who knew how to live his life because he took care of other people – not just here and there but as a full time commitment… It takes a humanitarian genius to not just think about it but to actually follow through with it.”

Paul died in 2008, hand in hand with his wife Joanne for 50 years.

Nail polish was invented by the Chinese in about 3000 B.C.

Nail polish was invented by the Chinese in about 3000 B.C. It was made from a mixture of Arabic gum, egg whites, gelatin and beeswax. It was used by the ancient Chinese. Chinese royalty often used gold and silver nail polish.

Interesting Facts About Nail Polish

  • Nail polish is very popular with women, although it is gaining popularity with men. The company Hard Candy released a nail polish line, Candy Man, aimed specifically at men.
  • Acetonitrile, a highly toxic substance, was once used as a component of nail polish remover. After the accidental poisoning of several young children, it was banned in the European Economic Area.
  • In the 19th century, many cookbooks contained ‘recipes’ for making nail polish.
  • Ultraviolet stabilizers are used in nail polish so that it doesn’t change color when exposed to light!
  • Nail polish can help make nails stronger, preventing them from breaking, cracking or splitting.

How to Charm a Man

I read this online today, quite interesting. I’d like to share with you.

Do you wish you were more confident, more sexy or more charming? It's not as hard as you think! Just relax and follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to being that entrancing woman that men can't get enough of!


1. Love Yourself - Nothing is more attractive than self confidence! Think you're nothing special? Remember this...

Someone once said, no matter what you look like or what you think is wrong with you, there is someone out there who thinks that you are the most beautiful woman in the world, to whom you are the perfect ideal of beauty.

Realize your beauty and carry yourself with confidence!

2. Have Passion - Men love a woman who is about something. Every man wants a woman who is devoted to him, but when a woman has her own life, her own hobbies, her own passion, she gets that irresistible sparkle (and that self confidence that we were talking about!) When you start really pursuing your passion, you radiate happiness and your positive energy will draw in everyone around you!

3. Smile - So let's talk about happiness. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes you have cramps and somebody cut you off in traffic and you can't pay your cell phone bill. Now, smile. No, REALLY smile. Smile like you are greeting your favorite person in the world. We think we have to feel good to smile, but the truth is smiling when you feel like hell will actually begin to make you feel good.

CHALLENGE! Next time you are in a bad mood, make a vow to yourself that you will smile like a beauty queen for five minutes, whether you feel like it or not. I bet that you can't act happy and smiley for five minutes without starting to feel better.

4. Stop interrupting! Yes, you. Let him talk. Until he's done. Even if you think you know the rest of what he's going to say. Zip it!

ALL men want to feel like they are the most interesting man in the world.

By being the girl that honors him enough to just shut the hell up and listen to what he says like it is really important, you will win a golden place in his heart.


I received this email yesterday, and I'd like to share it with all female companions:


AGE: 38
PHONE: 424-261-2442


Gary showed up to an incall appointment, wasted 45 minutes of the providers time, saying he would pay. Never gave her the money, and ran out of the location w/o paying. Also smells really bad, like he has not showered in a week.

DO NOT SEE this client, put him on your blacklist!


What is a "nuru" massage?

Nuru is an erotic massage technique in which both parties are usually completely nude. The word originates from the Japanese language and means "slippery/smooth".

An essential and integral part of the nuru massage is the use of a mostly odorless and tasteless massage oil, the nuru gel, which is derived from seaweed leaves. The gel is applied to a large area of the body. During the massage participants will try to get the widest possible physical contact, the masseuses often using their entire body on the person to be treated. Strong tactile sensations are triggered that are designed to relieve stress.

The massage is often performed in specially heated rooms such as a steam room, and the gel warmed to an appropriate temperature.

Nuru gel is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. The main component is the sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan, which is obtained from the leaves of the brown seaweed plant (Sphaerotrichia divaricata). Chamomile (Azulene) and other minerals are often added. The gel is similar in composition and application to medical gels such as that used for ultrasound examinations.

Starting in 2010, Nuru massage has become popular around the world. Many massage parlors and independent massage providers in Canada and Europe provide a nuru massage service.

Or you can read here for more info: http://www.nurunurugel.com/nuru-massage-wiki-how-to.html?SID=78074je5pbjekrrr6mg61a21e7

Florida Teen Dies After Complications During Breast Surgery

Florida high school senior Stephanie Kuleba had everything going for her -- she was the well-liked captain of her varsity cheerleading team at West Boca High School, and she had been accepted to the University of Florida, where she hoped to study medicine.

The 18-year-old's promising life was cut short Saturday after she suffered what doctors believe was a fatal reaction to anesthesia during breast augmentation surgery.

Nearly two hours into the surgery, Kuleba was rushed to Delray Medical Center, where she died 24 hours later, said the family's attorney Roberto Stanziale.

Kuleba was undergoing surgery to correct asymmetrical breasts and an inverted areola, Stanziale said.

Doctors believe the cause of death was malignant hyperthermia, a relatively rare metabolic condition that can be triggered by certain anesthesia. A patient's heart rate and metabolism rises, causing the body temperature to rise as high as 112 degrees.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Stephen Schuster performed the surgery at an outpatient facility in Boca Raton.

"I am devastated by the loss and I feel for the family," he said in a statement.

The Gift of Plastic Surgery

According to just released data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 348,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in 2007, a 64 percent increase from 2000.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that between 2002 and 2003, the number of women and girls younger than 18 who got breast implants nearly tripled, from 3,872 to 11,326.

Doctors also say they are seeing more parents giving their teens the gift of new breasts or other cosmetic surgery for milestones like birthdays or graduations.

"I've seen an increase in teens having plastic surgery, and certainly for graduation," said Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg, a New York plastic surgeon and the author of "A Little Nip, A Little Tuck."

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons strongly believes that no one younger than 18 should undergo plastic surgery.

Cosmetic breast implants for patients younger than 18 are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, except in cases of reconstructive or corrective surgery, such as asymmetry.

Friends at West Boca Raton High School expressed shock and sadness during a candlelight vigil for Kuleba on Sunday evening.

"She was a role model for a lot of people," classmate Vicky Goldring, 16, told the Palm Beach Post. "She was incredibly smart. She wanted to help people. She was just a happy 18-year-old girl."

As her grief-stricken family members wait for a definitive answer about Kuleba's death, they cannot ignore the cruel irony that their daughter aspired to become a plastic surgeon.

I Miss Paris

My relationship with Paris is a whole lot simpler. I love it, everything about it, and always have. It’s the perfect size, it’s a beautiful city, which offers every possible kind of entertainment and cultural event, and a wonderful quality of life. One thing I love about both cities is that the sky is so beautiful in both places and you can see it. (I never see the sky in New York, and don’t even think to look for it. What sky? All you see are buildings). Not so in Paris or San Francisco, the sky is right there and gorgeous at all times of day, particularly at dusk or sunset or that perfect luminous pearl gray at first light, which still takes my breath away in Paris. The light in Paris is exquisite. And for some reason, I don't care about the weather in Paris, even if it’s cold and rainy.
- D. Steel

21 Ways Rich People Think Differently

1. Average people think MONEY is the root of all evil. Rich people believe POVERTY is the root of all evil.

2. Average people think selfishness is a vice. Rich people think selfishness is a virtue.

3. Average people have a lottery mentality. Rich people have an action mentality.

4. Average people think the road to riches is paved with formal education. Rich people believe in acquiring specific knowledge.

5. Average people long for the good old days. Rich people dream of the future.

6. Average people see money through the eyes of emotion. Rich people think about money logically.

7. Average people earn money doing things they don't love. Rich people follow their passion.

8. Average people set low expectations so they're never disappointed. Rich people are up for the challenge.

9. Average people believe you have to DO something to get rich. Rich people believe you have to BE something to get rich.

10. Average people believe you need money to make money. Rich people use other people's money.

11. Average people believe the markets are driven by logic and strategy. Rich people know they're driven by emotion and greed.

12. Average people live beyond their mans. Rich people live below theirs.

13. Average people teach their children how to survive. Rich people teach their kids to get rich.

14. Average people let money stress them out. Rich people find peace of mind in wealth.

15. Average people would rather be entertained than educated. Rich people would rather be educated than entertained.

16. Average people think rich people are snobs. Rich people just want to surround themselves with like-minded people.

17. Average people focus on saving. Rich people focus on earning.

18. Average people play it safe with money. Rich people know when to take risks.

19. Average people love to be comfortable. Rich people find comfort in uncertainty.

20. Average people don't make the connection between money and health. rich people know money can save your life.

21. Average people believe they must choose between a great family and being rich. Rich people know you can have it all.

Celebrities Who've Used Surrogates

  • Ricky Martin
  • Giuliana (37) and Bill Rancic (41)
  • Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick
  • Chris and Deanna Daughtry
  • Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance
  • Elton John and David Furnish
  • Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower De Niro
  • William Petersen and Gina Cirone
  • Alexis Stewart (Martha Stewart's daughter)
  • Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman
  • Marisa Jaret Winokur and Judah Miller
  • Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
  • Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
  • Kelsey Grammer and Camille Grammer
  • Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter
  • Dennis Quaid and Kimberly Buffington

Thoughts of the Day

What comes with ease goes with ease.
- Arabian Proverb

"Just think, the shoes I wouldn’t be caught dead in might actually turn out to be the shoes I am caught dead in.”
- David Rakoff (1964-2012)

The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.
- John Updike

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
- Dr. Seuss

"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
- Michael Jordan

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
- Abraham Lincoln

'Nobody likes having salt rubbed into their wounds, even if it is the salt of the earth.'
- Rebecca West

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.
- Leonardo Da Vinci

“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”
- IBM Founder Thomas Watson, Sr.

"To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn 100 million into $110 million is inevitable."
- Edgar Bronfman

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
- Confucius (551–479 BC)

Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
- Confucius (551–479 BC)

A Teen Entrepreneur

Jon Koon

Started business when he was 16
Business: Auto parts, fashion

From a very young age, Chinese-American Jon Koon was already a mogul-in-the-making. He saw huge discrepancies between American and Japanese automobiles in terms of innovation and design, and used the $5,000 he’d saved up from red “lai see” packets to make aggressive moves into the auto market.

He started purchasing car parts from international supply chains, teamed up with a local mechanic and worked his magic to give tons of cars spiffy, high-end finishes and fancy engines with top-notch speakers — all of which gave rise to the blinged-out car craze that was MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” show.

Not long after, Jon opened a manufacturing business that distributed auto parts to a variety of niche markets. In 2008, he switched gears when American rapper Young Jeezy took Jon on as the exclusive partner in his line of clothing, 8732. Soon enough, Jon stuck with fashion as his true calling and his company, Tykoon Brand Holdings, now owns and operates several brands across the globe.

As of 2011, Tykoon Brand Holdings was worth $80 million — and Jon looks forward to several new projects Tykoon has lined up for the near future.

Steve Wynn

As of March 2012, Wynn (Jewish) is the 491st richest man in the world with a net worth of $2.5 billion.

I am ready to confess

when you walk past
I imagine you
whispering love songs to me
under deep blue skies
I breathe the soft vanille scent
that trails after you
creating desire in its wake
I long to feel the silk that is your skin
I dwell on the lovely ever after of your lips
as they might part on mine
alas, I am ready to confess
that I love you...I need you...I want you

Selling Ice Cubes to Eskimos

The saying “he could sell ice cubes to Eskimos” is usually said with one part envy and one part disdain. The ability to sell, whether it be your services, your company’s products or an idea is an important skill and people that do it well are often very successful. It’s one of the most essential skills of an entrepreneur but I believe it’s a skill that everyone could benefit from improving. That’s because on the most basic level, “selling” is just enrolling someone in a course of action that you would like them to take. This applies as much to convincing your family or friends to go to Cancun for a vacation as it does to convincing a prospect that they should buy from you.

The problem is, many people have a bad impression of sales and sales people. This comes from the fundamental idea behind “selling ice to Eskimos,” which is that selling has to do with convincing someone to do something that they don’t want to do or that would not be beneficial to them. For most of us, this idea goes against our basic conscience which is why it is so distasteful. Also, most of us have been on the receiving end of a sales pitch by someone who could care less about our satisfaction and just wants to make a sale.

Good selling is exactly the opposite of this. Good selling is closer to the idea of “selling parkas to cold Eskimos”. It is a beneficial service to the customer. If done well, the customer thanks you, refers other people to you and becomes a repeat customer themselves.

Good selling is called “consultative” selling because you consult with your prospects about their current situation, the issues they are experiencing and discuss different ways to solve their problem. Key to this type of selling is listening. The best sales people are the best listeners. They hear what their customers want – both the spoken and unspoken wants – and they act to try to satisfy those desires. Listening is not a passive activity. The most effective type of listening is active listening which requires interacting with prospect to make sure that communications is occurring. Phrases you will hear regularly from active listeners include:

  • Let me see if I understood you...
  • Is this what you meant?
  • What I heard you say is…

By repeating or rephrasing what your prospect said, you not only ensure that communication has occurred between you but you also give them a chance to reflect on what they’ve said and clarify if there was something missing from their communication. Active listening creates trust and trust is the single most important factor in a sale. The prospect needs to trust that their desire will be satisfied through the purchase they are making.

Good selling is also educational. A sales person should be an expert in what they sell and should be a wealth of information about their own product or service as well as their industry as a whole. By educating people on the pros and cons of a particular product or service, the prospect can make a more informed decision and therefore be more likely to be satisfied with their purchase over time.

Practice these fundamental aspects of good selling, whether in your personal or professional list, and you will enjoy the many rewards, financial as well as personal, of consistently satisfying people’s wants and needs.


Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a bad purpose, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise verbal aggression.

A man (who I met in my secret life) abused me recently.

I am feeling sad.


With sadness and tears,
An vulnerable victim

Couple tie the knot at 95 and 98 years old

Lillian Hartley and Allan Marks are officially the oldest newlyweds ever.

With more than 193 combined years under their belts, 95-year-old Hartley and 98-year-old Marks broke a Guinness World Record for the oldest aggregate age of a couple on when the two tied the knot Wednesday (Feb 29, 2012).

The couple said, "I do," in a civil ceremony in Indio, Calif., on Wednesday after 18 years together, according to the Desert Sun. They unknowingly surpassed the previous record of 191 aggregate years, which a French couple set in 2002.

“We talked about it for years, but our lives were so busy that I just never got around to it,” the bride told ABC News, citing their busy lifestyle filled with travel, trips to temple on Saturdays and watching their favorite basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers. “We just decided to go to Indio and have the marriage ceremony in one day.

“We don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, so I’m not taking any chances. I want to be with Allan for the rest of my life,” she said.

“I want to be with Lillian for the rest of my life,” Marks echoed.

Riverside County Clerk's Office Deputy Commissioner of Marriages Yvonne Cruz, who performed the ceremony, said Hartley and Marks' love was evident from the moment they walked in.

"When they came to my window, I spoke to her first and she says, 'I want to marry this man,'" Cruz recalled. "He puts his arm around her waist and says, 'I want to be with her for the rest of my life.' And she says, 'I want to be together forever.'"

Cruz, who has officiated thousands of marriages over the past seven years, including one two years ago for an 82- and 83-year-old, said Marks was "one of the most romantic grooms" she'd ever seen, at any age.

"She told us that he tells her he loves her at least three or four times a day," Cruz said.

During the time the couple was at the clerk's office, Cruz recounted how the groom gestured lovingly at his bride, put his arm around her, kept giving her pecks on the cheek and told her how much he loved her. "Little things that added up to one big picture that these two were incredibly, incredibly in love," she said.

Cruz helped Hartley and Marks fill out the paperwork and helped them from the main lobby to another room, where they exchanged vows. (Marks tried to kiss his bride a little too early, but who can blame him.)

"You see couples who come in and they're in love, but in their case it was just … the degree of their love, surpassed even their ages. It was just so beautiful. It had to be one of the most beautiful ceremonies I've ever officiated," Cruz said.

The bride and groom were both widowers when they met 18 years ago at temple in Palm Springs on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. He, a retired veterinarian, talked up the retired paralegal, complimenting her dress, and one thing led to another.

“I believe in fate and destiny a little bit and I think that was meant to be,” Hartley said. “I had been a widow for six years and I really loved my freedom. …I said, ‘Oh, I don’t want a relationship,’…and then he came along, and somehow hooked me.”

The duo is certainly one to learn from. "The wisdom, the knowledge and the love that they have for one another," Cruz said, "that's something that you don't see every day."

Until Another Life...

I read a touching story on a blog tonight.
I cried.
You don't see my tears and you can never feel my pain inside...
I ask myself again: love, what is love?

Here is the story that wrote by a broken-hearted girl. I don't know her, but I can feel her pain. I will pray for her and all the broken-hearted girls...

Until Another Life

You and I were never meant to be lovers. I was from a small northern Californian town, running away from my past of too many broken romances. You were from Los Angeles, the city of endless possibilities. When I met you, we breezed past each other, completely unaware of each others existence, you and your girlfriend were in some fight over your job promoting, and I was in wanderlust with the new LA night scene.

However, as time passed we became more and more entangled. Late nights partying together, early morning brunches with the gang, and that one night. That one single night when I was talking to you and in one second you became all I thought about.

I am not sure how someone that meant nothing to you can all the sudden be all you ever think about, but that's what happened. You became my personal brand of heroin. I was intrigued by you and your mysterious ways, your bad boy persona, I wanted to be let into your inner circle. And for some reason you let me in, and I was hooked. But I didn't trust you nor did you trust me, not that it could stop us.

We spent our times hiding our romance from the world, with secret meeting spots, long nights entangled in lust with each other, and secret glances and embraces when no one was looking. It kept going on for month until we where inseparable, and somewhere down the line we fell in love.

You saw my broken ways and literally became the wall that stopped me in my tracks. My stubborn personality and twisted sense of trust with guys made me hide everything from you along with everyone else. But for some reason you keep pushing and prodding untill you knew ever last detail, even things that I hadn't even know about myself. You stuck with me, making me snap out of my broken way, cleaning up the broken mess of a heart I had from all the horrible romances before you. But like I said, you and I were never meant to be lovers, and we both knew that. While you helped me, I helped you. We grew together, but we where toxic lovers. From all the lies we had told each other neither of us trusted the other, and though we loved each other we weren't able to get past the heartache we had caused each other. The fighting was never ending, and your constant desire to hide me from your friends, family, and coworkers ate away at me. Then when the violence came in I had to leave.

It has been two weeks now. I still cry when I think of you going to your apartment and seeing that all my stuff was gone. I still can heard the distress in your voice when you called me asking where I was. I still think about you everyday, every second.

I just want to say I am sorry. I am sorry for leaving, I am sorry for not saying goodbye, I am sorry for not explaining. But you and I both know we couldn't keep going on the way we were. You where my angel, and you saved me. No matter how rough the bad times were, I never for a second regret our time together. You are always with me, it is just that sometimes, no matter how much two people love each other, it just will not work, and as much as it hurts me, and as much as I wanted to have your for myself, you where never mine to have. I wish you nothing but the best in life, and though I know I will never see you again, I hope that you know that I will always love you, and there is not enough words in the world to express how thankful I am for having have met you and gotten to have you in my life.

