Sunday, December 27, 2009

Making it Personal

I am reminded of an event back in 1987, when our family van/bus got caught inadvertently in the middle of a small town parade in Hell, Michigan.

My dad joyously shouted out for all the kids to wave to the crowds, acting like we belonged and enjoying the attention. My mom alternated between participating (out of obligation to the cheering crowds) and turning towards my dad, hiding her face and saying, "Oh Bob!"

I now know what that felt like. To be two parts ashamed, and one part secretly delighted.

At the U of M, U of U basketball game we attended Travis became Bob, and I was Delsa. We were seated on the floor, right behind the bench. Above us and to the right was the U of U student section. There was one particularly obnoxious boy wearing Wrangler jeans and a big old buckle, who kept taunting the bench and making comments to us as well.

Travis finally turned on him, and I assume because he was lacking RELEVANT material due to the fact that Michigan was losing, screamed at the kid, "Nice Belt Buckle!"

The kid became enraged and turned his attention fully to Travis. He made a comment about losing and rather than engage in that (again) RELEVANT debate, Travis shouted (while rubbing and jiggling his belly) "blllbbb, bllbb,'re FAT! and you're UGLY!"

I was shocked, appalled, (laughing) and hiding my face. The kid was on fire. After several heated returns between the two of them about meeting outside after the game and having some sort of a duel, Travis finally sat down.

I hid my face, Jessica hid her face, and Rotolu came marching over, "Hey Trav - I'm with you if you want to meet him outside." Great. Nothing like turning 30 and really, truly maturing.

blllbb, bllllb, blllb...You're Fat. Who's the idiot from idiot heaven now?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Idiot Heaven

A few weeks ago I flew out to Utah with Rotolu and Ryan to see Michigan play the U of U.

It was FREEZING and there was snow and ice all over the place. As Jessica and were clutching each other and trying not to fall as we ran toward the stadium we passed a 3 foot hill to the right side of the sidewalk, facing a busy road.

There was one kid about 7 years old at the top of the hill, and two other kids at the bottom of the hill. The one at the top of the hill cupped his hands to his mouth and yelled down at the other two something that was odd enough to be said by any kid across the country, but with a definite Utah twist...

"HEY! Hey guys!!"

He goes running down the ice hill at top speed toward the road still screaming, but now with their attention:

"I'm an idiot! From idiot heaven!"

He was so delighted as he did this, and frankly so was I. From that point on, anytime I came in Travis and Jessica's house I announced myself by yelling "Hey guys! It's me! An idiot from idiot heaven!"

I for one am glad to learn that there are different kinds of heaven, and hope that I am not IN idiot heaven, but that I for sure have visiting privileges.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

I am LONG overdue on posting here. Since a I have a few holiday days free of work, I thought I'd take some time to catch up.

First, Vegas.

I was thrilled to re-connect with the 3 roomates I lived with...I hate to say this...20 years ago. Sigh.

It's hard to imagine that much time passing, and it's even harder to hear stuff come out of my mouth that I used to hear come out of OLD people's mouths when I was a spry 20 year old. Things like "Can you believe how young we looked?" and "When did they start letting high schoolers in to clubs" and of course, "I think I might need a hip replacement."

So yeah, we're old. BUT, the good news is we all still look exactly the same. And we all still act exactly the same. I knew this was true when Merr and Heather were on their way to pick me up at the airport and after arriving, turned around and went back to the hotel without taking me.

Apparently, Becky text messaged them and told them she was at the hotel. Heather for some reason thought Becky was me (not sure why since NAMES come with text messages) and told Merr to turn around. So when I called them and said "I'm here!" They answered, "We know, we're almost back to the hotel." It took about 10 minutes of talking to explain to them who I was, where I was located and for me to understand how they got me confused with Becky. I still don't.

Anyway, it was all good fun and great to stroll down memory lane looking at Heather's old pictures of us. I discovered I used to wear clothes that could have fit 3 people in them, and was reminded of boys I hadn't thought of for ages. Boys who could have prevented this spinster from her current status...and thankfully didn't.

We did hit the nightclubs and party like rock stars, or at least like the real housewives of New Jersey. The Palace and Ivy Tower moves were back in full-effect. And no doubt fully admired. Bless you Facebook for another sweet reunion.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

If I only had a brain

Last weekend I was in Lancaster, PA visiting my friends the Baird. I didn't realize until too late that I had packed everything I needed for the trip except my brain. As you might imagine forgetting your brain can lead to some unpredictable events.

