President Elect Barack Obama

Good… To show the world that we are back onto the right track. We will not allow any extreme visions and church guided doctrine furthermore over rule the constitution and enough with this war against a nations we’ve falsely accused of producing weapons of mass destruction. Now, we will rebuild our image, care for our retired, join the path of a modern view on the fight against global warming and America will get back on her feet. The healing will be long, but deserved.

Let’s extend our hands to the limited and narrow minded few that surely cannot accept the dramatic change this Nation has taken. Let us show with compassion that all parties can work together and forgive the many hateful words endured on this road to Obama’s victory. Let us be United States ones more.

Close Guantanamo, get the troops out of Iraq, bring the outsourced work back to the US of A and foremost accept that we are all a little different and together one Nation.

Congratulations America, welcome back home.

my birthday

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Yes, 45 today… Amazing how life seems faster every year. I’m back in Los Angeles and I got all your messages in support and even the curious ones about what happened in the last two month. Lots! After hurrying back to the US to be in support of Q who seriously side stepped his carrier and life… I found myself in a huge dilemma on pretty much all fronts. I signed a lease with the first apartment I looked at in West Hollywood and went to work as residence Manager in Bel Air for an interior decorator. That short employment ended after a very loudmouthed florist, hired to decorate the residence for an HBO “anti-gay discrimination” advertisement launching, gossiped to my new employee about my past participation in porn… Mmmmh, is it not ironic that under such “promotional” circumstances I was let go…?
It would all been a quite ‘exit’ if not a very sneaky CFO had to continue to spread further rumors, as if I’ve anything to hide and he could damage my reputation. It is utterly disappointing that the very souls living amongst my own segregated community are often the most evil when abusing others based on their idea of moral and correctness, creating an even larger gap in a society that is trying to adjust to the liberalism of a world much larger than the US. We are still struggling with comprehending our lack for compassion, respecting everyone living amongst us without moral judgment or fear someone else’s “image” could blemish ones own false pretense of “normal…” What does it matter in 2008 if someone is gay, obese, short, black, religiously different, quirky in his privacy as long he is not forcing others to accept his lifestyle? I sat there, when being explained “…it did not work out… it had nothing to do with my person, actually they liked me a lot… the economy and with a new apartment in New York, they would not need my service…” lies after lies; Imagine what the Labor Department would say to such insult… No need to quarrel, time is more powerful than anything I could do in defense. What goes around, comes around…
I received an e-mail from Herb in New York (thank you my friend) confirming the suspicion I had that my termination was about my moral past. The e-mail received from Los Angeles confirmed: Seemingly last weekend the fore spoken CFO’s gossip machine was the party-chat in Hollywood. I’m amused my termination had something to do with how others perceive my person to be by a naked image merely contributing to fantasies of hidden private moments. I’m lucky not to be involved further with such seemingly morally better balanced gay people; I’m embracing that all that is happening is presenting new opportunities.
And they are! I’m in the process of pitching the TCM chef cooking show to television networks. Check this out and please please send it to all your friends and encourage them too to forward the link… I need to get a buzz going… Thank you for supporting me!
And my television script, Lagrimas Negras is currently being casted for a table reading by the end of July. This is a funny production; a Latino cross-over comedy a mixture of sex in the city and queer as folk with cultural flare. I’m soooo busy.
The website is being designed by Htun in Singapore, he better be working on it! As soon as the site is running you will have access to a wonderful data base for cooking with herbs and boosting your immune system with easy to prepare recipes. The TCM cookbook is ready for presentation and a few days ago a PR guy joined the team getting us promoted for a wonderful adventure into the new seasons. Mom is in great support recently, making it possible that I have financial security to proceed my dreams; thank you!
I’m still in contact with my old staff in Indonesia, receiving daily txt messages and updates about the activities on north Sulawesi. I’m wishng you all a most relaxing summer vacation time and thank you for the many e-mails I receive from all over the world.



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Nobody likes to be an April’s fool. Everyone enjoys playing a prank on someone else. Well, in the fairness of it all we sometimes have to laugh about our selves and give in to the quirks of life.  Happy Fools Day!