Until another life,
For privacy reason, I removed her name here, hope you understand

Some of the Pitfalls of Marrying Rich Men

A man with cash to splash can shower you with love and diamonds, providing you with financial security and happiness. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? No wonder it’s often claimed that women love a man with a fat wallet. There’s even some evidence to back this up. A study undertaken by the London School of Economics found that 64 percent of women hope to hook up with a guy who earns more than they do. In theory, it seems, women prefer rich husbands.

But before you jump to conclusions, note that the study only looked at what women hoped to get — the reality may be quite different. And when it comes to falling in love, poor guys do seem to come out on top every time. Jane falls for Tarzan, Johnny gets Baby in Dirty Dancing, and Noah steals Allie from her rich fiancé in The Notebook. In all the most romantic love stories, the wealthy man gets dropped and the guy with the hole in his pocket gets the girl. And by taking a look at how money affects relationships, it’s pretty clear why. Below, check out our list of potential problems to watch out for.

Pitfall #1: He works long hours
Consider how people get rich in the first place. Unless they’re lucky enough to have been born into a royal family or big business, they have to earn that extra cash. A man with lots of dough is a man who probably also works long hours. Princeton University researchers found that people who earned more money spent more time working and less time socializing. That means you’ll have money to spend on lavish dinner parties, but no partner to enjoy them with. Being a rich man’s wife can get lonely. What’s more, working so hard with little time for relaxation often makes people more stressed. “The time commitment to work can quickly become a contentious issue in a marriage,” says relationship counselor Dr. Pam Spurr, author of How to Be a Happy Human: 10 Essential Principles to Change Your Life. “If both parties have high-powered careers, it can be difficult to find time for each other. Also, a woman may feel as though she’s less important than her partner’s career, and he may feel he has to work harder to provide for her in the style she’s gotten used to.”

Pitfall #2: He is frequently tempted to misbehave
Now, think about how many wealthy men behave. Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, John F. Kennedy, even Franklin D. Roosevelt... all were unfaithful at some point. Of course, those examples don’t prove that all rich men are unfaithful, but evidence suggests that wealthy men and women are more likely to have an affair. According to a study by Prince and Associates (a company that studies the behaviors of the rich), more than 50 percent of America’s richest couples said they were unhappy in their marriage and that they had been unfaithful at some point. “Being wealthy often requires a couple to spend a lot of time apart, whether that’s for work at the office or going on business trips,” says Dr. Ian Kerner, therapist and author of Passionista: The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Pleasuring a Man. “It can also create a sense of entitlement so that, when a man is alone, away and a new attractive woman is being flirtatious, his sense of commitment is sorely tested. He may choose to ignore it.” To back this up, another study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that men in positions of power are more likely to act immorally and are also less likely to feel bad about it.

Pitfall #3: He’s no happier than his poorer counterparts
But at least a rich man is probably happier than a poor guy, you might be thinking. All that money must be good for something, right? But there’s little evidence to show that wealthy men are any more likely to jump out of bed with a smile than regular guys who struggle to earn a living. This actually holds true across all genders and ages. A study of more than 136,000 people worldwide found that, when compared with income, a sense of being respected, being in control of one’s life and having friends/family to rely on were more important factors in terms of achieving overall happiness. It’s true that money does provide short-term pleasure; after all, that last shopping spree you had probably gave you a buzz. But according to researchers from Princeton University, that “high” you feel is fleeting — it won’t last. “Money is a bit like your health,” says Kerner. “It’s only when you don’t have it that it feels like the key to happiness. When you’ve got plenty, you’ll soon realize that your unhappiness or joy comes from other parts of your life — such as love, friendships and personal achievements.”

Relationships that work are based on give and take on all levels, so unless you’re prepared to give up your life in exchange for financial security, you’ll find more happiness if you marry for love. And Spurr agrees, saying: “Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but no matter how big or pretty they are, they won’t keep you warm in bed at night!”

Keys To Success From Avon's Top Boss - Andrea Jung

In every successful career there is a moment: You could quit. But you resist, wisely.

For Andrea Jung, the chairman and CEO of Avon Products (AVP), this moment happened right after college, when she was in the management training program at Bloomingdale’s. All day everyday, there she was in the stockroom, switching vendor hangers for store hangers on thousands of pieces of clothes. “I remember calling my parents around Thanksgiving and saying, ‘You paid for me to have a great education and this is really not that meaningful…Maybe I will quit.’”

Jung, who grew up in a traditional Chinese-American family with a tremendous amount of discipline, had made her way to Princeton and wanted to go into the Peace Corps. But her parents didn’t have a lot of money, so they insisted she take a more conventional path. When Jung called them about quitting that first job at Bloomingdale’s, “the reaction was fast and furious,” she recalls. Her parents told her: “You are not quitting. You start at the bottom and you work your way to the top.”

"So, I didn’t quit,” Jung says. “I persevered, and it ended up being a really terrific run in retail.”

She traded retail— Bloomingdale’s (M) and then Neiman Marcus—for the beauty industry, moving to Avon in 1994. Jung was assigned to create a global Avon brand and did that so impressively that she was considered for the top job three years later. But she got passed over. And though she felt tempted to quit, she stayed. Two years later, she got the CEO job and became the youngest female chief executive in the Fortune 500.

“Bloom where you’re planted,” says Jung. “And follow your compass, not your clock,” she adds, preaching patience in any career. She has certainly demonstrated that. Now at the helm for 12 years, Jung is No. 5 on the 2010 Fortune Most Powerful Women list and the longest-serving among the female Fortune 500 CEOs. “I feel like the wise old woman CEO, trying to pave the path for a lot more after me,” she says. Jung is on the boards of Apple Computer (APLL) and General Electric (GE), as well as Avon. And as a single mother of a daughter, 21, and a 12-year-old son, she has learned plenty about juggling work and family. “You can’t, in my experience, necessarily have it all in one day,” she says. “But you’ve got to make those choices.” Now 52, she could well go and run another big global company after Avon, which had revenue of $10.9 billion last year. But she says, “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that yet.”

Right now, she is focused on Avon’s longevity. As part of the company’s 125th anniversary celebration this year, she has traveled to 15 cities around the globe and met with some 5,000 Avon representatives at each stop. The greatest satisfaction of leading Avon, she says, is helping 6.5 million representatives—entrepreneurs in 105 countries—build businesses from the ground up. By providing the money and products for reps to get started, “we’re one of the largest micro-lenders in the world today,” Jung notes. “Yes, we are a beauty company, but we do more than just sell beauty.”

I Love This Website (www.icorrect.com)

I found a great website recently and love it.

What is ICorrect?
ICorrect is the website to set the record straight. So far, the likes of Wikipedia and Google searches consist entirely of hearsays. ICorrect uniquely provides “words from the horses mouth”.

How is ICorrect unique?
ICorrect is the first website to correct permanently any lies, misinformation and misrepresentations that permeate in cyberspace.

How does ICorrect work?
ICorrect provides corporations and individuals with their own webpages, in which specific corrections are posted against accusations selected by the corrector - from the internet or other media.

What exactly does ICorrect do?
ICorrect protects one’s reputation in cyberspace forever.

The Distinct advantages of ICorrect
1. ICorrect is a serious website that deals with negativity, away from all the positivity of a general website.
2. ICorrect is a website that carries a permanent catalogue of corrections against matching accusations, each chosen at the discretion of the Corrector.
3. ICorrect is not fleeting nor temporary, unlike Twitter or YouTube or Facebook, all of which ICorrect augments and complements.
4. ICorrect enables the Corrector to post precise corrections, without the danger of third parties quoting them out of context.
5. ICorrect will always ensure the true identity of the corrector, by insisting on a reliable reference from each applicant.
6. ICorrect is not only a forum for corrections, but also one that facilitates apologies and notices.

ICorrect does not set out to solve the problem of future lies, misinformation and misrepresentation, which has become part of modern life.

ICorrect, however does set out to protect forever in cyber space the reputation of those who believe in setting the record straight on accusations they regard as unfair or untrue.

Please visit: www.icorrect.com

Donald Trump: Love him….or Hate him?

Really? Come on, ya gotta love this guy. Seriously, Who would have thought, reflecting back on his troubles in the early ninetys, that he would have risen to iconic status, not just in the business world, not just as a true American success story, but essentially as one of the most recognized names and faces in the mainstream media today.

Certainly his wildly successful reality series “The Apprentice” of which he is the star and Executive Producer, has reached into the homes of millions of viewers and has done no harm to his fame and fortune. But if you “peel back the layers of the onion”, so to speak, the guy is really very interesting and dare I say, inspiring.

First, take his early developing years as a bit of a mis-fit in school, sent off by his parents to New York Military Academy in the hopes of setting the teen-ager on the right course. Interested in following in his father’s footsteps in real estate development, he applied to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business where he ultimately received his BS in Economics and Finance. This was no small feat as Wharton continues to be one of the most prominent and rigorous business schools in the US, whose attendance includes undergrads on their way into the business world as well as corporate executives established in their careers seeking continual development and refinement of their business skills.

Fast forward to present and consider “The Apprentice”. With the proliferation of “Reality TV” in recent years, “The Apprentice” stands out as a cut above. Unlike many shows of this genera which garner a large and loyal audience but which often times leave most viewers of reasonable intellect wishing they had that last hour of their lives back, “Apprentice” offers much more. Like many shows, the series starts out with a group of good looking, young, ambitious types looking for a chance to grab the brass ring to success. And of course in these groups are those who we love to hate, and those we begin to empathize with and even root for. Everyone likes an underdog and many of the show’s episodes deliver on that front. But consider the setting: a challenging project, Donald as the charismatic, hard driving, no bullshit CEO, and his loyal side kicks, each with their own style and values they bring to the table in assessing the actions, successes, and failures of the would be “apprentices”.

On the show, he demands respect, he holds the team members accountable, he’s generally fair, he sets the bar high, and he makes very clear and remains true to a “sink or swim”, “take no prisoners” style. Sure, good program writers can make all this stuff up in the form of great scripts. But after all, this IS Reality TV and that wouldn’t be fair, would it? Anyone who has spent any time in the business world working with C-level executives knows; Trump’s “role” on the show is not made up; he is believable because in large part, that’s how successful leaders operate in the real world.

But then go back a little bit further…..the guy is really an amazing success story. Pushed himself to excel at one of the finest business schools in the country, joined his father’s organization where he contributed to it’s success while learning the ropes, then proceeded to build his empire. As his appetite for success grew, he encountered and managed to navigate through near financial ruin, only to cheat death in effect, leading his enterprise through a resurgence to present day. The best business leaders through history have risen to greatness through their ability to navigate the storm and emerge largely intact, only to then take the new organization to new levels. Trump’s one-liners are often quoted and one of my favorites is “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. So true in business, in life even, and so true throughout his career.

Certainly he has an eye for value and the business skills to achieve it. From his early days in property development….spotting bargains, projecting future value, then successfully achieving or exceeding goals. And likewise in his more recent ventures of Trump Entertainment Resort Holdings where he does not shy away from challenge….as both Ivanka and Donald Junior who both work for their father would say, Trump development projects are the best place to be from a career standpoint. Whether it’s a given initiative’s challenge, size, cost, sex appeal, or all of the above, the Trump name on the project always draws considerable attention and considerable talent which has ultimately driven the organization’s success in large part.

Then, take his personal life, widely publicized in the late ninetys when his affair with Marla Maples broke in the media. You could not pass a grocery store checkout counter for months without seeing the tabloid’s cover story, there in full color for the world to see….images in one form or another of Ivana, “The Donald”, Marla, or all three. I can actually remember one of the headlines which said, in true tabloid form and super-size font, something like “DONALD ON MARLA: IT’S THE BEST SEX I’VE EVER HAD”. Like I said, ya gotta love the guy! Not surprisingly after a less than smooth split from Ivana and the strain of Trump’s always primary focus on his businesses, his marriage to Marla also came to an end. Enter Melania, his current wife and mother of his 5th child. Melania….a pretty woman. More media attention, huge publicity around their marriage, etc, etc. Taking stock in all his successes and failures, all the media attention of scandal, divorce, and a new family, another famous Trump-ism comes to mind which is “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.

Trump has literally made a business out of the use of his name…..the business unit which licenses the Trump name is one of the most valuable units in the entire Trump Empire. Publicity, both negative and positive, put the name so much in vogue that other large developers write big checks to attach the Trump name to their projects. Truly, there can be no such thing as bad publicity!.

A lesser-known place where the Trump name shows up is in his endorsements of ACN Incorporated. So who is ACN, and why is Trump associated with them? Ever heard of AMWAY? Big years ago, still around I believe, but the basic concept of AMWAY starts out this way: an AMWAY “direct distributor” starts his or her business by selling every-day products like laundry soap, to that person's friends, neighbors, family members, etc. AMWAY has a broad range of home products like this, which they produce themselves. In fairness, the products are good in quality and reasonable in price so the pitch to a would-be “new distributor” is something like….”it’s so easy to sell these products…instead of paying top dollar and the grocery store, why wouldn’t your friends buy from you, unless they’re just bad friends?” But of course the real business opportunity is NOT in selling soap to your neighbor…the real opportunity is in convincing your neighbor how successful he or she can be in selling to their neighbors, etc, etc. The basic idea is, the sky is the limit (in theory) and one’s success is based on one’s willingness to work hard, believe in the vision, and develop a network, a pyramid really, of other distributors of AMWAY products.

Enter ACN, founded in 1993 and now operating in 21 countries worldwide. ACN’s model is nearly identical to AMWAY, different in that it focuses not on consumable products, but more on recurring revenue stream services….”residuals” as they are called. For example, among ACN’s portfolio of products are services like cable TV, home internet and phone services, wireless phone services, etc. Here’s a simple example: an ACN representative approaches a potential customer, offering to replace that person’s wireless service with a service delivered via ACN. Its the same service, the same service provider, etc however through ACN’s agreements and purchasing power with that and other providers, the “customer” receives exactly what he or she already had at the same price, while the ACN representative earns revenue from both the initial sale and, more importantly, earns a percentage of the recurring revenue generated by that customer. A pretty good model really, but roughly the same concept…..real money can be made as the rep’s organization grows and the recurring revenue streams compound.

As a “hook”, ACN markets a video phone under it’s brand which is where “The Don” comes in. First a little on ACN’s video phone…..ACN as a telecom services provider operates a Voice Over IP (VOIP) network which enables them to offer an IP – based voice service, roughly equivalent to a customer’s current service, albeit with video and other “advanced features”. The ACN video phone is basically a VOIP phone with a screen and built in camera. This device, coupled with ACN’s VOIP service, delivered over your internet service provider’s connection (which you can also buy through ACN), enables basic phone service over the public internet, coupled with video capability to other ACN devices. Think of the service as essentially what you can do with a desktop PC or smartphone using a free service like Skype to set up a video call to another Skype user.

Don’t get me wrong, not suggesting any gimmicks or trickery involved here, all good stuff. Anyway, where does Trump come in? ACN’s leadership team along with the video phone have been featured on “The Apprentice”. ACN’s business model works, and to many people, a very exiting, opportunity just as AMWAY was years ago. ACN’s revenue and growth numbers are strong, so it’s not totally clear whether ACN’s feature segment on “Apprentice” and Trump’s spokesperson role is funded by ACN, or of Donald is simply standing up out of the goodness of his heart to help the masses find that “golden opportunity”? Who knows. What’s interesting is the degree to which he is featured in ACN’s recruitment literature, videos, and on a few occasions, large scale “training” sessions where Trump has been the featured guest speaker.

Whether he is a paid sponsor or not, why all the hype and why Trump? To me it boils down to this: the guy can literally sell ice cubes to Eskimos. How does he do this? Trump, in addition to the skills he has developed over years of hard work, successes, and failures, seems to have the gift of making others believe they want what he wants. Just consider how he managed his way out of not one but numerous bankruptcies while his “brand recognition” continued to grow and as he continues to grow his empire. Love him or hate him; call it luck or genius, the guy can close deals like no one else. And so when the ACN boys planned their move to take their company to the next level, they obviously needed a sexy product, a story about how literally anyone can achieve their dreams, and a way to reach their target market. What better way to do so then through product placement on one of the most successful and widely viewed Reality shows on record, and what better spokesperson endorsing the “opportunity” than The Don himself? Brilliant!

One final thought worthy of mention here and a testament to why “ya gotta love this guy”…..consider Trump’s rise to prominence through turmoil and near-financial collapse, the personal and professional successes and setbacks, the respect he has earned in the business world, numerous books written or contributed to, and the seemingly complete transparency to his personal and professional life in the media. If nothing else, one has to conclude, Trump is the real deal. What you see is what you get and he’s not ashamed to say so. He seeks no praise and offers no apologies. And, in a place in our history where the words “Chief Executive” and “Integrity” are seldom heard in the same sentence, Trump, ironically, is not a bad model for what a good business leader “should be” all about.


Armless Pianist That Is Really Inspiring

Heartening tales of overcoming adversity are typical fodder on "Got Talent" and other reality shows, but the shocking saga of "China's Got Talent" contestant Liu Wei makes this season's batch of "America's Got Talent" sob stories look like the pampered brats on VH1's "You're Cut Off." And this is a true sob story--seriously, if you watch the video below and don't get at least a little bit misty-eyed, you clearly have no soul.

Liu, now 23 years old, lost both of his arms in a freak accident when he was 10, after he touched an electrified wire while playing hide-and-seek. However, these tragic circumstances did not stop Liu from pursuing his dream of becoming a pianist--teaching himself how to play with his feet at age 18, after one piano teacher told him he would never succeed. And it turns out, Liu has more talent in one of his pinky toes than most four-limbed piano players have in both of their hands.

"For people like me, there were only two options. One was to abandon all dreams, which would lead to a quick, hopeless death. The other was to struggle without arms to live an outstanding life," Liu explained to the judges on "China's Got Talent." Thankfully, Liu chose the latter option.

After watching his video, I found it hard to fight the tears from welling in my eyes... Beautiful job. He deserves success, for the sheer willpower it took for him to overcome his struggles.

When we watch him, when we listen to his music, we ought to live complaint-free. I sincerely hope you please watch Liu's perfect performance with your heart:

Why do you need a deposit?

Paris, France

East Meets West - The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee

Sometimes the end of a love affair is only the beginning...

The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee is a first-class ticket to the magnificent Hong Kong.

Once upon a time, Janice Lee was an editorial assistant at ELLE, schlepping coffee for the senior editors. Now, 11 years later, she’s literary royalty. Yes, Stylista viewers, fairy tales don’t begin just in the fashion closet; sometimes the Word People’s world (those dowdy laborers who produce articles) sows the seeds of future glamour, at least the sort for which young book lovers yearn.

Lee’s first novel, The Piano Teacher, a romance set in Hong Kong during and after World War II, hits bookstores January 13. The manuscript sparked a massive bidding war, with 19 countries buying foreign rights.

“As soon as I started reading it, I knew I had something special,” says Kathryn Court, the Penguin editor who bought The Piano Teacher for a high six figures. “I don’t go after a huge number of books, only ones I really love,” says Court, a publishing industry doyenne with such authors as J. M. Coetzee and William Trevor on her roster. “Lee’s a natural storyteller.”

Lee is happily married to a successful financier (these still exist...). She met her husband, Joe Bae, on their first day at Harvard; they sensibly recognized they were soul mates and got married soon after college. But while Lee might not have had to wait for her prince to come, she did have to wait for something arguably more precious for an aspiring fiction writer: her plot.