Let me share two of my favorites.

After trick or treating with the kids, I was following Sara back to her house. We decided we should go through the Sonic drive through because we were both famished. My car was first, so I placed my order, pulled around, paid for my food, and got my food. Check, check, check. Of course all of this could be considered brain-optional sort of activity so no big panic.

After I got my bag of food I was thinking about how I had to wait for Sara to get hers. I had already made the cashier-lady think I was a little crazy when I pulled around and she told me the price, and I responded with a very serious look, "Oh, you mean you expect money for this food?" HA! HA! HA! One of us thoroughly enjoyed the joke. It wasn't her.

Anyway, I'm sitting in the car, bag in hand, thinking about how I have to wait for Sara so it seemed only natural to start eating. I pulled out an onion ring and started munching happily away. I was perfectly comfortable and thoroughly enjoying myself when I glanced up at the window and noticed the cashier lady giving me a strange look. I smiled at her, waved and even offered her an onion ring. She shook her head, signaled at me to roll down my window and as I did it suddenly dawned on me.

OH. Sara can't get her food until I move out of the space by the window. They don't want me to sit here and eat. Even if I share. Yeah. That wait could have been a very long wait if the cashier lady was a little more accommodating and less confrontational.

It doesn't end there.

The next morning I went out to my car to run to the grocery store when I realized I had forgotten my wallet. I stopped to talk to the neighbor lady who was at her car for a minute. When we finished I turned and ran up to the patio door and opened it.

You can imagine my surprise when I stepped in to the kitchen, shut the door and was face to face with a GIGANTIC man in his boxers. That I didn't recognize.

The funny part is that it didn't really startle me. And I didn't panic or run out. I knew the Bairds were well known for just walking around in their undies, so I was just looking at him trying to puzzle out which Baird this was, and how come I didn't notice him at Chris' house last night in those really large, blue underdrawers.

He was not as calm. He turned on me with a glower and said, "I don't think you belong here."

Rude. I belong everywhere. Recognize.

I raised an eyebrow and calmly replied, "You may be right." Turned. Walked out the patio and saw his wife staring at me from by her car. I realized Chris lived next door. To her I said, "Hey, thanks for the heads up on that one." She just shook her head.

I dunno. I'm pretty sure if I had brought my brain these things wouldn't have happened, but there is another theory circulating that even with a brain people (Delsa) can do things that might simply appear brainless and I may be experiencing a bad case of genetics. Totally NOT my theory mom.

The last event which I would like to think was done without my brain was betting against Chris' dad on the Michigan/ Penn State game. I lost (well Michigan did) and I was forced to don this lovely shirt which Chris' dad gleefully bought for me. If PSU had lost, this life size Joe Paterno figure which stays all season in their front window would have had to wear a Michigan shirt. Ah well...perhaps next year.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Office Rules

Yesterday I was walking along the bottom floor of my office and I passed our newest intern. Being a friendly type of person I said Hello. As I walked by. Not stopping.

He took this as an opening for a conversation and replied to my back, "Hi. How are you?"

OK, so now there's a question and you can't continue on. I slowed my pace, looked over my shoulder and gave the requisite, "I'm fine, how are you?" Not caring of course, but feeling obligated on my way to an important task.

I thought we were done now and kept moving. No. He pressed on saying in a louder voice so he could be sure I heard him as I was putting distance between us, "I'm not that well."

Great. You can't leave THAT alone! Doesn't he know the rules?? The answer is "Good."

"Really?" I shouted back continuing to walk (though more slowly) "What's wrong?"

"Oh, well I have all these canker sores all over my mouth and they really hurt."

At this point he's speaking over about 6 cubicles to where I'm standing some distance from him and sharing the information with just about the whole floor. I'm stumped because now I'm not sure whether to laugh, express sympathy, try to protect him from the scorn of all the eavesdroppers or keep moving.

I seriously have NO idea what you say to someone in this situation because no office acquaintance has ever told me about their mouth sores before, so I pause, look at him and say in my most sincere voice, "That must be quite terrible for you, but at least it you can still talk without too much pain so you can share this burden with others."

No. I didn't. But I thought it, and instead just gave a polite nod, told him I hoped they healed quickly and ran away.

To somewhere that I could laugh alone--the bathroom. Canker Sores!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Do you ever get the feeling that with all this "virtual" technology and second life stuff that artificial intelligence may be a little more intelligent than we think?