Today I am starting a new chapter in my professional carrier. I’m possibly leaving Asia soon, after a truly incredible time and lots of beautiful experiences richer. Having lived in many different parts on this side of the globe I come to conclude that I like the variety of food better over here and I embrace the simplicity of community care with a warm heart. Although here is a lack of commonly products i.e. healthcare and modernity that make life in the US so comfortable, I have enjoyed the “wildness” of eating and living closer to nature. I have been taught wonderful ways of surviving and in return encouraged a many young souls to “go and get it…” – the chance to get ahead; a courage to try something new. To approach life with joy, reason and a strategy. I have build a house for a stranger and helped a family to live a dream; that really prides me. Life is significantly different here while having to battle for ordinary items, which we take for granted in the home-land. I have become more humble, respectful and within a richer man.

I do crave the convenience of “normality” and I am looking forward being closer to mom and friends I have abandoned for too long. Foremost, I am missing being closer to Q; he has been passionately supportive during my “wondering” years. Once more in my journey I am uncertain about what and where my next steps will carry me to. The opportunities and my multiplicity are in my favor.  Now I have new friends and responsibilities that will stay with me for the rest of my life; that is a blessing.

Hey, I miss driving a car! Oh, the idea of my own place is comforting. I will reach back for the memories of my days in Indonesia and find joy from afar having done a heck of a good deed!

Since my resume is “out on the float” again I will take this chance and explain what I do the best: I’m the guy a Boutique Hotel or High-end Residence brings aboard when in need of implementing either new Management or simply when in need of someone re-organizing structure, team building and implementing a clear-cut strategy. I come aboard a business that needs a multi-tasking independent thinking strategist that quickly can steer a commerce back on the track of success without interrupting operations. I’ve been contracted by a new business to translate and develop an idea into reality. Within my work I have come across every character in the hoteliers business and taking on the challenge of recognizing and correcting structure, HR, F&B and cost control. Clearly used to the “shooting of the messenger” – I care little about individuals ego when hired to “put right” an operations. I’ve been called the “hotel-fixer” and this title flatters me; In the end I’ve always managed to leave a place in better shape than what it was before I came aboard. The most gratifying compliment was from Appetite Magazine characterizing me as having the serenity of a monk. Indeed, I don’t see need for confrontation what could be solved with communication and usually I stay away from negativity, since any approach to reach success is only possible with the investment of kindness and encouragement. A simple logic; but often the very core point that causes a business to go astray.

I would not mind being placed as Private Chef again. I do enjoy family life, catering to the specific needs of my client and enhancing their life with the best I have to give. Let’s see what’s next on my horizon… Happy Fools Day.


A Lake thank you

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Easter in North Sulawesi It’s totally uneventful. I’m not certain that is good or odd; We are having a full house in Minahasa Lagoon and I’m so busy, it was a complete surprise to me that today is Good Friday… I really even missed the fact it’s now spring!

Gosh all mighty! Time is flying past me. Q has a very exciting week (he thinks it’s stressful) making big changes in his life. I’m still working on my TCM book, but it is in the final stages; Possibly my best work yet. Even for anyone having no idea about Cooking or Traditional Chinese Medicine it’s a valuable collection of healthy teas and light cooking that require no culinary background nor medical knowledge. I simply collected a few tips that actually are randomly available by nature… (not if you live in a city  -mostly on the 23rd floor…)

Last week at a market in Bali I had a déjà vu that stranded me in my action; I stood affront an old lacquered box, on of them flashy red bamboo boxes you can find in Asia. It was square shaped, 40cmx40cm and merely 10cm high. The inside was black shiny lacquer and the outside hat pretty little white flowers on it, pulled together by a patient hand dotting each one on the red surface. It was not just the beauty of this old box that caught my attention; it awoken a long forgotten memory in the back of my brain. When I was nineteen years old, in the old town of St.Gallen in Switzerland during my last year in the culinary school, I visited a flower store. I can’t remember what attracted me to this place the first time. Soon I became acquainted with the owner who was not shy about his flirtatious attentions. It did not bother me the least; He had an affinity for drying little red roses which he carefully assembled in old China boxes. I asked him why not white ones. He said they are difficult to dry. I would be sitting there regularly and watch him, even greeting walk-in clients and foremost share with him about the learning-agony a young chef in a stressful kitchen experiences. One day he gave me a present. A square box filled with 500 dried white roses. I cherished this present, although stayed away from his shop afraid in my spooking mind; I’d owe him now a favor. He died a few years later, one of the early fatalities to AIDS.