After working her way up to book editor, she quit, afraid she’d never write her own novel while steeped in other people’s, and got an MFA under the tutelage of Chang-Rae Lee at Hunter College. “There were many years where you’re just working, working, working and nothing happens,” Lee says. She had a short story published in The Atlantic online and another in the small journal Image, but mostly she toiled haunted by the fear that, while she had the characters, a novel-sustaining plot eluded her.

But during her first pregnancy, Lee had one of those mythic-maternity miracles, in which what she couldn’t do with all the time in the world suddenly became doable. By the time she moved to Hong Kong from New York City three years ago for her husband’s job, she had two sons and half her book done. After her third pregnancy, with—gasp!—twins, she kicked into even higher gear. “I wrote seven hours a day,” she says.

The riveting narrative follows Claire, a conventional, middle-class British girl, as she moves to Hong Kong in the 1950s with her civil servant husband and is transformed, E. M. Forster style, by the freedom of an exotic place. Claire’s life becomes intertwined with a passionate love affair between Will Truesdale, a handsome Brit, and Trudy Liang, a Eurasian society beauty, that unravels tragically during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.

The book has an incredibly escapist pull, not least because Lee renders Hong Kong’s midcentury, languorous expat scene in CinemaScope. She grew up in the city with her Korean family before attending boarding school in New Hampshire and thus has both an insider’s and outsider’s vantage point. If you can’t actually get to Hong Kong, reading The Piano Teacher is the perfect vicarious voyage. If you can, it serves as a wonderful travel guide.

Sadly, because so much of the old city is gone, Lee had to do most of her research using journals, archival photos, and period films, like Ang Lee’s under-sung Lust & Caution (a wonderful movie). “Every time someone visits me,” she laments, “we’re meeting in a mall.” But if you know where to look, you can still get lost in the places that make this book so dizzyingly atmospheric. The Helena May ladies’ club, an institute set up in 1916 by the governor’s wife to keep new female arrivals from going astray, is still serving scones, though it’s now sandwiched between skyscrapers rather than bucolic gardens. And the Jockey Club, where Trudy takes Will on their first date, continues drawing in horse betters and hobnobbers. Meanwhile, the latest hot spots are trading on the city’s tradition, as seen at the moodily lit, meticulously designed The Pawn public house, in an old Chinese pawn shop. And in certain ways, Lee’s own life has an out-of-time quality—she has baby nurses and a driver and belongs, like many in the international scene, to a club where children run on manicured lawns and grown-ups gossip as the hot days pass. Although Lee is more often in her air conditioned office, writing.

Janice Y.K. Lee was born and raised in Hong Kong and graduated from Harvard College. A former editor at ELLE magazine, she currently lives in Hong Kong with her husband and children. The Piano Teacher is her first book.

Pictures: Taking tea and ambience: Lee’s story led her deep into the glamour, then devastation, of Hong Kong’s high society during World War II. She finds a taste of the past still pouring at the China Tee Club.


Please read this wonderfully written, utterly captivating novel. Once you are done, you will realize why Will Truesdale does not ever lock his front door. Just as I will never not have my phone with me.

The Snowball - Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

A few weeks ago, while I was driving, I heard people talking about the book "The Snowball" on the radio. Immediately, I told myself, "I want to read that book!" Then I bought the book from Borders (although I didn't get as good a price as offered on Amazon). Last night, I started to read this incredibly wonderful book about Warren Buffett. Here are some parts of the book that I really like and I'd like to share them with you:

* It is the winter of Warren's ninth year. Outside in the yard, he and his little sister, Bertie, are playing in the snow.

Warren is catching snowflakes. One at a time at first. Then he is scooping them up by handfuls. He starts to pack them into a ball. As the snowball grows bigger, he places it on the ground. Slowly it begins to roll. He gives it a push, and it picks up more snow. He pushes the snowball across the lawn, piling snow on snow. Soon he reaches the edge of the yard. After a moment of hesitation, he heads off, rolling the snowball through the neighborhood.

And from there, Warren continues onward, casting his eye on a whole world full of snow.

* "It could make me independent. Then I could do what I wanted to do with my life. And the biggest thing I wanted to do was work for myself. I didn't want other people directing me. The idea of doing what I wanted to do every day was important to me."

* "The weighing machine was easy to understand. I'd buy a weighing machine and use the profits to buy more weighing machines. Pretty soon I'd have twenty weighing machines, and everybody would weigh themselves fifty times a day. I thought - that's where the money is. The compounding of it - what could be better than that?"

This concept - compounding - struck him as critically important. The book said he could make a thousand dollars. If he started with a thousand dollars and grew it ten percent a year:

In five years, $1,000 became more than $1,600.
In ten years, it became almost $2,600.
In twenty-five years, it became more than $10,800.

* "There were some awfully nice people like that back in Omaha. I always liked to hang around with adults when I was a kid. Always. I would walk over to church or something, and then I would just drop in on people."

* "I read the comics, the sports section, and looked at the stock pages every morning before I delivered the newspapers. "

* Everybody wants attention and admiration. Nobody wants to be criticized.
  The sweetest sound in the English language is the sound of a person's own name.
  The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly. Let the other person save face.

* "The snowball just happens if you're in the right kind of snow, and that's what happened with me. I don't just mean compounding money either. It's in terms of understanding the world and what kind of friends you accumulate. You get to select over time, and you've got to be the kind of person that the snow wants to attach itself to. You've got to be your own wet snow, in effect. You'd better be picking up snow as you go along, because you're not going to be getting back up to the top of the hill again. That's the way life works."

* "Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill."

Terminated: Why the Women of Wall Street Are Disappearing

After the scandals of the 1990s, didn't investment banks put sexist employment practices behind them? Evidently not.

Nadine Mentor, 29, had just landed in New York - and found out, she says, that she'd bagged one of the biggest gets of her career at Citigroup: a role for the bank leading a bond offering, valued at as much as $400 million, for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The deal was worth potentially more than $500,000 in fees. A day later, on Nov. 21, 2008, as she headed to a business meeting, she got an anxious call from her boss. Sensing something was up, Mentor said, "Just tell me, just tell me." Her boss gave her the bad news. Mentor, who had been lured to Citi from UBS in 2005, was included in a round of downsizing.

When her boss was laid off last summer, Amy Bartoletti, 38, says she was asked to run a Citi group that securitizes home loans through state authorities. But one of her peers in New York complained, she says, and the bank wound up making him a cohead of the group, asking both to take the Series 53 licensing test, required of managers in the municipal securities business. Bartoletti took the exam and passed in October. On Nov. 21 she was axed, told later by the bank that she was too expensive. Bartoletti contends that she and her male counterpart made the same base salary, $175,000, and that she is more qualified than he. As of late February her cohead, who now runs the group, still doesn't have his Series 53 certification. "It's the old boys' network," says Bartoletti. "It's very hard to imagine that that is what is happening in this day and age."

Mentor and Bartoletti are among five former managers and rising young stars who were cast out that day. They say that in all, 24 professionals in the public finance department lost their jobs, in roughly equal numbers of men and women. Yet the women claim they were victimized by more than economic necessity. Since the cuts, some Citi groups, like the one handling state mortgage programs, no longer have women professionals. Their lawyer, Douglas H. Wigdor, points out that just before the firings, men dominated the senior ranks in the department. He says that men had 76% of overall professional employment and two-thirds of the vice presidencies but 90% of the scarcer slots for directors and managing directors. An internal Citigroup document, dated July 20, 2006, confirms a stark disparity (see chart). "We cannot confirm the authenticity of this document," says a Citi spokeswoman. The high proportion of men in public finance, coupled with the large numbers of women laid off, are a "clear indication that gender was a reason for selecting the people who were let go," says Wigdor. He recently filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission--a first step before seeking a class action--alleging they were terminated because they were women. He calls it a case of "recessionary discrimination."

For its part, Citi says its November layoffs were "done fairly and lawfully and [were] based on legitimate business reasons unrelated to gender." Without specifying, the bank says that "many of the factual allegations from these former employees are either inaccurate or incomplete." Citi further notes that it and its municipal securities division are "disciplined, focused, consistent and vigilant in regard to our diversity-related efforts."

Still, similar claims by women who insist they were unfairly fired have been piling up recently at Merrill Lynch, Bank of America and Bank of Tokyo, as well as at Citigroup. If the claims have any merit, the mostly male club that gave rise to explosive sex discrimination lawsuits a dozen years ago against Citigroup's Smith Barney brokerage unit is back at work. This time the offenses are not the boorish behavior and outright harassment that gave rise to a total $400 million in industry settlements but something more subtle: making women bear a disproportionate share of the layoffs. In the worst financial crash since the Depression, financial services and insurance firms have cut 260,000 jobs. Seventy-two percent of the missing workers laid off have been women, even though they constituted 64% of employment before the crash began. As one plaintiff, Wan Li, bluntly puts it in a separate suit against Citigroup, which has been settled: Women "are unfairly selected for layoff over male employees with lesser merit or qualifications because of their gender." Says the bank: "Citi has a long-standing commitment to equal employment practices and to provide a professional and respectful workplace free of unlawful discrimination."

The lawsuits offer only a fractional picture. "There are plenty of women who don't sue for fear of being a pariah in the industry," says Dina Bakst, a lawyer who once worked defending employers in discrimination suits and has since switched sides and now is co-president of A Better Balance, a New York City legal advocacy group that nationally promotes women's rights in the workplace.

Nonsense, say plenty of employment specialists. How do we know, they ask, whether the women who were fired were as talented as the men who survived or replaced them? Another argument against the plaintiff's claims: Perhaps some new moms and older women have simply lost their mojo. Yet another response is that the subject of gender is irrelevant. "It is really a misguided notion to focus on whether women are victims in recessions," says Alison Fraser, director of economic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. "What is important here is all Americans are suffering, and they are suffering at every level."

Pictures: 'The old boys' network': Chia Siu, Brittany Sharpton, Lisa Conley, Amy Bartoletti and Nadine Mentor have filed actions against Citigroup, alleging discrimination.

My Favorite Victoria's Secret Model - The Super Sexy Jarah Mariano

So far, my favorite Victoria's Secret model is Jarah Mariano. She is beautiful, HOT and super SEXY.

Jarah Mariano is an American fashion model of Hawaii, Korean, and Chinese descent. She was born in the city of Lihue on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, but at the age of 4 relocated with her family to California, where she was raised in the city of Mission Viejo with her two older brothers. At the age of 15, she was discovered in Santa Monica, California by a model scout. After graduating from high school, she moved to New York City, where she continued to model and attended Pace University as a full-time student, receiving her degree in Speech Communications with a Media Studies Concentration. Mariano has appeared in ads for Victoria's Secret, MAC, Armani Exchange, Sephora, Roxy Quiksilver, Redken, H&M, Avon, and Rock and Republic. She also graced the April/May 2007 cover for Complex Magazine's 5th Anniversary Issue. She has appeared several times in numerous fashion magazines such as; Self, Taiwan Vogue, Luomo Vogue, Italian Vanity Fair and so on. Mariano has been featured in 2 Abercrombie & Fitch campaigns, as well as 2 AE campaigns, and made her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition debut in 2008. You can find her in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2009 for her second year.

Mariano's television credits include Jay-Z's come back music video "Show Me What You Got", several Old Navy commercials, a re-occurring role on "Rescue Me", and a quick feature in Spielberg's "Minority Report". She has walked the runway in both New York City and Miami.

She is represented by model agency IMG in London, New York, and Paris.

Bernard Lawrence Madoff

The securities fraud of Bernard Madoff (born April 29, 1938, age 70) has rocked the Jewish world - and the worst may be yet to come.

Madoff, the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was arrested Dec. 11 after admitting to his board that a hedge fund he ran was essentially a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Madoff lived in a ranch house in Roslyn, NY through the 1970s and has owned an ocean-front residence in Montauk since 1981. His primary residence, valued at more than $5 million, is on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Madoff is listed as chairman of his Upper East Side building's co-op board. He also owns a home in France and a $9.3 million mansion in Palm Beach, Florida on the Intracoastal Waterway just north of Flagler Memorial Bridge. He is a member of the Palm Beach Country Club and owns a 55-foot (17 m) fishing boat named Bull.

Three entities are involved. They are all mutually exclusive. One doesn't know about the other. I think the third one is at fault with their inherently God-given so very important characteristics they cannot live without.

* Bernie Madoff managed to lure billions of dollars away from huge charities, as well as wealthy individuals in both the United States and Europe by getting them to invest in his hedge fund.That seems to be the American way these days. The judge threw the book at him which is also another American way of doing things. He "confined" Madoff in his $5 million apartment in Manhattan.

He embezzled, to the tune of $50 billion, by claiming extraordinary returns. This all came crashing down around him after market conditions led to a considerable amount of redemption. Investors did American way as well. Can you believe they actually asked for their money back? I thought investors were always asleep.

* SEC, according to some in the financial press, knew about the whole schmeer nine years ago in 1999 when they first looked at Madoff's books. Then, now and in between, SEC never bothered to investigate. Many in the financial press are beginning to ask "Where was the SEC?" Asleep, of course. Let's face it. Everybody needs their sleep, right? SEC may not be human, but they need their sleep, nevertheless, once in a great while. And Madoff just happened to be one of those great whiles.

Most people in the world sleep during the night. There are some who sleep during the day. SEC just happens to have a habit of sleeping during the day. I don't see anything wrong with that. Do you?

* Investors. No comment. They are always asleep - day and night. No see, no hear, no speak, no nothing and no think either - the inherently God-given so very important characteristics they cannot live without. Wikipedia just forgot to mention them.

Christmas Magic in New York City

I just returned from a trip to New York City, where I spent some time with a dear friend. While I must say that, for a Cali Girl, New York is a bone-chillingly cold place at this time of year, it is amazingly beautiful too.

The whole city is infused with Christmas spirit from Thanksgiving to New Year's and there are so many things to see and do!

All of the Avenues, especially 5th and Madison, are decked out in Holiday lights, and storefronts compete with one another for the brightest, most cheerful decorations. (I've added a sample of several so you can get the idea…) Even the Empire State Building's highest floors are lit up in Christmas red and green. It's enchanting…

There are also amazing Christmas trees everywhere you look. While the most famous (and tallest) is at Rockefeller Center, there are also wonderfully creative displays at: the South Street Seaport; Lincoln Center; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and, in one long "installation", the "Park Avenue Trees" – a 2.5 mile long stretch of New York's toniest Avenue, from 48th St. up to 97th St., are all lit up with holiday cheer. Stunning!

And, if that's not enough there are the famous Holiday shows – "The Nutcracker" at Lincoln Center and the legendary Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

I had a wonderful trip. All in all, it was well worth braving the cold for!


A New Way of Looking at "Success"

I was terribly impressed by a book that I picked up on my way back from my recent vacation in Asia. (Goodness knows a girl needs some diversion on those seemingly interminable 11 hour flights.)

Malcolm Gladwell, author of "The Tipping Point" and "Blink," has written a new book, "Outliers (Why Some People Succeed and Some Don't)", which is about how culture and community are greater determinants of individual success than talent or even will.

He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

As David Brooks of the New York Times (a columnist who always makes me think, even when I don't agree with him) says,

"Gladwell's important new book, "Outliers," seems at first glance to be a description of exceptionally talented individuals. But in fact, it's another book about deep patterns. Exceptionally successful people are not lone pioneers who created their own success, he argues. They are the lucky beneficiaries of social arrangements.

"In Gladwell's account, individual traits play a smaller role in explaining success while social circumstances play a larger one.

"[For example] Asians work hard because they grew up in a culture built around rice farming. Tending a rice paddy required working up to 3,000 hours a year, and it left a cultural legacy that prizes industriousness. Many upper-middle-class American kids are raised in an atmosphere of "concerted cultivation," which inculcates a fanatical devotion to meritocratic striving."

I think this book gives us an important new way to look at the very concept of "success" and how people achieve it. I highly recommend it.

Casanova VS. Don Juan

Today is a Halloween. I had a few close friends who called and asked me to go out to a party. I felt lonely but didn't feel like going out so I stayed home and read a new book that I bought today called "The Lost Diary of Don Juan" written by Douglas Abrams. An incredible book, that brings me to the Spanish Golden Century of literature.

Don Juan reveals his secrets of love and passion. While the book is not a self-help book and can be read simply as an adventure love story and historical thriller, I hope that reading the book will transform some people's understanding of love and passion. Some of the topics were: listening to a woman's unspoken needs, what all women look for in men, love is not a feeling, etc. In the American culture of divorce and cynicism about marriage, I think it is hard to remember that True Passionate Love is possible and that people can stay happily and passionately married throughout their lives.

Casanova VS. Don Juan

Who was the greatest lover? Casanova or Don Juan? Many people may wonder what was the difference between these two, whose names have become synonymous with seduction and passion. The difference is simply between life and myth. Casanova was an actual man whose life sprawled across the eighteenth century as he enjoyed life and women throughout Europe. He was not just a lover, but also a diplomat, a courtier, a writer, a prisoner, and much more. His life is as interesting for his meetings with Catherine the Great and Rousseau, as much as for his seductions. His massive multi-volume "History of My Life," which I cannot claim to have done more than sample, recounts all of his adventures, but in the end it is still the chronicle of one man's life. A real life is always limited by the confines and mortality of any human life. In the case of Don Juan, we do not know if he even existed. Or whether he was born from the head of Tirso de Molina, the playwright monk, who gave us our first extent story about Don Juan Tenorio. Even at the time the play was written, there were rumors that it was based on an actual man, and indeed it was an age of Don Juans, so Tirso had many real life galanteadores (seducers) to model his character on. But Don Juan is not just a man or even just a fictional character.

Don Juan is a myth, or as Jung would have described him, an archetype. The seducer is an aspect of our psyche. I would argue not just the male psyche, but of the human psyche. We can silence these archetypes or ignore them, but we do so at our peril. If we understand them, explore them, strike up a conversation with them, we are much less likely to be dragooned by them and find ourselves waking up in a strange bed with a strange person. So Casanova is a fascinating man, whose life intrigues and informs us in the way that all lives fully lived can. But Don Juan is a myth through which we can explore our own lives and understand the very heart of passion.

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Because Superyacht Is Hard To Park

Lawrence Ellison - $27 Billion. Oracle. Redwood City, California. 64. Thrice divorced, remarried.

Database titan continues to buy up would-be competition; more than 40 acquisitions in the past 4 years. Bought BEA Systems for $8.5 billion in January. Revenues up 25% to $22.4 billion. Stock down 12% in past 12 months. Invested $125 million in Web software outfit Netsuite; took public in December, stock promptly dropped 30%. His shares still worth $500 million. Chicago native studied physics at U. of Chicago, didn't graduate. Started Oracle in 1977. Public 1986, a day before Microsoft. Owns 453-foot Rising Sun; built a smaller leisure boat because superyacht is hard to park. Squabbling in court with Swiss boating billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli over terms of next America's Cup. Recently unveiled hulking 90-foot trimaran he intends to use to win it.

100 Bullshi* Jobs...And How to Get Them

As an "entrepreneur" myself (*wink*), I am a voracious reader on the subject of business. I love the strategy and tactics of business and read many business books with a new one almost every three or four months. When my studies allow it, I try to keep up with the latest trends by reading business magazines – Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, Business Week, etc. There is always something new to be learned and I am always amazed at the human talent for innovation.

