Category Archives: Business

Spring into spring with pink, purple and something black

To buy a bouquet of flowers, from a return on equity point of view, is bad investment. Flowers start to die the moment they are removed from the stem, and as they loose their freshness, their value depreciate. But we adore flowers nonetheless.

As Michael Pollan pointed out in his book, The Botany of Desire, attractive flowers have a higher chance of being noticed by insects and animals (acting as agents of pollination), and thus bearing fruits first. Humans are also susceptible to this attraction.

Of the humans, Sherry has been most fatally afflicted. In addition to pink calla lilies and yellow daffodils in my office, there are also a variety of blossoms in my apartment, including snapdragon, forget-me-not, pansy, zinnia… You get the picture. And to top off my flower frenzy, a seminar on flower arrangement!

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

Word of the Day: Flower 
Flower 花(hua/ㄏㄨㄚ)

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“I got served the ellipsis!” (A note on email etiquette)

A financial reporter is a funny state of being. I am certainly no financial expert (I majored in English and Asian film studies, and I imagine if I had majored in economics, I would opt for other better-paying finance-y jobs), yet my job requires me to speak to many experts in my field, including investment bankers, debt brokers and traders. In fact, talking to the right person(s) is often what makes stellar news stories. But what if the right person(s) doesn’t want to talk to you?

Well, now enters the personality. Sure, I am professional, courteous, but I also want to connect with my sources on a personal level. It is after all a conversation. And it needs to go both directions, hence the extra seasoning with questions like “How was your [vacation/weekend/day]” or “What are you doing this [weekend]”, as well as throwing in a little about myself and various doings.

But what to do when I was given… the ELLIPSIS?

Ellipsis sorta, kinda drives me crazy. As minions can… (image credit: Universal Studio/Web)

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The “Force” is strong come December 16

Even an Atlantic Ocean apart, the Force is undeniably strong. On the cover of British GQ and British Elle that I had picked up while stopping at Gatwick Airport located in Central London, who but Harrison Ford (aka Han Solo) and Lupita Nyong’o (aka Maz, CGI-animated alien character) grace the cover, respectively.

Image Credit: British GQ/British Elle Jan 2016

Image Credit: British GQ/British Elle Jan 2016

“Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” premiered in Los Angeles today, and will proceed to proliferate the Force to New York (Dec. 17) and London (Dec. 19). With ardent fans’ help, the franchise’s legacy stretches across race and generations. In New York City, several Star Wars-themed events can be expected, including a costume party at the Ace Bar (531 East Fifth Street) and the Bi-coastal (and also Orlando) lightsaber battle that is reported to become the largest in the world. But for those of us covering financial news, we are watching another Force: the U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike! Continue reading

Is my $4 ice coffee still amazing if it can be packaged into a milk carton?

No, it’s old news. Blue Bottle, having successfully raised $25.75 million in venture capital January, 2014, launched Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee – purchasable in blue and white half-pints milk carton, that summer. I was aware of the launch. Not only had I read about the initiative in several business publications, I also chatted with a couple Lower East Side-based baristas who informed me that Blue Bottle was no longer true, in the pure specialty coffee sort of way, to those in the coffee community.

I didn’t care then because I had plenty of accessible and equally delicious cafes to choose from. It wasn’t until I grabbed my first New York Blue Bottle on Monday, that I noticed how deeply affected I was by the milk, I mean, coffee cartons.

Artisanal coffee, when mass produced like Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee, can still uphold its integrity? (image credit: http://fastcompany.net)

Artisanal/specialty coffee charges a higher price than, say Dunkin’ Donut brew, because more attention was paid to producing that perfect sip. From selecting special coffee beans, to paying special attention to roasting and brewing, and of course, making that cup specially for you, specialty coffee is special in a big way. And consumers, like myself, willingly fork over $4, $5 for cold brew and $6+ for latte in exchange. Continue reading

No joke! Seriously serious (but funny) career advice from comedian

There are plenty of books on how to start a great career (hint: network) as well as how to succeed in life, but I find comedian Carol Leifer’s “How to succeed in business without really crying,” among the top. Not only does she offer solid, applicable advice, she also does it plenty funny. You bet I laughed while riding the subway to work.

Briefly about this funny woman if you’ve never heard of her. She is one of the few women working in comedy at a time when there were few in the industry, and has written for and/or performed on a number of TV comedies including Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday Night Life and Seinfeld.

Perhaps because she has chosen a career in the entertainment business, starting in stand-up comedy, she is no stranger to rejection. Chances are, no matter what profession you are in, the crowd booed once or twice.

Here are my favorites:

“You can do it!” (image credit: alifetimeofwisdom.com)

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