As I stood there, I wondered where that little box was – but foremost, I finally fully appreciated the fact that someone had given me such a wonderful present and actually never asked for anything in return. I had the same euphoric feeling I remembered from way back when.

Yes, sometimes it takes a long time for us to register what others do from a kind heart. Within, I am finding hope that all I do might one day reach the heart of others. We all have a duty to be kind and share compassion, regardless if we are understood correctly or not. Here, far away from all the turmoil of Los Angeles, I have found a few duties to be rewarding. I’m still helping a family building their home and supporting my God-children. The oldest now goes to school. My curricular activities are keeping me sane and very happy; I can’t say that about work. Heck, I’ve gotten a lot done and in the end – I sleep well when going to bed.

Politics is keeping me edgy; Does anyone ever consider that with the evidence presented to the Senate five years ago,  Obama’s should have voted for it? Truly, with the security of the people he represents the fact clearly alarmed about a serious threat to National security. Sure now, many of us feel that the false and blown-out-of-proportion-information is possibly no rectification to kill 4000 US soldiers in a costly and loosing war. But way back when, (when it was called an invasion) I too felt the need for action. I did not like Cheney’s force! I’m against war in general. That makes me politically wishy-washy the most… Certain is, Hillary can run the US machine more efficient than Obama and within manifests my support for her.

Hopefully by July 08  the site will be active and catching your interests.

Happy Easter! Raphael


A house for Alexius

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I joined in the early Bush flaring days, giving my support to a well groomed team of internet savvy democrats in hope to make myself “heard” amongst a mass that thinks somewhat similar and is against violence or the absurd idea that democracy can be enforced with not so precision bombs and water boarding…

Today Adam Green is encouraging me to sign a petition against ABC for using the first 50 minutes in the recent Obama-Hillary debate talking about issues he finds “unfair”. Seemingly he does not like the questions presented. Get over it. You are really off your mission I once supported.

“Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and ‘gotchas’ that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions–ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people’s daily lives.”

So I wrote back:

Instead of supporting an united democratic success, you yourself have precisely participated in creating this curious debacle over notions that have little to do with bringing forward the best choice we (USofA) deserve to lead our nation. Obama over Hillary?… why playing one against the other? Let’s focus on what they can do immediately.
Oddly enough you now want us to participate in further distraction and upholding the very issues you correctly consider not okay to debate… Adam, Adam… Where is Kane when we need him?

I put on my spam list.

I’m in the last few weeks of participating here with Minahasa Lagoon and expectedly it is all very emotional. Been here 13 month, way longer than originally planned. If it would not be for the support of Q, I could not even fathom to go back to Los Angeles, the lifestyle, the expensive culture and California’s “normality”.

I’m spinning a few head hunters trying to find a suiting job for me; I’m of little help, unclear what this would entail. Possibly as private chef, maybe training my TCM spa-cooking; either way, I will be working with healthy food.

The house I am building for Alexius and his family is soon finished. It is the first house in PooPoh with gas stove and porcelain toilet seat…and one of the few houses that have electricity and a water tower. In the end I’ve lived a very Buddhist life in Indonesia and basically put all my money into this project. It does cause for some “chatter” and unkind remarks sounding unfair and privileged support. I could help a lot of people a little bit but certainly make a life changing dent for one family. There is no other reason. ‘Could have been anyone. I’m happy it is Alexius, he and his wife are very appreciative.  For someone with a US 85 income per month and having lived in very reduced circumstances, this is a huge change. I did ask him the other day; “where were you born…” He looked at me and pointed to the ground; “On the dirty floor”.

I certified my first twins as open water divers, that was great fun! A Swiss family. Talking about it, I should receive a Swiss passport soon, my application for it was approved in Jakarta; I’m dual citizen!  Maybe I should be working there instead!