I was waiting for a plane at JFK airport in New York recently and, as I often do, I went to the newsstand to search for some interesting reading to occupy me during the long flight home. I looked through a lot of books and found this little gem of a great one called "100 Bullshit Jobs…And How to Get Them" by Stanley Bing. I just finished it and can recommend it highly. It is a clever book which pokes fun at some relatively common jobs (motivational speaker; aroma therapist) and some very uncommon ones (Vice-President of the United States) as having a "high BS quotient." Trés drole…

(Note: "Trés drole" means "very amusing" in French. French is my fourth language.)

A really smart book with sound advice and a great deal of practical philosophy. I really loved it and think you might as well. Pick up a copy when you have a chance. I think you will find it quite diverting and highly entertaining. If you get a chance to find it please do so and let me know what you think.

Stanley Bing is the pen name of Gil Schwartz, a business humorist and novelist. He has written a column for Fortune magazine for more than ten years, after having spent a decade at Esquire, and has written many books (see below). Schwartz is public relations executive for CBS.

Stanley Bing enters the field with a comprehensive look at the many attractive jobs now available to those who are serious about their bullshit and prepared to dedicate their working life to it.

What, Bing inquires, do a feng shui consultant, new media executive, wine steward, department store greeter, and Vice President of the United States have in common? What, too, are the actual duties performed by a McKinsey consultant? Other than sitting around making people nervous? Could that possibly be his core function? Likewise, what does an aromatherapist actually do, per se? Sniff things and rub them on people, for big fragrant bucks? Is that all?

The answer in all cases is "Yes." They all have bullshit jobs.

These few, of course, are just the beginning. Across the length and breadth of this shrinking globe, skillful bullshit artists have secured pleasant, lucrative employment, and are enjoying themselves more than you are. In virtually every occupation, from Advertising to Yoga Franchising, lucky individuals who "work" in these coveted positions enjoy the best lives imaginable - they are paid well, they rarely break a sweat, and their professions are highly respected, because nobody really knows what they do.

At once funny, useful, and tolerably philosophical, this groundbreaking work takes a close look at 100 bullshit jobs - the money they bring with them, the actual tasks and activities involved (if any), and famous and successful examples of each position, who will provide the neophyte with inspiration. Most crucially, Bing goes on to offer what others so far have not - a clear, concise strategy to help job-seekers at every level reach for that brass ring, knowing full well that it may be attached to the nose of a bull.

About the Author

Stanley Bing has been reporting on corporate life since his own first bullshit job back in 1982, which isn't that different than the bullshit job he has now, only back then it was smaller. He is now an ultra-senior executive in a gigantic corporation whose identity is one of the worst-kept secrets in business, which is a joke he's been using for the last 10 years because he has always believed that if a specific piece of bullshit is effective, it's often smart to stay with it.

Beginning back at Esquire magazine in 1984, Bing moved to Fortune in 1995, and now occupies the back page of that no-bullshit publication. He is the author of three books for Collins, including the best-selling What Would Machiavelli Do? as well as Throwing the Elephant and most recently, Sun Tzu Was a Sissy. In addition, he has written two novels, Lloyd: What Happened and You Look Nice Today, which have been going through years of bullshit development in Hollywood.

Brunette VS. Blonde (or fake blonde)

Blonde (or fake blonde) is reputed to be the sexiest hair color, but according to a survey by Lycos, 62 percent of the world's top 100 billionaires' wives and girlfriends are brunettes.

The World's Most Powerful Women

1. Angela Merkel - Chancellor, Germany
2. Sheila C. Bair - Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, U.S.
3. Indra K. Nooyi - Chief Executive Pepsico, U.S.
4. Angela Braly - Chief Executive, Wellpoint, U.S.
5. Cynthia Carroll - Chief Executive, Anglo American, U.K.
6. Irene Rosenfeld - Chief Executive Kraft Foods, U.S.
7. Condoleezza Rice - Secretary of State, U.S.
8. Ho Ching - Chief Executive, Temasek, Singapore

Ho Ching is the Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings (over US$100 billion in assets and owned by Singapore's Ministry of Finance) and the wife of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong (son of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew).

Ms Ho graduated from the University of Singapore in 1976 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical, First Class Honours) after completing her pre-university education at national Junior College where she emerged as a Student of the Year and was a Presidenc's Scholar. She graduated from Crescent Girl's School. She also holds a Master of Science (Electrical) from Stanford University, USA. In 1995, Ms Ho was conferred the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Singapore.

She is the eldest child of four children of retired businessman Ho Eng Hong and Chan Chiew Ping. In December 17 1985, she married Lee Hsien Loong, who later became Singapore's third Prime Minister in August 2004.

Ms Ho is Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings.

She began her career as an engineer with the Ministry of Defence. In 1987, she joined the Singapore Technologies group as Deputy Director of Engineering, and became its President and Chief Executive Officer before retiring in 2001. She later joined Temasek Holdings in May 2002.

9. Anne Lauvergron - Chief Executive, Areva, France
10. Anne M. Mulcahy - Chief Executive Xerox, U.S.
11. Gail Kelly - CE, Westpac/Australia
12. Patricia A. Woertz - CE, Archer Daniels Midland/U.S.
13. Cristina Fernandez - President/Argentina
14. Christine Lagarde - Minister of economy, finance and employment/France
15. Safra A. Catz - President, Oracle/U.S.
16. Carol B. Tome - CFO, Home Depot/U.S.
17. Yulia Tymoshenko - Prime minister/Ukraine
18. Mary Sammons - CE, Rite Aid/U.S.
19. Andrea Jung - Chief Executive, Avon Products/U.S.

Andrea Jung, (born 1958 in Toronto, Canada) is one of America's iconic business leaders. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies home Journal. Her mother is a Shanghai-born chemical engineer-turned concert pianist. Jung's father is a HongKong-born partner at an architectural firm. He also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Andrea Jung was raised in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Andrea Jung is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Avon Products, Inc., promoted to the position in November of 1999. Before her election to the position, she served as President and Chief Operating Officer over all business units of Avon worldwide. She has also held a position as a member of the company's Board of Directors since 1998.

During her tenure as Chairman of the Board and CEO, she has successfully helped define the Avon's company vision as "The Company for Women" and has been involved in a series of image-enhancing programs designed to help revitalize the corporation's reputation as the foremost direct seller of beauty products worldwide.

Jung first came to Avon in 1994 as the company's president in its Product Marketing Group. She was given a promotion to President, Global Marketing in 1996 and to Executive Vice President/President of Global Marketing and New Business in 1997. Her responsibilities at that time centered primarily around market research, joint ventures and strategic planning.

Previously, she served as Executive Vice President of Neiman Marcus, handling issues with accessories, intimate women's apparel, cosmetics and children's wear. Before that, she served as Senior Vice President, General Merchandising Manager for I Magnin.

Jung has served on the board of directors of General Electric since 1998.

She joined Apple Inc.'s board of directors on 7 January, 2008.

Jung is a magna cum laude graduate from Princeton and is fluent in Mandarin. Jung was named one of Forbes 100 Most powerful women in 2004. Her ex-husband, Michael Gould, is the CEO of Bloomingdale's, Inc. (the company where she had her first job).

20. Marjorie Scardino - CE, Pearson/U.K.

Ascot Chang - A Gentleman's Shirtmaker, Hand-Stitched For The Discerning Few

Ascot Chang shirts have been sought after by a select clientele for over 50 years. Now, they are proud to revive the art of haute couture with their new range of hand-stitched shirts. Their highly skilled tailors fashion together intricate hand-stitching techniques with the finest fabrics available. More than 2,000 hand-stitches are employed for each garment, demanding over 15 hours painstaking craftsmanship. The exquisite result is incomparable to machine manufactured shirts. Treat yourself to an Ascot Chang hand-stitched shirt; reserved only for the gentleman of discernment.

Ascot Chang says, "Creating the perfect shirt is much like creating a building. You have to start with the person who lives inside. The rest is easy. Some men feel a shirt is just a shirt. This isn't a shirt catalog for them. This is a shirt catalog for men who appreciate that the body must design the shirt just as the purpose and inhabitant must design the building. I have always been interested in architecture, and I've come to appreciate the work of America's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. He said all great work is organic in character. The designs take their form from the purpose, the environment, the inhabitant. I've shared that philosophy all my life. Your body, your style and your taste must design your shirt. There's no other way.

This Special Order Catalog will show you how you can create a virtually custom-made shirt from the convenience of your home. By allowing you to choose the fabrics shown from our seasonal ready-made shirt's catalog, as well as offering you a variety of collar and cuff styles, you can have more control over an Ascot Chang Shirt than any other shirt you can buy from any other catalog or any other non-custom shirt store. In fact, your Ascot Chang Special Order shirt will fit you better than anything except a fully custom-made shirt (and we invite you to stop by one of our stores to enjoy that experience as well).

Our customers are some of the world's most demanding and distinguished men. They know that the feeling one gets wearing a custom-made shirt goes beyond mere comfort. It has the flavor of self-assurance. It has the tinge of power. They've been coming to us for a very long time: from our first shop on Kimberley Road in Hong Kong in 1955 to our townhouse shop on 57th Street in Manhattan and our store in Beverly Hills. They want only one thing: a shirt that fits. I know you want that too. I believe this Special Order Catalog will give it to you."

G/F, 9551 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Tel: (310) 550-1339
110 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019. Te: (212) 759-3333


10 Things Millionaires Won't Tell You

1. "You may think I'm rich, but I don't."
2. "I shop at Wal-Mart..."
3. "...but I didn't get rich by skimping on lattes."
4. "I have a concierge for everything."
5. "You don't get rich by being nice."
6. "Taxes are for little people."
7. "I was a B student."
8. "Like my Ferrari? It's a rental."
9. "Turns out money can buy happiness."

It may not be comforting to folks who aren't minting cash, but the rich really are different. "There's no group in America that's happier than the wealthy," says Taylor, of the Harrison Group. Roughly 70 percent of millionaires say that money"created" more happiness for them,he notes. Higher income also correlates with higher ratings in life satisfaction, according to a new study by economists at the Wharton School of Business. But it's not necessarily the Bentley or Manolo Blahniks that lead to bliss. "It's the freedom that money buys," says Betsey Stevenson, coauthor of the Wharton study.

Concomitantly, rates of depression are lower among the wealthy, according to the Wharton study, and the rich tend to have better health than the rest of the population, says James Smith, senior labor economist at the Rand Corporation. (In fact, health and happiness are as closely correlated as wealth and happiness, Smith says.) The wealthy even seem to smile and laugh more often, according to the Wharton study, to say nothing of getting treated with more respect and eating better food. "People experience their day very differently when they have a lot of money," Stevenson says.

10. "You worry about the Joneses — I worry about keeping up with the Trumps."

Why I Love Frida Kahlo's Art

I have various interests in life and one of my most passionate pursuits is the appreciation of fine art. I love art and have visited many of the important museums around the world – predominantly in Europe, Asia and America. So far my favorite museums are both in France – the legendary Louvre (French: Musée du Louvre) and the Palace of Versailles (In French it is known as the "Chateau" de Versailles). I have also enjoyed several museums in London. (You can read about my experiences there in an earlier diary entry, found below.) It is my goal to someday see the immense and renowned Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.

One of my favorite artists is Frida Kahlo. Simply put, she is a woman who speaks to my soul from her canvases. I find her work to be quite profound and meaningful to me.

A brief biography:

Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954) was a Mexican painter, who has achieved great international popularity. Frida Kahlo began painting in 1926, while recovering from a near-fatal bus accident, and soon became captivated by the medium's expressive possibilities. She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as by European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. Many of her works are self-portraits that symbolically express her own pain and sexuality.

In 1929 Kahlo married the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. They shared political views, and he encouraged her artistic endeavors. Although she has long been recognized as an important painter, public awareness of her work has become more widespread since the 1970s. Her "Blue" house in Coyoacan, Mexico City is a museum, donated by Diego Rivera upon his death in 1957.

Frida Kahlo faced and overcame many challenges to achieve greatness and fame. She died at the very young age of 47, but left a very impressive and very influential body of work behind. On July 5th, I visited Frida Kahlo's masterpieces in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and truly loved them. She poured her pain (both physical and emotional) into her art and the result is both powerful and profound. It seemed to me as I walked through the gallery that every one of her paintings is a story, and that's the reason why I love her art so much. I even bought a copy of my favorite piece for a loved one as a meaningful gift.

I'd like to share some of her more prominent works with you, which I have attached below. The first one is my favorite. Enjoy!


Meet Business Owners Who Used Big Ways to Break In

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Jimmy Choo, Maker of Glamorous Accessories

I have been to London many times. I love this most cosmopolitan of cities: the people; the sights; the tradition; and, most of all, the stores. In fact, my only grumble about London is its high cost of living - the last time I was there $100 USD converted to only ₤49 British pounds! Sigh. Alas, the U.S. dollar is so weak right now that it just doesn't buy what it used to while traveling abroad.

In particular, I always make it a point to check out what Jimmy Choo - the legendary shoe designer who is based in London - is up to by window shopping (one of my favorite pastimes) his latest styles whenever I'm there.

Jimmy Choo, born Choo Yeang Keat, is a London-based luxury fashion designer best known for his hand-made women's shoes, Jimmy Choo Ltd.

Choo is a Malaysian of Chinese descent, who was born in Penang in 1961 into a family of shoemakers. He made his first shoe when he was 11 years old. He is perhaps the most famous of students of Cordwainers' Technical College in London, from which he graduated in 1983. The college is now part of the London College of Fashion. Choo has divulged that he worked part-time at restaurants and as a cleaner at a shoe factory to help fund his college education.

Jimmy Choo's beginnings can be traced back to his workshop in Hackney, East London, which he opened in 1986 by renting an old hospital building. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed and he came to the verge of international fame when his creations were featured in a record eight pages in a 1988 issue of Vogue magazine. Patronage from Diana, Princess of Wales from 1990 onwards further boosted his image.

In 1996, he co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd with British Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon. Tamara partnered with Mr Jimmy Choo to start the ready to wear company and sourced factories in Italy to produce the shoes on a larger scale. Consequently, plans were made to open the first Jimmy Choo stand alone boutique and to develop the wholesale business throughout the fashion capitals of the world.

In April 2001, the expansion of jimmy Choo took a significant step forward wit the announcement of a new partnership with Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. Equinox acquired Mr Choo's share of the ready to wear business with Robert Bensoussan, Equinox's chief executive becoming CEO of Jimmy Choo. Within 3 years, the company opened twenty six new stores, (in addition to the existing four) and introduced both handbag and small leather goods collections. In April 2001, Choo sold his 50% stake in the company for £10 million. He has since been concentrating his work on the exclusive Jimmy Choo Couture line produced under license from Jimmy Choo Ltd. The Jimmy Choo London line, also known as Jimmy Choo Ready-To-Wear or simply, Jimmy Choo, is under the purview of Tamara Mellon. The ready-to-wear line has expanded to include accessories such as handbags.

Choo currently resides in London. He is involved in a project to set up a shoemaking institute in Malaysia, where his iconic status is often evoked to inspire budding shoemakers and fashion designers.

My Broken Heart

My Broken Heart

Love should not be unrequited and one-sided
But I have been blind

I listened to my heart and not my brain
I could not help myself, though I knew the danger

I kept falling for him, deeper and deeper
He kept breaking my heart, again and again

Sorrow, anguish, sadness, distress, and suffering paint my life
Like brushstrokes from Frida Kahlo's brilliant hand

I feel my heart bleeding out, my life ebbing away
Leaving nothing but excruciating pain...

CEO Pay: America's Top Women

When it comes to salaries, women CEOs among the Top 500 have narrowed the pay gap. But total compensation still shows some vast differences.

PINK's study of the latest executive compensation data reveals the the 12 women CEOs among the 500 largest U.S. companies hold their own where salaries are concerned. Nine of the 12 women have salaries that equal or exceed those of male CEOs at comparable industry peers. Not surprisingly, these select women fare much better than the average woman professional, who earns 80 cents to each dollar that men earn, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among top executives, "differences in compensation have been narrowing over time," says Linda Bell, Ph.D., provost and John B. Hurford professor of economics at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

But when total compensation, including stock and option awards, is taken into account, the top women CEOs didn't do as well last year. Only 6 of the 12 matched or bested the men. "It's a little easier to hide," Bell notes.

In other ways, too, the news among this elite group of women is disappointing. During the past 18 months, women CEOs among the Top 500 saw a net standstill in their number. First, Lucent Technologies CEO Patricia Russo dropped from the list when her company merged to form Alcatel-Lucent, a French company that Russo still leads. Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft, moved onto the list when Kraft spun off from Altria Group last year. The Angela Braly took over at WellPoint last summer - temporarily boosting the number of women CEOs to 13, until Meg Whitman retired from eBay in March.

By contract, in the past year at least 30 men have filled CEO vacancies at Top 500 companies, compared to just one woman (Braly).

While a direct comparison of CEO salaries and total compensation in any given year can be problematic-due to variations in CEO tenure, company size and performance, and the timing of incentive packages-the data is a useful snapshot of the respect these women receive from boards enlightened enough to appoint them in the first place.

Please Make a Donation for China Earthquake Victims


The 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which measured at 8.0 M (on the Richter Scale) according to the China Seismological Bureau, and 7.9 M according to USGS, occurred at 14:28:01.42 CST (06:28:01.42 UTC) on May 12, 2008 in Sichuan province of China. It was also known as Wenchuan earthquake, after the earthquake's epicenter in Wenchuan County in Sichuan province. The epicenter was 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, with a depth of 19 kilometres (12 mi). The earthquake was felt as far away as Beijing (1,500 km away) and Shanghai (1,700 km away), where office buildings swayed with the tremor. The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries.

Official figures (as of May 21, 12:00 CST) state that 41,353 are confirmed dead, including 40,854 in Sichuan province, and 274,683 injured. The Chinese government warned that the death toll could reach 50,000. Tens of thousands are missing, approximately 14,000 of them buried, and eight provinces were affected. The earthquake left about 4.8 million people homeless and orphaned over 4,000 children.. It was the deadliest and strongest earthquake to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed over 240,000 people.

Your donation to the American Red Cross or other humanitarian agency will support emergency relief efforts to help those affected by this earthquake. Assistance provided by the American Red Cross may include sending relief supplies, mobilizing relief workers and providing financial resources.

The death toll from the earthquake in China continues to rise and thousands remain trapped in the rubble. Please help those victims.

What your money can buy:

$3 can buy a large wool blanket to protect children from the cold during an emergency.
$22 can buy a First Aid kit containing items such as gloves, adhesive, bandages and gauze for use during emergency situations.
$101 can provide 10 families with Basic Family Water kits for use during emergency situations.
$244 can buy an Emergency Health Kit that provides basic drugs, medical supplies, and equipment for 1,000 people for 3 months.

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Making Love - Sexual Mastery

Doctors have proven that having a satisfying sex life has tremendous health benefits, sexual activity is the foundation of marriage.

Love making is the most magnificent celestial experience. While making love, we forget about our past and feel absolutely no worries of our future, everything freezes to time and we live in the very moment.

Making love is a good way of getting to sleep, because the endorphins ("feel good" chemicals) which are released relax you and make you sleepy. Did you know that the hormone that regulates male sex drive-with elevated levels in the morning?