This has been a rough emotional week for me (and Alex now that I know you're reading I'm sorry to say this, but..) because I have been experiencing a little something called Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.

In an effort to combat this, I try to do uplifting things like exercise. Or eat as much chocolate and salt as possible in one sitting.

Anyway, this morning I decided to pull out a new Yoga DVD and give it a whirl. I was about 10 minutes in, and in a rather awkward position very similar to the one above, when the TV yoga lady started talking in an oh-so-soothing voice about how we as women need to center and find peace. She took a breath while I pondered on how she knew I was a woman, and how these cramps were certainly not bring me peace when she continued on to say...

"It is particularly important during the menstrual cycle to rest and connect with our intuition."


How'd she know? And let's say she didn't know, although all signs point to yes, is that not an odd thing to say on a yoga DVD? I mean I'm no expert on yoga (Trust me) but in the few classes I've been to my menstrual cycle has never been mentioned before.

I was so wierded out, I was forced to turn off the TV before she started telling me what was going on with my romantic life and when I would die. My flexibility and peace of mind did not improve today.

I feel sorry for you

Yes, you. The one reading this blog...if anyone still is.

I feel sorry for you, because so many funny, interesting and slightly twisted things have happened in my life over the last two months and you didn't get to hear them.

You have really missed out. I'm just glad I still got to enjoy them so all's not completely lost.

So, I shall attempt once again to get back on the train and share a little piece of me...with you. Let's start with a discovery I made yesterday that prompted me to get back on the train. One of my co-workers and friends, Allison Lazenby had the following conversation with me:

Allison: You haven't written on your blog since the end of July.
Me: True. I apologize.
Allison: My son Alex was looking at his favorite bookmarks and he said, "Mummy (they're Brittish, it's not weird) Shauri hasn't written on her blog since the end of July."

Now if I had known had such amazing fans as Alex, I would certainly have never let this blog thing slide, so Alex--this one's for you. Sending out a HUGE thank you to one of my biggest fans, by posting your lovely picture here and letting everyone know what a are. (Alex is the very handsome fella with the clenched fist on the left side...Alex, why so angry? Is it the hay bale?)

I would appreciate it though Alex, if you would please make a comment once in a while so I know you're out there and that you still care.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Driving to Duck

I am remiss. I am back.

Let me tell you a story you're all familiar with. It's an oldie, but goodie and it's called, "Family Vacation." You've all done it, you all know what it means. And you all know what happens. In fact, I went to my doctor two days before I left and he asked what I was doing the coming weekend. Here's how our conversation went:

Me: I'm leaving on Saturday for a family vacation. Everyone's flying in.
Doc: Ohhhh....this is when everyone regresses back to their most annoying teenage self.
Me: Actually we intentionally never progressed to make the transition easier.

Point is, he got it. Say family vacation and everyone gets it. Whatever.

Mom, Dad, me, Kristin and her 2 year old daughter Aviva all flew together to Norfolk, VA where we then collected a rental mini-van and began our hour and a half drive to the beach.

About 30 minutes in we realized that the windshield wipers had been running for a while.

"Dad? You wanna turn off the windshield wipers?"

Turns out he did. He just couldn't. Everyone in the car tried to get them off to no avail. OK, fine.

Next thing we noticed was that it was getting steadily warmer. And by warmer I mean SCALDING HOT. Tempers were rising and sweat was running. Voices started getting louder as we shouted for dad to roll down the windows.

Nope. No dice. The electrical system was down and we couldn't get windows down. At that point we started talking about how we were going to die (oh and by the way we're in bumper to bumper traffic and not moving AT ALL) in this heat box. Aviva meanwhile is passed out asleep, probably unconscious.

I tried to push open the back windows that didn't seem to be operated by electricity, but I couldn't get 'em. Kristin came busting back over me and shoved them open.

Shauri: "Wow, you're strong. You'd definitely live in a survival of the fittest situation."

Kristin: (scoffing) "Well I know I'd beat you."

Ouch. True, but ouch.

I won't tell the whole story, but I will say that there was a lot of conversation with Budget rent a car about solutions, a lot of anger and sweat and finally when Aviva woke up about an hour of screaming. I repeat, screaming. Kristin told us the only solution was to sing the farmer in the dell, which I swear we did going through every single animal that ever existed AND THEN my mom started going through the first ones again.