Yes, I will post pictures soon. I have tons and need to sort them out in my computers. Please let  me pack and move first. One more visit to the mountain villages and a farewell party. No, I’m not going to cry…



To live in this time

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I’m writing this on super Tuesday, being somewhat in the future of what is going to develop in a few hours in the USofA… Here in Indonesia the ballots have been cast and Obama took the lead… darnet.
I have followed the debates and carefully listened to both sides of the isle within the Democratic party and still find Mrs. Clinton to be representing my very needs as American citizen better; Healthcare is a serious reality in my future and I cannot afford yet another President fumbling this issue; I will be depending on it for the rest of my living. Although I like the idea of “new” and I welcome “diffrences” in the White House, I certainly measure the reality of my choice by the wisdom that is brought into account. Hillary has lived long in politics, shares a better connection with my aging soul and in average, I relate to her strength and ideas much better than the youthful and boisterous guy with Opra and an angry Kennedy’s/Schwarzenegger-confusions to his financial support. I greatly dislike all the “endorsements” (on both sides…) that never-ending mixing of talk hosts and actors with false pretends and personal issues and I have never really liked the “after-Kennedy” aura; The loud drunks, the killings and the corruptions have been too many to uphold a solid picture of what once represented the great America.
Neither do I like anyone measuring our future by standards represented via Reagan. Gosh, he neglected healthcare and could be quite frankly responsible for the disastrous AIDS epidemic; he refused for years investing and protecting his “children” and was utterly unable to talk about anything to do with gay issues.
I’m not digging too deep into the confusion I have in my head. But yes, I am supporting Hillary to protect and lead the United ( – so not feeling unity…) States for the next four years.
Here in Indonesia I am having my hands full with work. I’m pretty much set on getting my life back to Los Angeles. Q is there at the moment and we both are talking about finding a home together. It really keeps me sane having a soul out in the world that holds me in balance whenever I need it. I’m excited when looking into the future.
The past drags on a few amusing surprises as well. The ex(ed) Director of rwp is still sending me e-mails; silly money requests and awkward demands to communicate. Oddly his messages arrive in my mail box while Vic the ex marketing strategist is visiting for diving and we share stories from the days in Singapore; hardly believing how a brilliant concept could have been so poorly executed.
It is raining for days and weeks now. I am very tired these days and enjoy the soothing sounds of falling rain when slipping into the world of dreams. Life is fascinating, nes pas? – and we are living in a truly brilliant epoch, the fastest evolution of human kind and nothing seems to be stopping this madness of excitement. Life is beautiful.


Go Hillary

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The world in turmoil and I am managing a mayor spring cleaning and overhaul of all departments. There is something soothing about cleaning your house when the world around you is in disarray. It gives you time to ponder, while waxing a piece of furniture that possibly has very little meaning to someone else…

At such meditative moments I come to appreciate that the power of finding peace within, it is learning to be happy with what we have and not measuring life by what wo would like to have. Here in a Hotel environment the simplicity of ones private home is stretched to the offices, the kitchen and restaurant, bar, pool, cottages and landscape. All together I have about 80 people involved, including the construction team enhancing our property. Rain is interrupting, especially when changing the roofs, but all in all these people can work and once you look after them they give lots in return. Some don’t but that could be changes…

I’ve taken on another duty of fixing up a house of one of the employees, seeing how he lived in the shack with his wife and daughter churned my stomach and I had to spring in. So first we are building a toilet and bathroom, a kitchen and getting a proper roof on the house. As it is, the family sleeps on the dirt floor and basically has to beg their neighbor when needing a shower or washing something. It’s my weak side, I have to help.       Q was here, visiting supposedly for a week but hurried after two days to assignment in Jakarta where Suharto is clinching on to life. Two days ago 500 buildings burned down in the slums of Jakarta, someone left a burner on and the wind caused the fire to churn through the village. Nobody knows how many died… But this story never made it into mainstream media.

I’m really confronted with the third world aspects of life. Yes, there are hungry people in Africa and yes, many places in the world suffer illness, are washed away by floods and vanish without the media attention, but here by the borders of the jungle life teaches me to respect and cherish life we often take for granted. I might not come back to Los Angeles a wealthy men but certainly rich. I am needed here.

I have started a mini research project; trying to gather infomration on coral bleaching, something that is curiously fast spreading in some parts of the Bunaken National park. I cant get anyone from our local enviromental groups interrested in this discovery, seemingly they are all busy collecting COT’s (Crown of Thorns) by the hundreds claiming to do the right thing in protecting our reefs. As soon I am refrencing to research study sternly advising not to touch these purple sea-stars because they release hundreds of eggs when agitated; I get harsh responses; like I am uneducated and against assisting a good project. Interrestingly I’ve witnessed this collecting of COT’s in plastic baskets being dragged around under wather and seeminly the problem is exponantionally getting worse. I have a strong feeling we should be better educated about the actions implemented and open our stubborn minds to all inputs available before possibly causing larger damage than intended.