Woman who knows no barriers as far as love making is concerned and loves to experiment with new ideas of love making. Men want to see a real horny woman with lots of ideas of enjoying the love game. Female sexual pleasure is very important. Become an erotic sex master, let pleasure ripple throughout your whole body and take your partner on an ecstasy trip again and again. Come to the fun side of life, be erotic, be sexual, master your sex life. Male orgasm has duration of 3 to 5 seconds, female orgasms last a little longer, 5 to 8 seconds. Life without female orgasms is unimaginable.

Sexual positioning can affect your endurance, but unfortunately, there is no universal marathon position. Some men respond more to visual than physical stimulation, so in positions like woman on top. Women like sex just as much as men. Women need steady, rhythmic, repetitive stimulation.

Laughing and playing together is a great way to stimulate and wake up your desirability for one another. Believe it or not there are literally dozens of erogenous zones in the feet. When you feel close and connected through laughter and play, you can feel a renewed interest in each other. If you take out your fingers, put your tongue someplace else, or start rubbing in a different direction - remember, you're basically starting all over with her as far as making her orgasm.

Women can experience three different types of orgasms. The vulval orgasm triggered by the clitoris, the uterine orgasm triggered by intercourse, and a combination of the two. The reason women are different is because the area you stimulate is different. For woman, the G spot is very sensitive place and she can turn on madly if you penetrate on right place. The spot is called the G spot or Grafenberg spot after the first modern physician to describe it. There is a spot inside the vagina that is extremely sensitive to deep pressure. It is felt through the anterior or front wall of the vagina about five centimeters from the entrance.

Pay attention to your sex life and be creative.

The Richest People in America

1. William Henry Gates III
Net worth: $48 billion (up)
Source: Software, Microsoft
Personal: Self-made, 48, married, three children
Hometown: Medina, Wash.
Undergraduate: Harvard University, dropout

2. Warren Edward Buffett
Net worth: $41 billion (up)
Source: Investments, Berkshire Hathaway
Personal: Self-made, 74, widowed,three children
Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
Undergraduate: University of Nebraska Lincoln, Bachelor of Arts/Science
Graduate: Columbia University, Master of Science

3. Paul Gardner Allen
Net worth: $20 billion (down)
Source: Software, Microsoft, investments
Personal: Self-made, 51, single
Hometown: Seattle
Undergraduate: Washington State University, dropout

4. Alice L. Walton
Net worth: $18 billion (down)
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Personal: Inherited, 55, divorced
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Undergraduate: Trinity University of San Antonio, Bachelor of Arts/Science

5. Helen R. Walton
Net worth: $18 billion (down)
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Personal: Inherited, 85, widowed, four children
Hometown: Bentonville, Ark.
Undergraduate: University of Oklahoma, Bachelor of Arts/Science

6. Jim C. Walton
Net worth: $18 billion (down)
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Personal: Inherited, 56, married, four children
Hometown: Bentonville, Ark.

7. John T. Walton
Net worth: $18 billion (down)
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Personal: Inherited, 58, married, one child
Hometown: Bentonville, Ark.

8. S. Robson Walton
Net worth: $18 billion (down)
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Personal: Inherited, 60, divorced, three children
Hometown: Bentonville, Ark.
Undergraduate: University of Arkansas, Bachelor of Arts/Science
Graduate: Columbia University, Doctor of Jurisprudence

9. Michael Dell
Net worth: $14.2 billion (up)
Source: Technology, Dell
Personal: Self-made, 39, married,four children
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Undergraduate: University of Texas Austin, dropout

10. Lawrence Joseph Ellison
Net worth: $13.7 billion (down)
Source: Software, Oracle
Personal: Self-made, 63, married,two children
Hometown: Silicon Valley, Calif.
Undergraduate: University of Illinois, dropout

Mick Jagger Has Such Great Energy!

Music is a very important part of my life. I have an extensive music library and love to attend live concerts every chance I get. I have seen many famous Asian and American musicians, such as Christina Aguilera, Vienna Teng (www.ViennaTeng.com), Rod Stewart, The Pussycat Dolls, KISS, Linkin Park, James Blunt, Kaila Yu (www.msKaila.com), Michael Buble, Dave Matthews, Celine Dion (if you’ve never seen it, you should know that her Vegas show is an absolute extravaganza) and many, many more.

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch Bruce Springsteen live at the HP Pavilion in San Jose and enjoyed the concert. The power that Springsteen is able to create and sustain for the entire show is amazing! He is truly an icon who lives up to his reputation as the most intense performer in rock and roll.

During the same week, I saw another hard-working rock icon, this time on film – Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones in Martin Scorcese’s “Shine a Light.” This is a documentary film which matches the legendary film maker with the legendary band to create a fascinating study of what makes the Rolling Stones “The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World.” Filmed in the intimate setting of the famous Beacon Theater on New York’s Upper West Side, the film explores what makes the Stones so enduring. I was really impressed that Mick Jagger has such great energy on the stage at his age!!! (By the way, he was born in 1943.)

The Stones will be touring North America in the fall. I'd love to see them live in concert if I got the chance. So my dear gentleman friends, check their concert schedule here: http://www.rollingstones.com/news/tour.php because they may be coming to a city near you (including, hint, hint, Oakland on November 6th) Why don’t you pick up a couple of tickets and invite a lovely lady :) to attend the concert with you? We could have some fun together…

Here’s a link to the trailer for “Shine a Light”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDHbnF0z4EE

Here are several pictures I took at the Bruce Springsteen concert. Enjoy!

Fall Of The Mighty

Bear Stearns was one of the largest global investment banks in the world. On March 9th, 2007 the stock of Bear Stearns was valued at $153.27 and over the weekend last week the entire company was sold for $2.00 a share to JP Morgan. They were the victim of a liquidity crisis (not enough cash to pay off their debts) and were overextended in the credit crisis now affecting the US economy. It is a complicated investment situation and difficult for even seasoned investors to understand. However, Bear could borrow up to 30 times it's available cash for investments and did so. As the value of it's investments decreased those lenders who had given them 30 times their available cash, asked for ever increasing amounts of collateral to cover the difference. Bear couldn't meet the margin calls.

In the end, JP Morgan offered them $2.00 a share, the entire company was sold for a miserly $236M (when their beautiful headquarters building was worth over a billion) and even them JP Morgan would only buy Bear if the Fed guaranteed $30 billion in debt that Bear had.

What an end for an old Wall Street institution. Look for more to come. In the end, this present banking crisis will make the collapse of Enron look like the fall of a kid's lemonade stand when it is all over and we count the money that will have to be paid out by the public to keep the economy from total collapse.

He Will Always In My Heart

A few years ago, as I was reading a famous actor's biography, a short composition called "Watch" caught my eye.

The piece was written by a writer who was relating an experience he had as he was making a new movie and noticed a special watch on the director's wrist. On the face of the watch was a baby's photo. The writer thought what a good father the director must be. Later, he asked the director, "Your child? Such a beautiful face". At first the director didn't reply but after a long pause he said, "Yes, he's my child". After we had finished the day's work, and as we were leaving the set, I asked, "How old is your child?" The director looked at me and didn't say anything while everyone around us suddenly became very quiet. After some moments, the director said, "Yes, he's my child and he's in heaven now, but he will always in my heart. I had this watch specially made with his photo inside so that I can see him every day."

After I read the composition, which is a true story, I thought about my parents. My parents were married more than 27 years, they always loved each other, respected each other, and forgave each other. Once, I told my father, "Dad, I want to buy you a new coat, your coat is too old" and my Dad said, "No, my sweet princess, I don't need a new coat. I love this coat, your mother made this coat for me before you were born." My Father's words touched my heart and that day, although I don't often cry, I cried. My parents, like most Asians, were not the type to say "I love you" frequently but, as their daughter, I learned what real strong "true love" is from them. I always tell myself, "I hope in my future life, my marriage can as sweet as my parents". Nothing is more important than true love. I hope all the people in the world who are in love will have as good a life together as my parents did...

Dear Frankie

I love to make friends with people who are honest, responsible, kind and nice both in my "real life" and in this "secret life". A few of these are people I consider 'true' friends – confidantes who are there for you when you need help, and who will always be with you, whether you are up or down, happy or sad. In the time I've been telling my readers a little bit about myself and my life on this website, I have made couple of really great friends, both male and female. I have a charming female friend (a "Bonny Scottish Lass" in her words :) who lives in Glasgow in western Scotland - about five hours away by train from London. I have never been to Glasgow, though I have been curious about it. Today my lovely friend told me:

"If you'd ever like to see a movie about my city of Glasgow, watch 'Dear Frankie' some day. It is an absolutely beautiful story about a courageous mother who is trying to raise her deaf son alone after a bitter divorce - until a special man comes into their lives. It is a heartwarming and inspiring film. Here is a link to the preview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5ecRkf6Hn0&feature=related "

Curious, I checked out the YouTube link right away. It seems like a very touching love story. I would love to see this movie. So, my Faithful Reader, maybe YOU could bring me this movie on DVD as a "little gift for a sweet girl" when you make an appointment with me? :)

I also loved the song in that movie. I know a little of Eastmoutainsouth's music and I think Kat Maslich has a good voice, but I never thought about their song "Father" in relation to "Dear Frankie." They work beautifully together! Sweet...


Update: I already saw this movie and no longer need the DVD anymore.

Toxic Bachelors

I was recently at the San Francisco airport waiting for a flight to a sunnier place. (Where do you think I was going? Miami? The Caribbean? Hawaii? The Mexican Riviera? Oh, no, no, no; I never tell - you'll just have to use your imagination *wink, wink* ;) While at the gate, I got the bad news that my plane was going to be delayed for 3 hours. It seems like airline departures are rarely on time nowadays. That’s so exasperating, but what can you do? So, looking to make the best of a bad situation, I strolled over to the newsstand in search of a good book with which to pass some time.

After scanning the racks for something light but amusing (my faithful readers know my motto: "So many books; so little time…"), I finally settled on “Toxic Bachelors” by Danielle Steel. I figured that a woman who has sold over 550 million books can’t be all that bad, right? Having never read anything by Steel before, I didn’t know if she was an exceptional writer - but I did know one thing for sure: with those sales figures, she must be exceptionally rich! I suspect that’s how she can afford dual homes – one in my hometown of San Francisco, and the other in (wait for it…) Paris.

The flyleaf for "Toxic Bachelors" says it all: "For three infuriating, charming single men, love is the most terrifying adventure of all..." That little blurb really caught my eye. Since I am a loving woman who is looking for Mr. Right, (*demure smile*), I thought I might be able to pick up a couple of pointers on how single men think. :) (Hey, you never know... A girl can use all the insight she can get!)

I don’t want to give away the story, but let’s just say (spoiler alert!) they all find romantic love in the end. (Now that's MY kind of ending!)

Later, a friend of mine told me that only women read Danielle Steel’s books. (What he actually said was, "Only women read that crap!") Well, after finishing the novel, I have to admit he’s probably right; most men would have no interest in this kind of, um, literature. But I must say that I enjoyed this book, at least as a diversion from the aggravation of a delayed take-off and a long flight. All books don’t all have to be "War and Peace", do they?

All I Want For Christmas Is YOU

Gentle snowflakes falling...
whisper joy to the world...
my heart is filled with joy too...
because I am blessed with you!
my darling...
my whole world has become...
a place of wonder and delight!
Merry Kiss-mas...
Merry Christmas to you!
All I want for Christmas is YOU!


A Memorable Trip to London

Having close friends is one of life's great joys. This past October, I had a wonderful opportunity to join a dear lady friend from Boston on an exciting journey to London, England.

One of the most interesting features of the trip was, unusually, the travel itself. We flew on Silverjet's new service from Newark, NJ to Luton Airport, north of London. If you haven't tried this airline, I highly recommend it. Silverjet flies wide-body Boeing 767's with an all business class configuration – there are only 100 seats on the airplane. All of the seats recline flat into beds, so it was the most comfortable travel I have ever experienced. Then, when we arrived at Luton, my touchingly thoughtful friend had a special surprise for me – she had chartered a helicopter to fly us into the city! (Talk about traveling in style…) I had a little apprehension at first because I had only flown this way once before – on the island of Maui, Hawaii - but I acquiesced when the pilot assured me (in a veddy British way) that it was "quite" safe and urged me to "Have a go at it." It took only twenty minutes to fly from the airport to a small helipad that is located right on the Thames River near Battersea Park. It was a really amazing flight, first zooming over the rural countryside, then across the outer suburbs, and then finally hovering over the city itself. It was an exhilarating experience, but I still feel like I left my tummy on that helicopter!

It had been awhile since I'd last visited Britain and I'd forgotten how vital and vibrant this world capital truly is. My traveling companion was attending a three-day conference, so I had some free time during each day I was there to poke around and explore this exciting city on my own.

We stayed in the center of London at the Millennium Mayfair, a majestic old hotel that was once an 18th century mansion, which overlooks Grosvenor Square and is situated diagonally across from the massive American embassy. It was so plush and elegant that I felt I had been transported back in time to a more gilded age.

I had done all the touristy things on my previous trips: visiting Big Ben and Westminster; seeing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace; and gawking at the neon of Piccadilly Circus. This time I resolved to see some of the more cultural attractions, specifically the museums and art galleries. The "Tube" (the amazingly efficient London subway system) was handy on nearby Bond St., so I was able to get around fairly effortlessly. I saw both Tate Galleries – the Tate Modern, which is right on the Thames, and the Tate Britain, which holds five centuries of British Art, as well as the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. On one memorable afternoon, I strolled through the pastoral and sublime Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Just so my entire trip wasn't purely academic, I also spent a week one day (as they say…) at Harrods Department Store, which is a truly mind-boggling place. (Well, a girl needs a diversion, doesn’t she? And, after all, I did come home with the most stunning pair of Carvela calf-length boots with a 4 inch heel…)

When I wanted to relax, it was only a short walk over to Hyde Park, a magnificent swath of tranquility in the heart of London. There, I sat for hours enjoying the beautiful fall foliage and engaging in my favorite pastime – people watching. (Well, okay *giggle*, people watching is actually my second favorite pastime…)

I really like the British people. While they have a reputation for being somewhat (or, as they say, 'rah-ther') reserved, I have always found them to be friendly and helpful. Most Londoners are very proud of their great city and are eager to show it off to their guests.

I had such a wonderful trip that I can't wait to go back to exciting London!

For a cute introduction to Luton Airport see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGsw71rLB2c British humor at its best!

And here is a sexy/funny one that shows that the folks at Silverjet have an offbeat sense of humor (to say the least…) :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgYDohoobOw&feature=related

Picture No.1: Harrods
Picture No.2: Hyde Park
Picture No.3: Millennium Mayfair Hotel
Picture No.4: National Gallery
Picture No.5: S76 Interior
Picture No.6: Sikorsky S76
Picture No.7: Silverjet
Picture No.8: Tate Britain
Picture No.9: Tate Modern
Picture No.10: U.S. Embassy

The Spectacular Service of the Famous Mr. Chow

Michael Chow the man and MR. CHOW the dining experience are both international icons of today’s cultural landscape.

Michael Chow is a living legend. Born in Shanghai in 1939, he is widely known for his numerous personas. Along with his wife Tina Chow, he gained fame as a designer of high-end couture and rubbed elbows with Andy Warhol and the New York “jet set.” He is also well known as a discriminating art collector and a part-time film actor (following in the footsteps of his father, Zhou Xinfang, a star of the Peking Opera).

For all his accomplishments, however, Michael Chow is most renowned as the "stage director" of his five legendary restaurants: MR CHOW London, New York (57th St. & Tribeca), Beverly Hills and the soon-to-be-open South Beach Miami location, where he serves innovative Chinese food in a European setting.

I recently had dinner at the MR CHOW in Beverly Hills and truly had a wonderful time. What SPECTACULAR service! It immediately became one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. (By the way, I’d love to visit them all, so if you live in New York, London or Miami, let’s make a date! :)

All of the MR. CHOW’s locations are decidedly upscale. Before you go, be sure to make a reservation first and I recommend that you wear something nice and classy.

If you’re lucky, you may even spot a celebrity or two…



N.Y. 57th St. (between 1st & 2nd Ave)
Beverly Hills
N.Y. Tribeca (121 Hudson Street)
Miami (coming in 2008)

She Brought Tears To My Eyes with Her Sincere Words...

I got an e-mail from one of my close friends today. She is a very nice, intelligent and successful lady, and she brought tears to my eyes with her heartfelt and sincere words...

Here is her original e-mail.

Dearest Amy,

I am very grateful for your prayers and I cherish your affection. What a tender heart you have, Sweet Daughter. You are a truly lovely woman...

I was also deeply touched by your reflections on true love. As I told you before (gently and respectfully, I hope?), I think that the time is now approaching for you to go out and find the heart that's been looking for yours and, as you so eloquently put it, "become a devoted wife and mother." I think that is your destiny, my Amylove, and your path to Happiness.

In all the time we've been in contact, I've always been in awe of your courage. Not long ago, you came to a foreign land - one with a very different culture than the one you left behind in Asia. You've overcome tremendous language barriers - to the point where you now have the ability to move a highly educated American lady to the brink of tears with your written words. You've advanced your education. You've constructed a stunning web site and made a living in a very difficult and potentially dangerous occupation (with, as Sarah McLachlan says, "vultures and thieves at your back") and managed to not just survive, but thrive. I give you tremendous credit. You are an amazing young lady...

But, in all the time you've been here, I think you have been in survival mode, both physically and emotionally, trusting no one and always worrying about how you will be treated by the next person you meet. Now that you have survived the hard transition to a new country and a new culture, made some friends you can trust and saved some money, I think the time has come for you to seek your own fulfillment.

Amy, the man you are looking for is the one who can look into your eyes and see his unborn children. He is out there, looking for you, his priceless pearl. He may be rich, he may be poor. He may be Caucasian or Asian. He may be handsome or plain. It doesn’t matter. It matters only that he be hard working and sincere; happy and optimistic; kind and honest. It is time to go and find him and open your heart to him, to trust him with your dreams and fears, your joys and sorrows, your ambitions and your insecurities. It is time to drop your barriers and give yourself to him - your faithful husband, your tender lover, your dearest friend.

As the song says, "Love needs a heart, trusting and blind", and I KNOW you have that heart, my beautiful girl. I've seen it in your dreams...

I promise to get back to you towards the middle of the week when I return to my office, okay?

Thanks again for your kind thoughts...

With love and admiration,
Forever your friend

The Feast of Love

Have you ever had the experience where you’ve read a book you really enjoy and then later learned that it is going to by turned into a movie?

A few months ago, I began reading “The Feast of Love” by Charles Baxter. (I haven’t quite finished it yet - because of a special personal reason and my demanding studies, I can only read for pleasure a little each night in bed as I am falling asleep…)

“The Feast of Love” is an offbeat story, touching and sweet. In a coffee shop in a tight-knit Oregon community, local professor Harry Stevenson witnesses love and attraction whipping up mischief among the town's residents. From the unlucky in love, die-hard romantic coffee shop owner Bradley who has a serial habit of looking for love in all the wrong places; to the edgy real estate agent Diana who is caught up in an affair with a married man; to the beautiful young newcomer Chloe who defies fate in romancing the troubled Oscar; to Harry himself, whose adoring wife is looking to break through his wall of grief after the wrenching loss of a beloved...they all intertwine into one remarkable story in which no one can escape being bent, broken, befuddled, delighted and ultimately redeemed by love's inescapable spell.

