Currently Browsing: Guest Bloggers

Drill Habibi Drill! – The Birth of BP – By Sandra Gluschankoff


By Guest Blogger: SANDRA GLUSCHANKOFF — Argentinian (read bio)

Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a King…

I love stories where there is a King and a Queen and heroes.

Historical fiction is my favorite novel genre because it is full of mysteries, love triangles, secret alliances, and dirty betrayals. The best part of these novels is that even though the main characters are mostly fictional, the facts are based on true events.

The true story I am about to share with you involves kings and queens and very powerful people. They all began playing nicely in a puddle of oil until they took the game to a ruthless cut-throat competition to own the puddle. In the game they became entangled in secret treaties and treacherous betrayals, and as the stakes got higher, so did the collateral damage.

This story of “oil fever” accompanied by greed involves the two most powerful empires in the history of the world: the Persian Empire, the most powerful in ancient history, and the British Empire, which is considered the largest empire in history, with the most global power.

I wish this story would have some fiction to it, but unfortunately it doesn’t and it turns my favorite genre from historical fiction to historical horror. (more…)

My Famous Crush – By Jasmine Rafati

By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI — Iran (read bio)

Many of you know I have been staying in Paris for a while and I have been thinking to write on a subject that appeals to both readers here and in the U.S.

The subjects that I was coming up with were either not interesting or I didn’t have enough to write about. Until one day when I went out with my friends to have a drink after work and we started talking about our favorite actors.

Suddenly, I thought about my next subject; my famous crush. It was exactly like sitting with my girlfriends in the U.S. talking about our favorite actors.

This time, the topic was international. The girls had to introduce me to some of the French actors that I didn’t know. One of the wonderful girls that I work with here in Paris loves Leonardo Dicaprio.  Besides the fact that she thinks he is beautiful, handsome, and sexy, I am sure she loves many of the characters he played in films. I asked about her favorite movie of him and the response was Titanic. Who wouldn’t love a man like that? A poor artist who is a gentlemen, a sweetheart, and a great lover.  A love like this is rare in our time. Besides, the love scene in the car with the hand on the steamy window was really sensual and promising.

A friend in U.S. loves Gerard butler. I had my doubts about watching the film 300 because I had heard that they portrayed the Persians as magicians and sorcerers. (more…)

Stand For Something – By Kaz

By Guest Blogger: KAZ MATAMURA — Japanese (read bio)

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”

I am bold.  I trust my luck.  I am still capable of “just going for it.”  I’m still leading my life as if I’m writing my fantasy autobiography. My sunny brain and penchant for the positive makes my life easier and brighter. So, to mark the 10th year anniversary of my non-profit company, Fire Rose, I shall share my some of the ingredients that make the recipe for this life of mine.

Trust I don’t waste energy being suspicious or worried, not because I lack an awareness, but because I surround myself with only trust-worthy people.

In Hollywood, I work with wonderfully creative people.  Paranoia is often based on how one sees and treats others and their expectations of those people.  An individual, who wants to be liked, attracts skillful suckers. These are individuals who will say whatever it takes in order to get what they want.  The rest of us just think the suckers are weird.

No pressure Most of the time, I am not sure whether I’m playing or working. Pressure doesn’t drive me.  ‘Drive’ drives me. I don’t worry about “making it” or “getting to the top” because I concern myself with the road in front of me.

I’m a perfectionist and I always give my best but I also acknowledge perfection (more…)

Corpo-Rate Punishment – By Sandra Gluschankoff

By Guest Blogger: SANDRA GLUSCHANKOFF — Argentinian (read bio)

Corpo: Italian for body

Rate: fee, price, toll

I’ve been accused many times of being extremely analytical. I admit it; I’m guilty of evaluating and tearing up situations to pieces until they make some sense to me.

One of the many things that I do is teach Hebrew (I’m making a mental note to add it to my bio, surely I will forget by the time I’m done writing this article). A good trick for teaching a language is making your students understand the root and significance of words. In doing so, they can discover the many directions a particular word can be related to the ones they already know.

When the termcorporate” started playing games in my mind, it was no surprise to me that the meaning was defined as a toll or price that you pay with your body. Now, hold your horses! Don’t run for your Webster’s, because this definition is not there. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it will be added in a few years time.

The corporate world today in America is the new definition of the American (more…)

Missing Los Angeles – By J. Rafati

By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI — Iran (read bio)

I always thought of myself as the citizen of the world. I could easily move to a new place and adapt. It was always hard at first but it would change for the better pretty fast.