Heck, I have my hands full trying to run this place. All in all I enjoy being here; until I feel resistance…

To keep the balance even, I am starting to fancy about “normal” life again. As much as I’ve investing my personal energies into these ventures I am daily confronted with my “real world values” and the missing opportunities at home. I’m not fully satisfied with “giving it all” for what is on my plate at the end of each shift. I also simply crave good management, something I am forced to accept as impossible out here. I’d be a loner if I tried.      Like any new year I am blessed to adventure into a next period of life. Thank you to all my friends and the support I receive from this site. To me, the world has become more beautiful and I understand that taking care of my self is very important. Nobody will respect you as much as you can to your self! If there is something that comes close to a resolution for 2008 I’d say; Living as many happy days as I can manage. This requires that I set myself into a surrounding where I am fully accepted, supported and respected. That will be my goal for this year.

I’m so happy I have Q in my life; it all would be half as easy without knowing I have a soul on this earth that sincerely cares for me and will hold my hand whenever I need support.

Oh, and yes; This is the year for Democrats to take back the White House!


It is the Season to be jolly

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Way over due, I got your messages, thank you for kicking my butt in action.
I am still on North Sulawesi and very occupied with helping on all ends in the resort. A quick travel brought me via Jakarta to Singapore where I met up with Q and joined a cocktail party for the President of Island. Aside that the Ritz Carlton Hotel and the Singapore Tourism Board forgot basic protocol in placing a National flag by the hotel entrance for a Head of State… the visit was fun. I enjoyed the craziness of Christmas shopping and in an odd way was glad coming back here to more quiet grounds, although the heap of work on hand here in the Resort is mind bugling.  I’m not going into details, but as it is with many resorts I’ve worked in the past, the only way to achieve positive results with having professional minds aboard, is to support well-intended input and activate motion as I designed. All parties need to agree and focus on a common goal. The moist success rests within reaching a target that is obtainable and brings joy in the hands of all workers involved. Otherwise my time and knowledge is of little help and the expected improvements cannot be delivered.
That brings me straight to the topic of politics on hand these days. Amongst bombings and failed World Summits, rape of children and woman unpunished, wildfires and churning oceans, disappearing tapes of torture and Laura Bush decorating a Christmas tree… There is the hope of restored home values. Yes, I am for Hilary Clinton. Now, now… – interesting that in the past twenty years of my political activism I had to endure quite a bit of stabbing from friends and different oriented minds and souls. Can we please lay down the weapons and still accept that in a true democracy we have different opinions? To focus your choice on merely who is for Iraq or who is for free trade is a too simple perspective of the politics of world future on hand. Foreign politics requests someone that can melt us back with communicative weapons and show a welcoming hand when negotiating with different perspectives and even strange leaders requires diplomacy we’ve lacked in eight horrid US years. We still are technically a superpower but now have stamped a watery mark with bullish behavior on every attempt presented with good intend. We need a White House that can reestablish the once inviting smiles when I showed my American passport in foreign lands; right now I have to agree that I am a citizen of a Nation not very respected for its leaders nor its demeanor. I expect to have a President that can immediately spin the wheel in action for research we have neglected in sectors of biology, AIDS research, alternative energy sources and a Leader that has the ability to convince our Senate and Supreme Court to activate any protocol that shows our intend to participate with wise foresight, within respecting the cry to end pollution as we the US of A currently do. A Chief to tell Industrial moguls to stop lying about the truth in protection of their own wealth and a Guide when setting standards bold and clear to protect my generation and the others on its way. I want foreign politics to be a negotiable necessity not a war infringed demand. I feel Americas next leader needs to focus on balancing the spending of money into a direction that infuses education for all its citizen, keeps the selling of our trade values at balance with China and India, create jobs foremost in the sectors of research and care and implement results that cure quickly and convenient for all citizens. We lack disciplinary actions on al levels of society and taxes instead of Insurance paid. We desperately need to listen to a new voice out there and not defend hieratic gospels.  