As always when a novel is brought to the screen, it will be interesting to see how the story is treated. I hope the moviemakers can stay true to this lovely little tale.

I can't wait to see how it comes out...

Release Date: September 28, 2007
Filming Location: Portland, Oregon, USA


Be Careful With A High-Priced Matchmaker

Some singles' dealings with a high-priced matchmaker end up in court instead of courtship.

By Jenifer Goodwin

October 9, 2005

While leafing through an in-flight magazine, Diane Lindamood stopped at an ad for Irene Valenti, an international matchmaker in the "European Tradition." Valenti, a heavily made up, French-manicured, petite, 59-year-old (now 61-year-old) blonde, promised to help clients find a life partner from her "select worldwide clientele," who range from "comfortable to the extremely wealthy."

Having no interest in the bar scene, and wanting to meet someone who wasn't after her money, Lindamood thought Valenti might help her.

Lindamood, left widowed with three young sons in 1987 when a disgruntled employee brought down the passenger plane her husband was piloting, received a multimillion dollar settlement from the airline.

She paid Valenti $30,000 up front, and agreed to pay another $30,000 if she got married, engaged or had an exclusive relationship.



To make a long story short, I have never met Charles in person, but as a kind-hearted human being, something in my heart tells me to help this young man survive. He is fighting with death now...

Charles is an intelligent and VERY NICE young man, a son of a Caucasian father and an Asian mother and who was a trader in NYC. He first e-mailed me in April 2007. Here is his original e-mail:


I stumbled upon your website and was very touched by the poems and your story. We each have our own stories, each are unique and special in our hearts. Yours truly struck a chord within my soul...I have read each of your poems and can feel the passion within each word. Thank you for the wonderful poems...

I wish you the very best and I know that you are destined to do great things!!"

Since that e-mail we have become online friends. He is a very honest, kind and responsible young man. Charles' father passed away seven years ago due to complications from diabetes. Among these was morbid weight gain caused by drugs used to treat a liver problem. The doctors said that this was a common occurrence. His mother passed away from stomach cancer recently. Charles said that one of the most painful things that he saw was that she lost so much weight over a very short period of time (she was about 5'8", 140 lbs and lost 60lbs. during her last six months). The drugs (chemo) that the doctors gave her made her very sick. It kills everything in your body, both the good cells and the bad. No matter what the doctors did they could not stop the cancer from spreading to her other organs.

Charles remembers going to see his mother on Mother's Day in May of 2007. He picked her up and she was so light as he carried her outside in her back yard. He could talk to her about anything; girls, sex, music, politics. She was his best friend. His mum loved flowers and reading outside while drinking tea. He read to her but could see that she was very tired, the sorrow and pain on her face.
He misses her so much. He asked himself, "Do I want to go through the same or should I just enjoy the time that I have left?"

This is the original e-mail that Charles wrote to me:

"I was hesitant to write you. Since I don't know how people will react. But I remember that you wrote me about being my friend and to be strong. I may have told you that I had stomach pains. I finally went to the doctor. It's ironic but the doctors have discovered that I have cancer of my stomach and liver. I will be doing additional tests today to find the extent of the cancer. The question that I have asked myself is should I go through radiation and chemo if it's a battle that I cannot win, just like my mum who fought it for 18 months before she died."

The doctors told him that if he doesn't start the chemo, the cancer will spread to his bone marrow and at that point it will be less than a year before he dies...

Charles is very tired and has lost 15 pounds in the last few weeks...

Life is so unfair. Why do bad things happen to good people? As a kind-hearted lady I can't see him dying. Please help this young man. If you are a doctor or if you know a good doctor who is a cancer specialist, please help him...

I Was Impressed by the Beautiful Greenery in Milwaukee

This month, I had an opportunity to visit Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the first time. I was quite taken by its natural beauty. The city has a striking setting, right on Lake Michigan. The lake front and downtown areas have been revitalized beautifully in recent years and the people are warm and friendly.

A little history: Milwaukee is the largest city within the state of Wisconsin and 25th largest (by population) in the U.S. The city is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, Milwaukee had a population of 573,378. The city is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha Metropolitan Area with a population of 1,753,355.

The first Europeans to pass through the area were French missionaries and fur traders. In 1818, Frenchman Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846 Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the City of Milwaukee. Large numbers of German and other immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and the following decades.

Once known almost exclusively as a brewing and manufacturing powerhouse, Milwaukee has taken steps in recent years to reshape its image. In the past decade, major new additions to the city have included the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Midwest Airlines Center, an internationally renowned addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Pier Wisconsin, as well as major renovations to the Milwaukee Auditorium and U.S. Cellular Arena. In addition, many new skyscrapers, condos, lofts, and apartments have been constructed in neighborhoods on and near the lake front and riverbanks for the purpose of attracting new residents to the city.

I really enjoyed my trip to Milwaukee and would love to visit again some day!

Her Beautiful Voice, Skilled Piano Playing and Songwriting... - A Must Have!

So far, I have seen Vienna's live concert for three times. The more I hear Vienna the more I realize how incredible she is. To be an artist that has it all is really quite rare. Often you have people that have great voices, but can't write. Or can write but shouldn't sing. Or in some cases are just pretty and look good onstage but really can't sing or write. With Vienna you have everything... the whole package. She can play piano classically, write beautiful intelligent songs, sing like an angel and she's beautiful inside and out. What more could you ask for?

Vienna Teng is an incredibly talented American singer, songwriter and pianist. Her musical style, a mixture of pop and folk, draws on the influences of performers such as Tori Amos and Sarah McLanchlan. She has released three studio albums: Walking Hour (2002), Warm Strangers (2004), and Dreaming Through The Noise (2006).

Teng took her stage name "Vienna" from the Austrian city famous for its musical history. She is a native of Saratoga, California and began studying classical piano at the age of 5. She continued to study music while she was working toward her degree in computer science at Stanford University, which she completed in 2000. While a student, she sang a cappella with the Stanford Harmonics. She began recording the songs for Waking Hour at Stanford's CCRMA studios while a student, with the intention only to distribute her music on campus. After graduating, she worked as a software engineer for Cisco Systems for two years, continuing to write and perform in her free time. She signed with Virt Records and quit Cisco to focus on her musical career.


Featured on LETTERMAN & NPR. A dazzling collection of lush, melodic songs, incorporating Vienna's classical tendencies and folk sensibilities within a contemporary pop framework.

Her first major national exposure was an appearance on the David Letterman show in January 2003; she has also made appearances on the CBS Saturday Early Show, National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, CNN's NewsNight with Aaron Brown, and The Wayne Brady Show, and opened in concert for Joan Baez , Shawn Colvin, Joan Osborne, Sarah Harmer, and Marc Cohn. Her debut album, Waking Hour, peaked at #5 on the Amazon.com bestseller list; her second album, Warm Strangers, reached as high as #2. In 2006, Teng signed with Zoe/Rounder.

From December 2006 to early 2007, she toured extensively across the U.S. to promote the release of her third album. Highlights of this tour included co-headlining with Duncan Sheik and opening for Madeleine Peyroux. She began the Green Caravan Tour in April 2007, accompanied by cellist Marika Hughes, violinist Dina Maccabee, and percussionist Alex Wong, along with various opening acts such as David Berleley and Jenny Owen Youngs.

Her songs have been featured in various projects, namely the TV series Ed and on the Discovery Channel. In addition, Teng contributed her vocals to the song "One 2 One" by hip-hop duo Magnetic North.

"With lilting vocals reminiscent of Tori Amos and lush strings that underscore her intricate piano arrangements, Teng serves up sharp songs" (Entertainment Weekly)

"With Teng's clear, pitch-perfect voice and rhythmic piano set against varying arrays of strings and brass, this is a haunting collection from a promising newcomer." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"Teng's singing voice is simply scrumptious" (Philadelphia Daily News)

"Her sound is lush, engaging and representative of her increasingly mature songwriting." (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

"Teng has taken a confident step forward to create a set of songs that are sharper, deeper, and even more enchanting than her debut, proving that her talent and music are worthy of the accolades that continue to stack up around her." (All Music Guide)

Acclaimed San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Vienna returns with her stunning sophomore release, Warm Strangers. The album is an enchanting collection of lush, melodic songs, incorporating Vienna's classical background and folk sensibilities within a contemporary pop framework. The album was produced by David Henry (REM, Josh Rouse) and mixed by Roger Moutenot (Guster, Joseph Arthur). Whereas her debut, Waking Hour, written during the high school and college years, was mostly autobiographical, Warm Strangers marks Vienna's bold leap into fiction. Orchestral and acoustic landscapes, using everything from string quartets to slide guitars, provide an inviting sonic backdrop for her short stories of love, death, struggle and hope. In describing Warm Strangers, Vienna notes, "We pass through each other's lives so briefly that it's easy to think of the people around us as mere objects, cold and removed. Writing songs is my way of breathing warmth into them. Attempting to tell their stories, however fictitious the results, reminds me of our common humanity."

Vienna Teng is incredibly wonderful. Go head, order copies for everyone you know!


The Drop-dead Gorgeous and Sexually Adventurous Tera Patrick

The Drop-dead gorgeous and sexually adventurous, Porn Star Tera Patrick has quickly shot to the top of the porno world. This mixed-blood beauty (half Asian and half Caucasian) is one of the sexiest girls on earth. I saw her on the E! Channel recently and was absolutely seduced by her sexiness, charm and intelligence. What an alluring lady!

Although I never watch explicit films by myself, I have occasionally been known to view them with my gentlemen friends, provided the acting is classy, tasteful and erotic. In the right setting - and (*wink*) with the right company - they can really turn me on.

Tera Patrick is one on my favorites. She stands 5'9" (without shoes - yes, she is tall!) and has a stunning figure and a striking face. In fact, she has it all - beauty, intelligence, fame and wealth. She also has an interesting background - born Linda Ann Hopkins in Montana in 1976 to an English/Jewish father and a Thai mother - her parents originally met in Indochina during the Vietnam War. While Tera was still young, her mother moved back to Thailand to live permanently and her father moved with her to San Francisco and raised her there by himself.

Patrick was discovered in San Francisco by a talent scout for the Eileen Ford Modeling Agency, and at the age of 13 she was signed to a contract to be a model. She moved to New York City shortly thereafter and her career as a runway and catalog model began. At 18, she left the world of modeling and enrolled at Boise State University where she received her associate's (two year) degree in nursing and a BS in Microbiology. She then transferred to University of California, Santa Barbara, where for financial reasons she began modeling again.

In the late 1990s, Patrick transitioned to appearing in nude and soft-core features. In 2000, she made the transition to hard-core porn in Andrew Blake's Aroused. Since that time, she has become one of the most popular and recognized porn start n the world, having graced the pages of Playboy and Penthouse, where she was the "Pet of the Month" for February 2000 and was selected as "Pet of the Year" runner-up, as well as having appeared in more than seventy adult features. Patrick is noted for her sultry voice and her aroused and enthusiastic portrayals of sex. Because of this, she has won several awards from the adult-movie business organizations. Today, she hosts the popular webcast The Tera Patrick Show and she is active in the adult film community, raising money for both the Free Speech Coalition and A.I.M Healthcare. In an interview with the Adult Film Database in February of 2007, Patrick stated she will only continue to work in front of the camera for two more years, but plans on releasing her starring adult titles over the next decade. The March 2007 DVD release, 'inTERactive' set the record as the fastest selling Hustler release ever.

Patrick has been a frequent and favorite guest of Howard Stern on his TV and radio programs. She was featured on the cover of the July 2006 edition of the more mainstream FHM revealing candid details in an interview inside. Patrick, who had been named one of FHM's 100 sexiest women, was the first porn star to appear on the cover. Tera also appeared, as herself, in episode 63 of the cartoon series Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which first aired November 19, 2006.

As well, Patrick was made into a playable character in the video-game Backyard Wrestling 2.

In December 2002, she severed ties with Digital Playground, and brought suit against them, contending she was not paid for her appearance in several Digital Playground productions. Digital Playground's countersuit contended that it owns exclusive rights to the name "Tera Patrick," and that she is signed up to produce adult entertainment only for them until January 2008. Despite her ongoing lawsuits with Digital Playground, Patrick signed a two-year exclusive contract with Vivid Video in December 2003. In April 2007, Patrick and her production company Teravision filed a lawsuit against Jenna Jameson and Playboy Enterprises (the new owners of Club Jenna) for failing to properly account for and pay royalties on monies earned by Patrick's website www.ClubTera.com.

In 2003, Patrick became the masthead publisher of Genesis magazine, a popular men's magazine which subtitles itself, "The Home of Porn's Hottest Stars." Since she has signed the contract with Genesis, Patrick has graced the cover of seven issues of the publication.

On January 9, 2004, Patrick married Evan Seinfeld, a singer/bassist for the New York hardcore band Biohazard and an actor best known for his appearance in the series Oz. In 2005, Patrick and Evan launched a talent agency representing models and actors/actresses. According to a quote on the agency's website, Patrick's goal, "is to help girls (and guys) in the business to be treated with respect, and realize their true potential..." She also owns a production company called "Teravision", which along with Vivid Video released its first feature, "Desperate", starring Patrick and Evan. In April 2006 it was announced that she would host the Exxxotica Miami convention.

2000 Hot D'Or- "Best New Starlet"
2001 AVN Award - "Best New Starlet"
2001 Genesis Magazine - "Best New Cummer"
2001 XRCO Awards - "Best New Starlet"
2002 Runner-up Penthouse Pet Of The Year
2002 Hustler Honey
2004, 2005 Genesis Magazine Pornstar of The Year
2004, 2005, 2006 FOXE Fan Favorite
2006 FHM 100 Sexiest Women
2006 VH1's Top 40 Hottest Rockstar Girlfriends & Wives
2007 F.A.M.E. Award for Favorite Female Starlet

I Want To Be A Lady of Great Compassion

As you can see from the "About Me" page of this website, I have had to overcome a hard life to get where I am today. I have difficult memories of my early struggles and have always tried to help those whose struggles continue to this day. That is why I donate 10% of my income to UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund), a tremendously worthy cause. I urge anyone reading this diary to do the same.

My contributions have always been inspired by the late Audrey Hepburn, a woman celebrated for her worldwide fame, feminine beauty and timeless elegance, but perhaps less well known as a woman of great compassion. Having experienced homelessness and starvation as a child after the Nazi occupation of her Dutch homeland during World War II, Audrey Hepburn never forgot that it was UNICEF that brought relief to her and thousands like her. If you would like more information, you can follow this link:


Please consider a contribution to UNICEF today.

"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist. UNICEF performs realistic miracles every day."
Ms. Audrey Hepburn

Chien-Ming Wang, Pride of the Yankees

The New York Yankees have won 26 Baseball World Series in 39 appearances since the first Series took place in 1903 - by far the winningest record in baseball history. For the past two years, their "ace" pitcher has been Chien-Ming Wang, a 6'3", 225 lb. righthander from Taiwan. Last year, Wang came into his own, posting a record of 19 wins and 6 losses and finishing second in the voting for the Cy Young award, which goes to the best pitcher in the league.

Wang starred for the Taiwan national baseball team in the 2002 Asian Games. In 2004, Wang led the Taiwan team to the Olympic Games in Athens. At 26, he is a national hero in his home country. In Taiwan, all of his games are televised nationwide, many on big screens to large audiences who watch them despite the 9 - 12 hour time difference with the United States. So far this year Wang is 10-4, despite starting the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. He is expected to win close to 20 games again this season.

Chien-Ming Wang - the pride of Taiwan and now the pride of the New York Yankees!

Reflections of A Classy Independent VIP Companion:
Things People Don't Know About Me - Part 1

Some of you who have visited my website might form the opinion that I am a "high-maintenance" lady, draped in designer clothes, fashionable accessories, expensive shoes, and drive an at least CLK-class Mercedes-Benz with a cute little dog as a pet like those who lives in 90210 zip code (Beverly Hills).

The truth is that I'm comparatively "low-maintenance" - I spend my money smartly and carefully, and I am actually very easy to be satisfied if you know how to treat a lady with your heart and honesty. But don't do me wrong, I do have quiet many elegant and classy "little black dresses", nice high heels, beautiful jeweleries, and lovely purses designed by some well-known designers that I could wear to any upscale restaurants. I am always happy to dress in haute couture for a "special date" with a refined gentleman friend. In my "other life" (I spend 99% of my time in my "other life"), I usually don't spend a great deal of money on over-priced designer clothes or other extravagant items. I prefer to save my money and invest it in real estate, which insures my future financial security. That said, I only buy what I need.

Sometimes, as a gallant gesture, a generous gentleman will bring me a nice gift, which I truly appreciate. Mostly however, the gift might be something that I do not really need. So, if you would like to buy a gift for me, please consult me before you purchase it. I would be happy to guide you. Also, please remember to always place the receipt inside the gift so I can exchange or return it if need be. I deeply appreciate your understanding and consideration.

The Man Who Owns the Internet

Kevin Ham is the most powerful dotcom mogul you've never heard of, reports Business 2.0 Magazine. Here's how the master of Web domains built a $300 million empire.


Reflections on a Very Special Mother's Day

For my parents...and every parent and child who ever loved or was loved...

May 13th marked the commemoration of Mother's Day this year. As you can see on my "Thankfulness" page, I remain very close to my mother and I love her dearly. She is my best friend in the world. I can't imagine what my life would be without my Mom.

My mother is a very gentle, soft, intelligent and well-spoken lady who wasn't born in a well-off family and I have always felt that it is my duty as a daughter to help her in any way I can. Providing for one's elders is a strong obligation in Asian culture, one based not only on tradition, but also on familial love.

This was a very special Mother's Day. After many years of saving, I was finally able to afford to buy my mother a nice condo and I gave it to her on Mother's Day. It gave me great satisfaction and pride to be able to pay her back in some small way for all the things she's done for me in my lifetime. It was a dream come true for me and a happy day for both of us!

This's what I wrote on the card:

To My Beautiful Mom...
If ever there were a woman of quiet strength, it's you.
If ever there were a wife with enduring love, it's you.
If ever there were a mother so completely devoted, it's you. It's always been you.
And if ever there were a grateful daughter, it's me. It's always been me. Happy Mother's Day With All My Love.
I love you, mom!

Soon, I will find my true love and I will have beautiful children of my own. It is my fervent hope that my children will stay as close to me in my lifetime as I have been to my own dear mother.

Words of Wisdom

Too many books; too little time! Browsing for good books to read is one on my life long hobbies. I can get lost for hours in a Borders or Barnes & Noble, searching for just the right book to curl up with. Though I always try to watch my figure, I will occasionally even indulge myself with a small cup of hot chocolate while searching the shelves.

While browsing today, I came across this wonderful quotation that really struck me. I hope you like it too!

I hated every minute of training, but I said, "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."

- Muhammad Ali

"Tao Bistro" in Las Vegas - Sheer Artistry in a Restaurant

Early this month, I had an opportunity to visit one of the most exceptional places I have ever seen - Tao Asian Bistro in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The decor of Tao (which is inspired by Chinese Taoism and means "path" or "way") transcends both architecture and design; it can only be called art.

The Bistro is part of a 42,000 square-foot entertainment complex that has been redefining Las Vegas nightlife as we know it. The complex also includes a 10,000 square-foot nightclub and now features (opened just last month) "Tao Beach", a private area of the hotel's pool where the Venetians' high profile clientele and celebrity visitors can rent cabanas that feature world class amenities and premium services.