As some of you may know, I recently moved to Paris, temporarily. I feel as I am getting older, it is harder for me to adapt to a new place; even though, I have lived here before. I long for my family, friends, and familiar faces. I have much missed the wonderful city of Los Angeles.

I miss my place of peace, Los Angeles County Museum, where I forget all my troubles. I miss my beautiful family who is the rock in my life. And of course I miss my beautiful friends without whom my life would be dull.

My sister, who is my best friend and critic, is literally my second half who listens to me talk about everything and everyone only to offer good advice.

To my Mr. T, whom life is hell with and without; I miss drinking pomegranate tea (more…)

Suicide is NOT Painless – By Kaz

By Guest Blogger: KAZ MATAMURA — Japanese (read bio)

I was raised by a Pollyanna mother.

When I broke my nose, she praised the fact that I had the guts to physically take on boys. When I ran from home at the age of eight, she encouraged me to become an explorer in the Amazon. Having her permission to smoke, drink or fight took away the excitement and desire to do these things. In her eyes I could do no wrong. But in my teen years, as typical as a teen can be, I rebelled against her view of the world. I started to train myself to be pessimistic.

By seventeen, I was running an independent advertisement agency in Tokyo. My job required no previous training because each situation was different; I was a troubleshooter. When one thing went wrong, such as a client getting red roses (more…)

It all Started with the Rib – By Sandra Gluschankoff

By Guest Blogger: SANDRA GLUSCHANKOFF – Argentinian

Driving home from work, I fantasized about the moment I would take off my shoes, fill up a glass of my favorite Malbec from my native Argentina (my newly acquired taste), and finally relax after a long day.

Anxiously, I slid the key into my front door, pushed it open, and before I could announce myself to my kids with my usual greeting, “Mami is home”, I tripped onto my younger son’s shoes that were lying right by the entrance.

In a second the spell was broken as my new pantyhose ripped when I landed knees first onto the floor.

I looked around, dazed and pissed, and reality hit me. My workday was (more…)

It’s Getting Engl-ish – By Kaz Matamura

By Guest Blogger:  KAZ MATAMURA – Japanese

The first time someone asked me if I wanted to get high, I thought I was being asked if I wanted to be taller.

Being the polite Japanese girl that I was, I said, “Yes, I do,” and hopped into his golf cart.

My justifications for getting into a golf cart with a total stranger were:

A) He was riding in a cart – which meant he was on staff at this park.

B) I was standing under a rather big tree so he must have thought I wanted to climb the tree therefore we were going to get a ladder.

I went to the LA Coliseum to get tickets for a concert.  When I called the box office beforehand, I was told it was SOLD OUT.  So, I just dropped by (more…)

Not Even with a Rose Petal-by Sandra G.

By Guest Blogger: SANDRA GLUSCHANKOFF – Argentinian

“A la mujer no se la toca ni con el pétalo de una rosa”. “A woman should not be touched, not even with a rose petal”.

This old saying which is very popular in my country, Argentina, was the first thing that came to my mind as soon as I learned of the sudden disappearance of seventeen year old, Chelsea King: the high school senior in San Diego, who went for a jog and never came back.

Unfortunately, as we all know by now, Chelsea’s body was discovered a few days following her disappearance, buried next to Lake Hodges in San Diego County.

The police apprehended the suspect John Gardner, a convicted sex offender, long before her body was found. How did the police know about him? John Gardner was convicted in the year 2000 for sexual abuse and false imprisonment of his 13 year-old neighbor.

Like the law dictates, this savage, who preyed like a hungry beast in the jungle, (more…)

Finding Love in L.A. – By Jasmine Rafati

By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI – Iran

Ahhhhhh…the conundrum of love! I have yet to find someone who has figured it all.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, love is “intense affection, feeling of attraction resulting from sexual desire, and fondness.“ There is not a definition about love that says it is “a state of mind that makes you completely blind to reality and makes you accept or do things that you would have never accepted or done before.”

I know beautiful girls who live in this city, who are educated, loving, fun and smart, who are not able to find the love of their lives and if they do find someone they care about, he is not ready for commitment. How many times have we women heard a man say: ‘You are wonderful. It’s not you. It’s me. I am just not ready for commitment.’

Sometimes we knowingly date men who are perpetual womanizers or liars, distrust women, or have jealousy issues. Come on ladies most of us have done it! And hooray to the ones who haven’t! We think that he wasn’t ready with others but with ‘me’ things will be different. Why we always think we can fix these men, God only knows.

I met a guy here in Los Angeles who was handsome, sweet, and attentive…in the beginning. (more…)




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