Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2007!

Last year I wrote that Linda had forgotten why she loved me. The solution to reminding my wife that I am Perfect ended up being easy and (retrospectively) obvious. I’ll call it Dean’s 10 Step Method to Unleashing the Love!

  1. Move to Manhattan,
  2. Buy her a big Diamond ring,
  3. Go to Zurich,
  4. Ski in St. Moritz,
  5. Give her the big diamond ring in Paris for the 10th wedding anniversary,
  6. Take her to the Taj Mahal,
  7. Spend Thanksgiving in Istanbul,
  8. Enjoy 9 days (frequently) naked on a Private island in the Caribbean,
  9. All the while making sure you on the other side of the world for ?Ǭ? of the year.
  10. Linda said I could not print step 10 so just make it up.

The love was not gone, merely bottled up waiting to be unleashed – POWERFULLY unleashed. She remembers. We had a good year. A very good year.

New York is fun but the jury is still out. We loved living in Chicago, which is much cleaner than New York, and the beach is a 10-minute walk down the street. Summer in New York can be rather nasty at times – both the incessant heat generated by 10 million commuters and the rotting trash pilled on the sidewalk waiting to be picked up overnight can be overwhelming. On the plus side, you can get pretty much anything you want, 24-hours a day, delivered. There are great restaurants of all ethnicities. JFK is a convenient global transportation hub both for work and weekend getaways to Europe. People say Chicago is cold but winter in the Northeast is no picnic. I can see how you could learn to love the convenience.

Linda says I have developed a New York attitude ?- mean and unwilling to leave the confines of my neighborhood. I am rarely mean, though must acknowledge New York can give you a bit of an edge. Assuming the world contains a random distribution of 1% idiots and New York has 8.2 million people, that is a lot of idiots. It is not less tolerance or more anger, just high-density idiocy.

My new job has been great. I think there is always a bit of angst starting a new job. Are you making the right decision? Will you be successful? Will it be rewarding? I spent over 100 days in India this year, with additional trips to Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, and Ho Chi Minh City, literally flying around the world 3-4 times. Loved it. I basically help our (American International Group – AIG) foreign life insurance companies refine and execute their business strategies, particularly around special projects and important initiatives. I look forward to moving to one of our countries and assuming more direct accountability for results – as always, assuming I don’t screw up.

Next year we are continuing the 10-Step Method by rafting down the Colorado River (Grand Canyon) and (hopefully) taking advantage of our relative proximity to Europe. Happy Holidays and have a great 2008. Unleash The Love!

I wonder how many of you will write down our address when you get this card? Perhaps in pencil? It has been the 5th move in five years, so if your card came back in the mail, don’t feel too bad, just add us back for next year or email me at linda@deanandlinda.com.

It’s always hard to follow Dean’s write up, and every year I suggest he just write the card himself. There are just a few additional highlights.

My newest niece was born and she is gorgeous and amazing. I now have two nieces and three nephews. My youngest sister Rebecca also got married this fall in a beautiful fall wedding in Michigan. Another highlight for me was our trip to Switzerland where we actually visited the town where my grandfather’s family came from. It was traditional – it still had the same restaurant featured on a family heirloom postcard. We ate Swiss cheese every day, drank Swiss wine, and appreciated the thoroughness of Swiss recycling programs. Switzerland is traditional and modern at the same time.

I am enjoying living in New York and especially the many things to do and eat. We live between SoHo and the Lower East Side north of Chinatown. It’s a vibrant and historic neighborhood that is currently gentrifying. Often it is hard to decide where to go for dinner – so many choices. We live close to Katz’s deli where they have amazing pastrami, a 1930’s knishery, a smoked fish appetizer store, Chinatown (real Chinese food) and Little Italy. A knish is baked or fried dough with a mashed potato, ground meat, sauerkraut, onion, or cheese filling – traditionally Jewish.

I can literally walk from my apartment to Little Italy, buy some linguini, continue on to Chinatown to buy clams, then on to the Green market in Union Square for fresh vegetables from New Jersey and Connecticut 4-days a week. I can’t imagine where else in the world we will have this abundance.

I am still working for Alpha Phi, but concentrating only on collegiate chapter recruitment efforts. Most of my work is done with volunteers, which I have always enjoyed. And since they don’t care where I live, New York is working just fine. Dean did not mention the places I have traveled for work – Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas. While Dean’s away, I keep busy.

So many more restaurants to try, so much untapped shopping to do, museums to visit, and shows to see ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s a great time to visit New York and our futon is free (but won?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t arrive for 8 to 12 weeks). We hope to see many friends and family this year. Stay in touch and have an amazing year.