Tao Bistro came to Las Vegas with a promising reputation, which it inherited from its sister restaurant in New York City - a standard that it has not only upheld, but enhanced. It features a menu in the "Pan Asian" style, using various elements from Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisines.

Talk about Feng Shui! This artful display of Asian culture covers several levels of the hotel, the highlight of which is a hand carved, twenty foot tall Buddha floating in a pond filled with Japanese carp.

As I sat amidst the subtle beauty of this unique restaurant, I thought, "I hope one day I will come here again with someone I truly love and we can share this romantic experience together..."


A Father's Love For His Son

A friend sent me this video last month.

It tells the very touching story of "Team Hoyt": father Dick, age 65 and son Rick, age 45, who train and compete together as marathoners and triathletes. Their dedication to their sports - and to each other - is incredibly inspiring, even more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk.

I know you will be moved as much as I was by this compelling story of mutual devotion and familial love.

"Rick is helping many other families coping with disabilities in their struggle to be included." (Dick Hoyt)

"The message of Team Hoyt is that everybody should be included in everyday life." (Rick Hoyt)

This remarkable father/son team is a living example of the breathtaking power of love and determination. There is a lesson in their story for all of us.

Enjoy the video!


If you are interested in learning more, you will find the Hoyt's story at:


Angelina Jolie Adopts A Vietnamese Boy from a Ho Chi Minh City Orphanage

This news made me very happy last week. As an Asian it is very gratifying to see young Asian children that, through no fault of their own, are living in an orphanage being given the chance for a better life.

Jolie, 31, finalized the adoption of a Vietnamese orphan on Tuesday at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, according to the US-based adoption agency that helped her. The Oscar-winning actress arrived in southern Ho Chi Minh City a week ago, staying largely out of public view in hotels.

The boy's birth name is Pham Quang Sang but Jolie renamed him Pax Thien Jolie, a name that combines the Latin word for peace and the Vietnamese word for sky or heaven. He is her fourth child she is raising with her partner, Hollywood star Brad Pitt.

The 3- year old had lived in a Ho Chi Minh City orphanage since being abandoned at birth until last Thursday when Jolie completed adoption procedures with Vietnamese authorities there.

She traveled to Hanoi on Monday for the obligatory U.S. embassy appointment and collection of a visa so the child could travel to the United States, the adoption agency said.

Jolie traveled to Vietnam with her 5-year-old son Maddox, who was adopted from Cambodia, and 2-year-old daughter Zahara, adopted from Ethiopia. She gave birth last year in Namibia to her first biological child, a daughter fathered by Pitt named Shiloh.

A Talented Young Cellist Han-Na Chang

I am a fan of classical music and last week I bought this wonderful CD called "Romance" played by a young cellist, Han-Na Chang. This is a stunning piece of musical work which displays Ms. Chang's talents to the fullest, a CD which I enjoyed immensely, and one that I have great confidence in recommending to you.

Cellist Han-Na Chang has established an extraordinary international career, performing regularly on the most prestigious concert stages of Europe, North America and Asia. She first won recognition for her exceptional musical gifts in 1994 when at the age of 11 she won both the First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the Fifth Rostropovich International Cello Competition in Paris. Since that time, her superb artistry and virtuosity coupled with the astonishing depth of her interpretations have placed Han-Na Chang at the forefront of the world's new generation of artists.

An exclusive recording artist for EMI Classics and a two time Grammy nominee, Miss Chang's recordings remain best sellers worldwide and have garnered numerous distinctions. Her first recording was made in 1995 with Mstislav Rostropovich and the London Symphony Orchestra, featuring Tchaikovsky's "Rococo" Variations, Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No. 1, Faure's "Elegie" and Bruch's "Kol Nidrei." The astonishing success of her debut album, which brought Miss Chang the Young Artist of the Year Award of the ECHO Klassik-Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, was followed by her recording of the two Haydn Cello Concertos with Giuseppe Sinopoli directing the Staatskapelle Dresden. "The Swan," her third album, is an anthology of beloved shorter works for cello and orchestra by composers such as Saint-Saens, Faure, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Rachmaninov.

Han-Na Chang has studied privately with both Mischa Maisky and Mstislav Rostropovich. She is continuing her academic studies in philosophy at Harvard University.


Shaburi - An Exquisite Japanese Restaurant in Mid-Town Manhattan

I love Japanese food. I recently had a delightful time dining at the classy and exquisite Japanese restaurant called "Shaburi" in mid town Manhattan (next to W hotel). This fine Japanese cuisine restaurant, new in Manhattan, specializes in Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki.

Shabu-Shabu means "swish-swish," referring to the swishing action when you cook a very thin slice of beef in hot water. Meat for Shabu-Shabu is thinner than meat for Sukiyaki. It's said that the name of Shabu-Shabu came from the action we make when cooking meat. Because the meat is thinly sliced, it only has to be cooked for a few seconds, (perhaps the time to say "Shabu-Shabu".) It's like having a slice of meat swim in the boiling water. This style of cooking sounds very healthy, and it is.

If you have experience with Japanese food, you might have had Sukiyaki. It's a very popular one-pot meal in Japan. The main ingredient is thin sliced beef, and it is simmered in a skillet or pan in the Sukiyaki sauce with many vegetables and other ingredients. The word "yaki" means "saute" or "grill" in Japanese. The word is used because the beef in Sukiyaki is sauteed in the hot skillet. The quality of beef used in Sukiyaki is very important to the quality of the final dish. The good beef for sukiyaki is called "Shimofuri" beef in Japan and would be Prime beef in the US. Shimofuri beef has lots of fat, and is very tender and also very expensive. (Of course Kobe beef and Matsuzaka beef are the finest). Sukiyaki is usually cooked at the table, and it's common to eat with others from the same pan.

Address: 125 E 39 Street, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212 - 867 6999

Valentine's Day - A Dream and The Reality

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Here is how I imagined my favorite day this year:

Such a handsome nice young man and he is waiting for me in the lobby of my apartment building. I meet him in the lobby wearing my most elegant little black dress and high heels and beautiful jewelry. He offers me his arm and escorts me to his car and we drive to a fine restaurant and have a wonderful dinner. Then after dinner, right in the restaurant, a big surprise: That handsome young man kneels and shows me a beautiful small box, and asks, "will you marry me"? Oh My God! There in that gorgeous box is a beautiful diamond ring! I say "yes" and we lived happily afterwards...

But this is what really happened: A few single men asked me to go out but I didn't like any of them, and I didn't want to settle for less on this special holiday, so I didn't go out with any of them. I stayed at home, cooked a nice dinner (I am a good chef :) for myself and my roommate and worked at updating my website.

A dream and the reality are so different. So how's your Valentine's Day in reality?

Here are some beautiful cards I got from my friend that I would like to share with you, please start with slide 1 and continue. Enjoy.

Dr. David Ho - In 1996 Dr. Ho was the Time magazine "Man of the Year" for his tremendous work in the field of HIV/Aids research and development of antiviral cocktails to fight the virus in the early stages of infection.

In January, 2006 I was invited to attend the Asian Excellence Awards 2006 in Los Angeles. There, I saw Dr. David Ho for the first time, as the winner of the Inspiration Award for that year. As I am also Asian, the honor bestowed upon Dr. Ho by this organization was truly a great inspiration to me.

David D. Ho, M.D. is the founding Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, a world-renowned biomedical research institute. He is also the Irene Diamond Professor at The Rockefeller University.

Dr. Ho received his degrees from California Institute of Technology (1974) and Harvard Medical School (1978). Subsequently, he did his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center/UCLA School of Medicine (1978-1982) and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (1982-1985), respectively. Dr. Ho has been actively engaged in AIDS research for 24 years, and has published over 350 papers on the subject. Among an impressive list of seminal contributions to the field, he is perhaps most recognized for the elucidation of the dynamic nature of HIV replication in infected persons. This basic understanding led Dr. Ho and his coworkers to champion combination antiretroviral therapy, including the use of protease inhibitors, that has resulted in dramatic reductions in AIDS-associated mortality in developed countries since 1996. Dr. Ho continues to pursue therapeutic studies that attempt to eradicate HIV. In addition, his research team is now devoting considerable efforts to develop a vaccine to halt the spread of the AIDS epidemic. Furthermore, he is now heading up a consortium of Chinese and American organizations to help address the crisis of HIV/AIDS in China.

Dr. Ho has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific accomplishments. He is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates (including from Swarthmore, Tufts, Columbia, and University of Natal). He has been chosen as the commencement speaker at Caltech, MIT, and Harvard School of Public Health. Additional accolades include the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine, Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science & Technology, the Squibb Award, and the Hoechst Marion Roussel Award. Dr. Ho has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Sinica (Republic of China), Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science in the United States.

Dr. Ho is also an honorary professor at Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Wuhan University, and Fudan University. He served on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University, and he currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology, and Board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation.

Dr. Ho was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1996, and was the recipient of a Presidential Medal in 2001.

A Great Marriage

I read this story recently and learned a great lesson from it. I would like to share it with you and my hope is that you will learn something from it also.

After an elderly couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, the wife fell ill. Her husband sat next to her bed and started remembering how they shared everything together, intimacy, memories and every secret...except... his wife's shoebox. He looked at the top of the closet shelf and spotted it.  

He could still hear her voice reminding him that she will share everything with him except what was in the shoebox and he had respected her wishes and never looked in it. As he glanced back at his wife who looked so tired, he got up and picked up the box and brought it back to the bedside. His wife nodded, agreeing that now was the right time.

Slowly he opened the box inside and looked in. He found two beautifully hand made dolls and ninety five thousand dollars. He looked at his wife and she made an effort to speak and explain the meaning of the contents. "The box contains my deepest secrets my love...a long time ago, my mother told me that if I ever felt anger towards you, I should channel it into making something beautiful...so I decided to make dolls."

At this point, tears welled up in the old man's eyes, as he exclaimed "my love! we have been together sixty years and there are only two dolls...I am...so overwhelmed right now with emotion. Thanks for explaining about the dolls, but what does the ninety five thousand dollars represent, did you want anything special?"

"No" replied the old woman, "the money in the box is how much I made selling dolls."

A Book For Everyone Interested In Business Management Strategies

I read a lot of books and I am interested in a variety of subjects. One of those subjects is the strategy and management of businesses (both large and small). I recently read the book Bag The Elephant! and was fascinated with the strategies, tactics and techniques Steve Kaplan has used over the years in a variety of companies and industries. If you are at all interested in business strategy and tactics I think you will find the book quite absorbing.

Whether you're a business owner, executive, salesperson, or professional with a practice, you can learn from Steve Kaplan. Steve developed and used his Bag the Elephant strategy as the owner of a small business, first landing contracts with one of the biggest Elephants of all, Procter & Gamble, and then many other big customers before selling his company. Over the last decade, Steve has refined his strategy with 23 businesses he has led and the more than 100 companies he has consulted with.

Here's a sales and marketing strategy that can help you get that giant customer - your own Elephant - and dramatically increase your revenue, profits, and success. More than a strategy book, Bag the Elephant! is packed with proven tactics, tools, and techniques, along with real-world examples from the author's vast experience that will demonstrate how you can put these powerful ideas to work.

To prepare you for long-term success Steve Kaplan shows you:

- The 6 keys for a successful big-customer focus
- How to map and use a big company's red tape to your advantage
- Ideas and techniques for developing your own Elephant prospect list
- How to find champions who can become inside sales reps for you
- How to build strong alliances that result in maximum sales
- Secrets of negotiating with an Elephant without giving away your profit margins
- Techniques for turning customer catastrophes into customer loyalty
- How to avoid the 5 killer mistakes that can put you out of business

Steve Kaplan is founder of The Difference Maker Inc., which provides a wide range of business tools to help companies of all sizes succeed. Steve has served as CEO of Bounty SCA, a company with 24 worldwide offices, where he grew revenue from $200,000 to $250 million in less than 10 years. He was also group president of Snyder Communications.

Natural Beauty In Exquisite La Jolla

A girlfriend and I were recently invited to spend a few days in La Jolla visiting a friend who attended and graduated from the same university as we did.  In the time that I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area I have heard much about the natural beauty and sophistication of the town of La Jolla and decided to go with my girlfriend to see if it was as beautiful as I had been told.

La Jolla is located 15 minutes north from downtown San Diego and is where many of San Diego's wealthier residents live.  It is an exquisite combination of a southern European resort atmosphere and Southern California fun and the most scenic beaches in San Diego are found here.  Sandy beaches are the norm and so are striking limestone cliffs carved by winds and waves into many fantastic shapes. The clear water draws many snorkelers and scuba divers, and para-gliders sail overhead.

We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Parisi in La Jolla. It is a luxury hotel that has historical color, and features great views. The hotel caters to a hip crowd, was recently renovated, and is perfect for "relaxing". 

The views are the most wonderful part of the experience of La Jolla. As you descend the coastal boulevard to the sea, one cannot help but imagine being in Italy or perhaps Greece. As you move away from the homes and palm trees shielding your view to the north, a majestic, blue, cliff-lined expanse spreads out before your eyes. I could only imagine what the Spanish explorer Balboa must have experienced when he first enjoyed this wondrous spectacle.  Imagine his delight, his awestruck stupefaction at this view from hundreds of feet above the Pacific Ocean.  The surf crashing in, caves carved out of the indigenous sandstone, dolphins gliding, seals cavorting, and pelicans in groups of four, two or solo and flying inches over the water.

All that, the blue sky, the cool breezes, the palm trees, the sun's nectar dripping everywhere. Nevertheless, it is the view, the vista, the height, the cliffs, the coastline curving around the La Jolla cove, which captivate. I really cannot describe, in English, what it feels like.

Oddly enough, La Jolla, is not a Spanish word. It does not appear in the Spanish dictionary.  To me La Jolla is a gem, a jewel - one of the most thrilling sights I have ever witnessed and I will return to enjoy this treasure of beauty in Southern California.

If Only I Knew...

When the author Lance Wubbels was writing this book If Only I Knew, the fourteen-year-old son of a friend of his left home on his yellow bicycle, heading for soccer practice as he had countless time before, and was hit broadside in a street crosswalk by a car. The driver, a sixteen-year-old young man, was distracted and somehow never even saw Spencer until he hit the windshield. In that tragic moment, a boy's life vanished like a mist, leaving behind a grieving mother who obviously loved him with all her heart.

We live in an uncertain world. When we leave home in the morning, we assume we will return in the evening. When we say good-bye to loved ones, we take it for granted we will see them again. We presume they know we love them, so we seldom say the words. Unfortunately, we fail to consider the mortal reality that this may not be the case... until it's too late. Tomorrow does not always come.

Someone once said that "life is short, so keep short accounts with God." That is wise advice, but I'd like to add that we should also keep short accounts with every person who is in the circle of our lives. We never know when life will be dramatically changed... sometimes permanently.

Think about it. Don't allow the regrets of "if only I knew" to be the final marker of your life. Be swift to love. Hurry to be kind. Take the time to make someone feel special. Freely give hugs and kisses, and may "I love you" be often on your lips.

A great vacation in New York City

For most of us, the word vacation conjures up images of lounging on a sunny beach or touring the picturesque terrain of some European country. An urban center bustling with people, traffic and skyscrapers might not immediately come to mind. However, large cities often offer tourists an incredible variety of sites and activities. The City, or The Big Apple, as New York City is often referred to, is home to world-renowned museums and restaurants, exciting attractions, an array of entertainment and unbeatable shopping.

After a lot of thought and conversations with friends who had visited New York City recently, I decided to take a 5 day vacation in "The City".  It was a fantastic choice and I spent my 5 days there visiting some tourist attractions, learning to use the subway (which isn't really that difficult), going to the theater, visiting a couple of art museums, absorbing the atmosphere of Greenwich Village, spending some time with friends that live across the river in New Jersey and just walking up and down Park Avenue and 5th Avenue, taking it all in and watching New Yorkers as they went about their day-to-day routines.

The first tourist attraction was Times Square which certainly has "tourist trap" written all over it, but it is a must-see at least once, to take in all it's neon glory at night. Times Square has been the heart of the theater district since 1899, but started a decline in the 1930's as many sex shows started taking over the old theaters. Rejuvenation started in the 1990's, and when I visited late one night, was extremely safe, if not for the crowds, for the many police officers on duty. Times Square has become one of the brightest and safest areas in NYC. This is the home of Good Morning America, Toys "R" Us, Virgin Records, NASDAQ, Condé Nast, Ernst and Young, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, MTV, The New York Times, Reuters, Viacom, etc. and is now a family playground instead of a sin corner of the world.  I also took a bus tour of Downtown Manhattan and sat on the uncovered upper deck.  Naturally about halfway through the tour, the rain poured, it was wet and cold but I still had fun and saw a lot of Manhattan I would have missed had I not taken the bus tour.  I highly recommend the bus tours but try to pick a time when it doesn't rain.

My favorite neighborhood and the wealthiest in Manhattan is the Upper East Side and lies to the east of Central Park, a very large expanse of greenery in the center of the city. The area is home to exclusive stores and gourmet restaurants, but if you love art, this is the place to be. The area houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Frick Collection.  I spend one complete day of my vacation visiting these museums and admiring the many beautiful art works they have in their collections.  My favorite is the Guggenheim but all of them are wonderful and magnificent.  In my opinion a visit to these museums is a must for any visitor to The City.

The area centered around 34th Street is known as Midtown and is home to most of New York's famous attractions. With taxis honking and pedestrians packing the sidewalks, you can really feel the hustle and bustle of city life in Midtown Manhattan. The Empire State Building the United Nations Times Square the Broadway theater district, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal and St. Patrick's Cathedral are all located here. If you like shopping (and who doesn't?), visit either Macy's or Bloomingdales, two very large department stores.  One of my friends who lives in New Jersey and I saw a performance of Beauty and The Beast and afterwards had dinner in one of the great restaurants that abound in this area.

A great way to spend an afternoon is to take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange as I did - Here you can see where tons of money are made and lost. From a visitor's area, you can observe the world's busiest trading floor, check stock prices on the ticker and hear the famous closing bell.  I've decided that my future children will all be investment bankers, venture capitalists or have some job in the financial sector which will enable them to make millions in a profession that is demanding, fast paced and very financially rewarding.  As I have a great personal interest in the equity markets I would advise any young person contemplating a career choice to give very serious consideration to obtaining their MBA and choosing a very interesting and demanding career in Investment Banking.

No visit to The City would be complete without a visit to New York's cultural center and the very famous Greenwich Village neighborhood. Home to many writers and artists, The Village, as it is known, is divided into two areas, the East Village and the West Village. The West Village's narrow cobblestone streets are lined with historic townhouses as well as restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. It is also home to Washington Square Park, established in 1827. This park has the honor of being the inspiration for Henry James' novel, Washington Square. This area can be a little confusing as the streets have names as opposed to numbers so you may want to take along a map. Across Broadway, you will enter the East Village. The area has offbeat stores and many say that it is the city's home for radicalism. Don't be surprised if you see more than one piercing or tattoo in this area. Take a stroll down 6th Street (between First and Second Avenues) for some authentic Indian food. Walk down St. Marks Place (8th Street) to experience the bohemian nature of the neighborhood. Though the area may now be home to more executives than artists, it still has a quaint charm that embodies the feel of New York's history.