I want an American President that can speak a sentence without contortion on his face while uttering idiotic grammar and an example with sense for humanity larger than a greed for personal enrichment. No more religious excuses when murdering civilians, inflicting democracy afar when next door dictators abuse their rights, no mass lies and deceitful distortions of evidence and distraction, twisting past announcements into new perceptions (deceptions) and enough of White House Speakers forthcoming with zero information. I insist for a somewhat honest human to win the election.  I don’t care if such a President is young, old, black, female, religious, homophobic or not even with a perfect past. But I want someone young enough to see the future, old enough to be wise, black enough to embrace white, female enough to lead like a man, religious at home not in State dealings, homophobic but approve committed difference and imperfect to a point it relates with myself; I accept an imperfect future. I could tell you why I don’t like Hilary, but after wagering such thoughts I result that compared with the other choices presented in this race we are best off with another Clinton in the White House. Yes, that would bring us to over 25 years of two families carrying the American burden of Presidency; stunning that there is nobody else amongst 140 million candidates to fill this job description. A few things I don’t like from the start; Obama needing a talk show host pushing his agenda, if I wanted Opra in the White House I would have voted for her or Mrs. Streisand instead of Bush! Giuliani has shown very little change from reality when reading his recent letter published; He still talks about Iraq and the good cause, has seemingly little to say about his view on more pressing issues like China and India, Europe or NATO and obviously no stand about respecting Bali’s recent failed gathering on convincing the US to finally commit a clear participation for positive Global energy guidelines. He harps an old familiar song about Iran and more war. Scary.  Joe Biden, talking about narrow view…gun control…right there it ends – all nice princess, but the world has more pressing matters. Dodd does not appear as a character I can relate with, he has nice ideas; what did he talk about? …seems well spoken but there is a lack of substance.
Enough, I’m getting emotional.
So, this is the month of Christmas and New Year. A year it was. I escaped the turmoil of US living but had quite a turbulent experience in Singapore. I visited red white & pure last week…One day before it secretly got sold… Had to put my head in there one last time. I stood at Thomas’s desk now occupied by Bing, still dragging it on. It felt slightly strange being there, knowing the reality of the immediate future, somehow time stood still for me, a reflecting minute; although I still find the concept to be brilliant the reality to be in the space reflected a sad and failed attempt realizing a group dream. If only they would have accepted to learn to be guided. Inflexible people invite harsh reactions. Eu Yan Sang is on the right path, their innovative spirit surpasses this episode and will help the Group to accomplish a new product line without any further collisions of grandiose ideas and delusive creators. Wise planting and care during growth results in a slow but rewarding harvest of healthy fruit; I too am tempted to forget these basics of bringing change within a company. I now start recognizing the lessons I learned from this experience and can fully enjoy having participated; TCM is a fascinating topic, the future will bring human kind back to natural remedies for a preventive and healthy approach in living. I’m convinced somehow the idea of red white & pure will find a guiding pioneering mind that can catapult this concept to its deserved success.
I have made new friends and split with a few, leaving an old familiar past on its own way. Being away from Los Angeles has helped with clearing my mind from people that walk through the world with dissimilar goals then my own. I do respect their being diverse, but not when having to feel their grunt and whining about others who don’t come down to their level of misery. I equally like the people that have crossed my journey, I merely value the time spend with souls that share a more common and positive understanding of being much higher and I do not search for quarrel and disorder. Life is short and shorter and good spirits like laughter are soothing accompany I’m yearning. The best moments are spend in life with friends that support a multi leveled perspective and characters who can embrace healthy differences. Is it not odd how quickly we judge others by dubious standards that are created mostly in our heads (or inflicted by religious views…)? We seem confused with the idea that one human can bring forward change. Initiate, yes – but it requires kindness and patience to share a good idea and prosper it to victory. The most important message shared with a child is when YOU level to your knees and tell him eye to eye, calm and serious. Now, you have to step back and let the message digest in the juvenile mind without feeling responsible if the result is not what you expected. Why the heck should we all be equal? We can walk on common grounds and together bring change into the world as long there is understanding and as long we all care a bit about each other. Foremost, I live the guidelines I expect others to share and I impersonate this very decorum when inviting you to follow.
2008 shall guide us in this spirit to a less violent world and a prosperous and world respecting future.