Some facts that I picked up from brochures and notes I took after my rainy bus tour:

  • Why are taxicabs yellow? John Hertz, who founded the Yellow Cab Company in 1907, chose yellow because he had read a study conducted by the University of Chicago that indicated it was the easiest color to spot.
  • The Statue of Liberty is 101 feet tall from base to torch, 305 feet tall from pedestal foundation to torch. She has a 35-foot waist and an 8-foot index finger. She weighs 450,000 pounds.
  • Macy's, the world's largest store, covers 2.1 million square feet of space and stocks over 500,000 different items.
  • The nation's largest public Halloween parade is the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. It is also New York's only nighttime parade.
  • New York City has 578 miles of waterfront.
  • The Bronx is the only New York borough connected to the mainland.
  • There are more than 66,000 hotel rooms in New York City.
  • More than 280,000 NYC jobs are supported by visitor spending
I left The Big Apple having enjoyed my vacation immensely but very happy to be coming home to the San Francisco Bay Area.  I will always return to New York City to visit and enjoy the great cultural and entertainment activities the City offers.  Without question, it is an American treasure and one of the world's greatest cities.

A brilliant and lucky young man - YouTube co-founder Steve Chen

Since 2002, when dozens of employees left PayPal after it was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion, those workers have gone on to start or join a new generation of Internet companies and other ventures.  They have remained a tight-knit group, attending each other s parties, helping to shape each other s business plans, backing each other s companies and recruiting each other for new projects.  Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim are all three members of this close circle of friends and associates.

Steve Chen was born in August of 1978 in Taiwan and is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of the popular video sharing website YouTube.  Chen graduated from John Hersey High School and attended the Illinois Math and Science Academy and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was an early employee at PayPal, where he met Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. The three later founded the YouTube video sharing website on February 14, 2005.

YouTube received funding from Sequoia Capital in November 2005 and the service was officially launched in December 2005.  Steve Chen and Chad Hurley proceeded to become the first members of the YouTube management team and currently serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer respectively.  Jawed Karim left the company to pursue an advanced degree at Stanford University.

YouTube co-founder Steve Chen relishes watching other companies trying to catch up. He thinks YouTube has one key advantage. "Every person that we're hiring, every person we're bringing on the team, is focused on video," said Chen.

Online video sharing was an unfamiliar concept for most Internet users a year ago. But YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim predicted, "this space will explode when the company was founded.

No kidding.

YouTube, the video-sharing service Steve Chen co-founded with the two others was sold in October to Google for $1.65 billion in stock making Steve a very rich young man.

He took a videocam, and made a fortune.

One of my favorite steak restaurants - Ruth's Chris steak house

I had a wonderful time dining at Ruth's Chris steak house in Washington DC recently. This is the place that showed the world how great a steak can be. Carefully selected and aged for tenderness. Cut thick to ensure juiciness. Seared to perfection at 1800 degrees. Seasoned simply with salt, black pepper and a touch of parsley, because a steak like this needs nothing else. Topped with fresh butter that sizzles seductively on your plate, announcing the arrival of a great steak.
Born in 1927 in New Orleans, Ruth Fertel had a passion for science. At age 19, she enrolled at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she majored in chemistry with a minor in physics. After college, Ruth taught briefly at McNeese Junior College in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but left to marry and start a family.

Fourteen years later, Ruth divorced and reentered the workforce as a lab technician at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans. Four years later, convinced the position could not provide enough income to send her two sons to college, she decided to go into business for herself.
In 1965, while scanning the classified section of the local newspaper, Ruth noticed an ad for a steak house for sale - Chris Steak House on Broad Street in New Orleans. Against the advice of her lawyer and her banker, she mortgaged her house for $22,000 and bought the restaurant, eventually renaming it Ruth's Chris Steak House.
Ruth knew little about the restaurant business but, with a background in science, she became a great cook. What she lacked in experience, she made up for with hard work and natural hospitality. She only bought the best ingredients, confident that her guests would appreciate it. Soon, word spread of the fine steaks and quality service at Ruth's Chris Steak House, and it became a popular gathering spot for the city's political leaders, sports figures, media personalities and business people.
In 1976, the original Ruth's Chris Steak House was destroyed in a fire. Faced with a disaster that would have overwhelmed many, Ruth responded with character and determination, purchasing a building just down Broad Street and reopening Ruth's Chris Steak House.
Well aware of the restaurant's popularity, and convinced that the quality of its food and service could be duplicated, Ruth opened a second restaurant location in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, in 1977. That same year, at the urging of a loyal guest, T.J. Moran, she granted the first franchise for a Ruth's Chris Steak House, which opened in Baton Rouge.
The staff at each Ruth's Chris Steak House knew Ruth; she was revered for her values of hard, honest work and a passion for quality and service. Ruth's Chris Steak House quickly became the largest fine-dining steak house company in the world and today has more than 80 locations worldwide. The enthusiasm and sheer determination of its founder made it a greater success than even Ruth had ever anticipated.
Committed to industry and community programs, Ruth was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2001 Ella Brennan Savoir Faire Award, the Restaurant Business High Performance Leadership Award, the DiRoNA Hall of Fame Award, Executive of the Year from Restaurants & Institutions Magazine, and the Horatio Alger Award. Throughout the years, until her death in 2002, Ruth was a popular fixture at the Broad Street restaurant.
Today, Ruth's Chris Steak House continues to foster in its staff Ruth's legendary dedication to her guests. Ruth's Chris Steak House appears on "best restaurant" lists nationwide and has won countless awards and accolades from the industry and, more importantly, from its loyal guests.

One of the most intelligent and successful Asian women - Wendi Deng

Wendi Deng is a former Vice President of Business Affairs at News Corporation’s Asian satellite television operation and is married to its chief executive Rupert Murdoch, one of the most powerful media owners in the world.
Wendi Deng was born in 1969 in Xuzhou, China.  Deng later moved to the southern city of Guangzhou with her parents and family. Her father was the president of a machinery factory in Guangzhou and the family was relatively wealthy by comparison with other Chinese residents at the time. In 1985, she graduated from high school and enrolled in Guangzhou Medical College but dropped out at the end of the third semester. Later, she enrolled in an economics program at California State University. While studying at CSU Deng shared an apartment with her schoolmates and worked as a cosmetics salesgirl to make ends meet.
After completing the economics program Deng received an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management in 1997 and moved to Hong Kong working for STAR TV in charge of  business development. In 1999 Deng met Rupert Murdoch the CEO of Star TV's parent company News Corporation.

Rupert Murdoch (born March 11, 1931) is an Australian-born naturalized American citizen, based in New York City, who is a global media executive and is a top shareholder, chairman and managing director of News Corporation. Beginning with newspapers, magazines and television stations in his native Australia, Murdoch expanded into British and American media, and in recent years has become a powerful force in satellite television, the film industry, and other forms of media. With a net worth ballooning to $5.3 billion, and over $40 billion in assets, his company is only growing.
 Murdoch at age 68, divorced his wife of many years and seventeen days after married Wendi Deng, then 30. They were married on June 25, 1999 aboard the yacht Morning Glory on the Hudson river.
Murdoch has since had two children with Wendi: Grace (born 2001) and Chloe (born 2003). It is Murdoch's stated desire to have his children by Wendi Deng given a measure of control over the stock proportional to their financial interest in it.

The Eternal Myth of Love
Current mood: Calm
I wrote this special essay for someone special.

"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." - When Harry Met Sally

It's called the myth of love: Our soul mate is out there and once we find him / her we'll live happily ever after. Isn't that how it's portrayed in the movies and literature?

Romantic love is as old as storytelling itself, and it's one of our most honored traditions. Woman meets man and they fall in love. Isn't that how it's supposed to work? Sort of, at least on paper. But you know better than that by now. In real life it is not that easy.

So, here you are, pissed off, defeated - and ready to leave your Everlasting Gobstopper of Love on the table and walk away.

Well, hold on there just a minute. I knew you were special. And just when you thought it was all over, it's just the beginning. Don't give up, give love a chance. In fact, all the experience you've had up to now will actually pave the way to higher standards and the type of relationship you deserve. It may not be a fairy tale but it'll be based in reality, and it'll be with someone you're really into.

You think there are no good women left, all the good ones are already taken. No, that's not true. Good single women do exist, you just may not be seeing them. At least myself, I am a good single woman. (I have an all-or-nothing libido: Either I am totally, hopelessly in love with you or I'm not. Period.) Just don't mistake it - or so you think. And like you, they have visited the buffet table often enough to know the value of a home-cooked meal.

While compromising may be the name of the game in the world of business, in this candy land we call love, it is not compromising your standards and remembering what you really want and deserve that will ultimately win the day. So, be honest, you're not that into her either, raise your standards and reach for the love that you deserve. They say, good things are worth the wait; I say, a good woman is worth waiting for. Your real love is there waiting for you, you just don't know.

World War II

From past to present, why so many wars in the world? Where is the peace? "

The real heroes of world war II are the men and women who never came back. If there was anything heroic about my story, it is my recovery from the wounds I received. I could not have made it without help-lots of it-from fellow soldiers, doctors, loved ones, friends, and others. None of us who travels the valleys of life ever walks alone." This is from a book that I'm reading now One Soldier's Story by Bob Dole. 

Before he became one of America's most respected statesmen, Bob Dole was an average citizen serving heroically for his country. The bravery he showed after suffering near-fatal injuries in the final days of World War II is the stuff of legend. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life. 

Dole was a 21-year-old soldier from Russell, Kansas, entrusted to lead a platoon of men in the famed 10th Mountain Division. Trying to pull his radioman to safety during a battle against a fortified German position in the mountains of Italy, Dole was hit by enemy fire in his right shoulder and back. Over the next three years, he lapsed in and out of consciousness, lost a kidney, and lost the use of his right arm and most of the feeling in his left arm. But he willed himself to live. 

With the candor, compassion, and wit he is known for, Dole recounts his own odyssey of courage and sacrifice, and also honors the fighting spirit of the countless heroes with whom he served, including two fellow injured soldiers who later joined him in the senate. Drawing on nearly three hundred never-before-seen letters between him and his family during this period, Dole offers a powerful, vivid portrait of one man's struggle to survive in the closing moments of the war. He speaks here not as a politician but as a wounded G.I. who overcame the longest odds to rebuild his life. Heartfelt and inspiring, One Soldier's Story is the World War II chronicle America has been waiting for. 

Silks - One of San Francisco's Hidden Treasures

Those of us living in the San Francisco Bay area and who enjoy a good meal, great wines and outstanding restaurants are very fortunate. Notable and memorable dining room experiences are offered throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Recently I had the pleasure of dining at Silks, (located on the second floor of Mandarin Oriental hotel) where the cuisine is inspired by the combination of elements of Pacific Rim style with West Coast signature dishes. From the first bite I knew this would be one of my more extraordinary restaurant experiences and the great food, wine and service completely fuliflled my expectations and I left with every sense satisfied. Truly a marvelous time from the first martini to the dessert selection. If you live in the area or are visiting, you must make Silks your choice for an evening of relaxation and indulgence. This restaurant is very popular, don't forget to make a reservation first.
Phone number: 415 - 276 9888 or 415 - 986 2020
Location: 222 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104 "

A place for grand moments and high adventures, and exquisite restaurant where the service is as smooth as the name - and the best martinis in town are only the beginning." So says North California's leading journal, the San Francisco Chronicle Datebook.

I Am Blue...

Life does not always go my way and I am not feeling well today. I feel lonely, helpless and sad... I feel like I'm alone in a small boat, adrift in the ocean, a ferocious storm with howling winds, heavy seas and blinding rain is raging;  I feel as if I am the only person in that tiny boat, tossed to and fro by the great waves of the sea of life, battered by the winds of chance, the rain of misfortune falls without end and there is no one to help me right my boat and steer it to calm seas, sunny shores and safety.
My tears drop on my desk...

My Life in High Heels

I really love this part of the book (My Life In High Heels - Loni Anderson) that I'm reading now, I'd like to share it with you and hope you like it too.

...And no matter how much Mom had scrubbed and vacuumed during the day, she looked like Donna Reed when Dad came home from work at night. Dinner was ready, waiting warm in oven, and she was all dressed up and gorgeous, in high heels, fresh make up, the works. I would watch as she chose a pair of earrings out of the little velvet jewelry box that played "Star Dust," patted some Chanel No. 5 on her wrists, and got ready for him to come through the door. He took her in his arms and gave her a backbend kiss just about every night. Then they'd have cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and Andrea and I were dismissed until dinner. It was their time together. We would try to be patient, reading or playing in our room, but after a while we'd kind of wander into the living room, and there they'd be, her on his lap, cooing and kissing.

"Are we going to have dinner soon?" we'd ask, and Mom would giggle.

"Oh, Andy," she'd say, "we forgot about the girls!"

She was so crazy about him; sometimes after he left for work, she would go into the closet and inhale the scent of his clothes - his shirts, his sportcoats.

After we were put to bed at night, we could hear them singing to each other while they cleaned up the kitchen. They sang all the forties songs and danced around the living room. One night I woke up in the middle of the night and heard them singing in their bedroom, harmonizing to "It's Been a Long, Long Time." "Kiss me once, then kiss me twice, then kiss me once again..."

...Because whatever they were, my parents were passionate. About each other, about us...

And they always, each of them, had a place, a role. Dad would sit in his chair, with his feet up, watching television, and he'd say, "Mackie, I'd like a beer." And she would immediately jump up and go get it. And I'd think, what, he can't walk? Why does she do that?

then ten minutes later, Mom might say, "Oh, Andy, I'm out of cigarettes." And Dad would fly right out of that chair, go jump into the car, and head for the corner store to get her cigarettes!

Can Love Change Destiny?

Can love change destiny?  As human beings, are we powerless pawns in the hand of destiny or are we free to live out our lives according to our own desires and wishes in accordance with our will?

A film of a great love story The Promise exploring those questions is coming very soon.  It is directed by Chen Kai Ge, who directed Farewell My Concubine and stars such great actors and actresses as Cecilia Cheung, Jan Dong-Kun, Nicholas Tse, Hiroyuki Sanada and many others.

The film is the story of a young war orphan who, driven by poverty, makes a promise with an enchantress. In return for beauty and the admiration of every man she encounters, she will be destined to lose every man she falls in love with. This spell cannot be broken unless time is reversed and the dead come to life.  When a grown and beautiful princess, she is in love with a man wearing red armor and a golden mask and who rescues her from death.  She is tormented by their inevitable parting.  Meanwhile, the slave of a great general, Kunlun, is searching for the lost members of a family he once had.  The fates of these two intertwine when the princess believes the general to be her hero, and pulls the general into this web of fate.

The 11 minute preview trailer can be seen at the following URL and don't forget to see this great movie.



Happy Valentine's Day!

My favorite holiday - Valentine's Day is coming soon! Happy Valentine's Day to everybody! I think I should spend this special holiday with a special man who truly loves me, but I didn't find him yet...So I'm going to be lonely this Valentine's Day...Don't forget to buy roses and gift for your wife or girlfriend and she will have a beautiful smile on her face :)

A Fascinating Movie - Memoires of A Geisha

"Memoirs of A Geisha" will be released on December 9, 2005 and it should be a great movie. A young girl and her sister are sold by their poor father to a man who delivers the young girl to a house of geishas and the sister to another house. "Memoirs of A Geisha" begins in 1929 and chronicles the life of this young girl as she grows up to become one of the most desired and famous geishas in Japan.

The word gei means "art" in Japanese. A geisha is an artist who earns her living entertaining powerful men as a trained dancer, singer and musician, as well as an intelligent and witty conversationalist and is neither wife nor prostitute. She laughs at her client's jokes and never tells his secrets. Known in Japan as butterflies of the night (because they emerged from their houses at dusk like butterflies from a cocoon as they went to the teahouses where they practiced their art), Geishas have long been figures of fascination throughout the world. For centuries social evenings have been an important part of business in Japan , and the presence of geishas reflects well on the host who can afford such glamorous companions.

For a preview of this movie which is destined to be a top box office attraction go to www.MemoirsOfAGeisha.com and click "Video". I'm positive you will enjoy it and like me, expectantly await the release of this film. The movie will be in theaters nationwide December 9, 2005. I can't wait to watch this magnificent movie.

Don't forget to watch this great movie, I'm absolutely sure you will enjoy it!


I Love My Family

I love my family. They are very much my motivation, they always have been and they always will be...

A Fantastic Day With Luxury Cars of the California Ferrari Club

I had a wonderful day today at a California Ferrari Club event with my friend who is a member of the club. I saw many of the world's most beautiful and expensive cars. They were mostly Ferraris and some Lotus, Maserati, Lamborghini and Bentleys.  Out of all those high-priced and lovely cars my dream car is a beautiful Ferrari.

When auto enthusiasts purchase new Ferraris, they get more than sexy, high-performance automobiles. They actually join a family of sorts, with special privileges, events and access reserved exclusively for members of that family. The brand's exclusivity extends far past its limited product volume, due to the Italian automaker's rich heritage in design, performance, technology and craftsmanship.

Some of these "family-only" experiences include an owners racing series; the ability to test-drive cars and participate in racing/driving schools in Italy where F1 world champions practice; private tours of the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy; private receptions and events held specifically for owners to view the newest concepts and Ferrari designs before the media or others see them; and additional access to designers, F1 champions and others affiliated with the legendary Ferrari brand.

I'm very glad that I decided to join today's Ferrari event and to have a chance to see and touch all those incredible and luxurious cars.  Especially my dream car - an exquisite, beautiful Ferrari.

An Extraordinary Hotel - The Las Vegas Wynn

I'm in Las Vegas today on vacation with a girl friend. We are staying at the Wynn Las Vegas. It is the newest hotel in Las Vegas and the most lavish project in the history of Las Vegas (a city with a history of some very lavish projects), and only opened for business on Thursday, April 28th, 2005. The hotel project had a total cost of $2.7 billion and has now replaced the Bellagio as the most expensive hotel in Las Vegas. I don't know about you, but I consider that a lot of money.

The hotel owner and builder is the 63-year-old Steve Wynn, the former Chairman of The Board, President and CEO of Mirage resorts and it's predecessor from 1973 to 2000. In that role he was responsible for the development of the Bellagio Hotel, The Mirage, Treasure Island and the Golden Nugget here in Las Vegas. He was also responsible for the Atlantic City Golden Nugget in New Jersey and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi. I think Steve is an unbelievable and very fortunate man. How many people in the world can have the opportunity to put their name on a fantastic property like the Wynn Las Vegas?

Hotel Wynn is full of flowers; Flowers everywhere you look. But the ones that made the biggest impression on me were the enormous number of white roses in the lobby. White roses are my personal favorite and I believe they are the classiest roses of all.

In the elevator you will immediately notice there are no floors numbered 40 - 49. This is a concession to some Asian visitors who consider the number 4 to be unlucky. And, if you are running a casino, the last thing you want is for your guests to feel unlucky. Also, the Hotel opened on the 28th of April. Some Asians consider the number 8 lucky and clearly that was part of the opening plan: Make those guests feel lucky so they will visit the casino.

Our room is on the 30th floor with a beautiful night view. After my stay at the Wynn, I feel as if I don't want to stay in other hotels. I don't see how they can compare to the Wynn which makes me feel lucky, classy and good.