It was a long and painful journey, but not surprisingly, these horrible (in the moment) moments, are the ones that live on as our favorite stories to recount. All I can say is, wait until you hear about the return trip.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Difference Between Men and Women

I was on facebook a couple of days ago and I saw a guy-friend (sorry Kev-- had to post your pic to make a point) had posted a picture of himself holding his cute little nephew. His nephew looked just like him and was all kinds of adorable. And did I mention he was HOLDING the baby? Big deal, right? Wrong.

Underneath this picture several girls had commented. Most of them were in the same vein as this first comment:

"Have. Mercy. Is THAT what our boys are gonna look like?? Just WATCH how not mad I'll be."

I have to admit, I secretly thought her comment was kind of clever and cute...yeah...sorry. But anyway, the point is that the first thought that came to her mind was this: Cute boy holding cute boy. We could make cute babies together.
(I have to admit my first thought was, why do they both have that shark haircut? Yeah, I'm single.)

So I thought about this.

And here's what I think. If any guy saw a picture of a girl holding a little baby and looking all cuddly with it, what would HE think? I'll tell you.


Because he would think, that girl is baby crazy. She must want to get married and tie me down and make me have kids right away. FEAR.

And here's the thing. He's right. Cause look at that girl's comment. But why OH we think so differently?

The difference between men and women: Babies.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Angry Skies

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you'll remember a couple of experiences I had with Northwest Airlines trying to get to Australia. 7 layovers ring any bells? No customer service? Cancelling a flight and not re-booking? Yeah--anger...

Gina Valenti recently sent me a link to the perfect response to a bad encounter with our not so friendly skies. The target of this video is United Airlines, but I think it applies to all the major carriers. It may possibly be the place where customer service is at it's all time worst.

I now want to write my own music video about my experience. I wish I could sing. Or write music. And that I had 3 muchachos to help.

Anyway, check it out. Pretty funny. And remember, don't make musicians angry.


And then to be fair (and take another small jab at United) check out what REAL customer service looks like courtesy of Southwest Airlines. Bravo, SWA, Bravo.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Terrifying Elephant Puppet

This is a little bit funny. At the time it was a whole heck of a lot of funny, but I'm not sure my writing can do it justice.

A few posts ago you may have read about my niece's strong response to puppets. "Terrifying." Apparently this all came about from an episode of Hannah Montana in which a terrifying puppet chased people around. Or something like that.

I have an elephant puppet that I got in Bali. It's got a wooden head, and I will admit that it times it does look like it's eyes are glowing red.

Keely asked to see my puppet and when I showed it to her, I kid you not, I have NEVER seen a kid run so fast in my life. She flew up the stairs, and I gave valiant chase, but had no hope of catching her. I was also laughing hysterically at her response. Not because I'm mean, but simply because I have never seen that unnatural fear-associated strength in anyone except myself when I literally picked up the girl in front of me at a haunted house and hurled her across the bridge so i could get out of the way of the chainsaw-wielding psycho chasing me. Deep breath.

Anyway, I followed her up the stairs with the puppet, and couldn't find her. The door to our mudroom was closed and Kristin said she went running in there. I opened the door thinking she had gone out to the garage. I called her name and heard a muffled response.

She was in the pantry with the door closed. I told her to come out and she replied "Do you still have the puppet?" I did. I told her, "No." She said, "I think you're tricking me." She held the door handle tight and only allowed Max to wriggle in with her for protection.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why it would be better to lock yourself in a dark closet alone when you're scared, but to each her own.

She did eventually conquer her fear of this puppet and now asks for it regularly. I asked her to pose with it and show the camera how it made her feel. I think we have a pretty accurate re-enactment.

Max was never scared, but did want to try to be. Not sure he has a career in acting like his cousin.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The mailbag

You may or may not remember the " experiment" I started last year with the intention of gathering good stories to entertain you people with. It hasn't gotten much airtime lately because I ignore it about 99.9% of the time, and grew tired of meeting these people. True, I only met 3, but you may remember some of the stories associated with them. Like the guy who walked me around the block for a date. And then thought we had a great time. Right...

So, while I'm not here to tell you that I decided to get back on the horse simply to keep you, the reader, entertained, I can tell you that some of the emails are plenty entertaining without me even needing to meet them in person. And I figured the least I could do was share the wealth. (Micah complained that I never share my awesome "dating" stories anymore. I hope this is close enough for you.)

Allow me to share one of my favorite characters from this week's mailbag.

First, let me tell you his username: Moneyman. Now I realize this could mean a number of things, much like the Seinfeld episode I watched with Abram last night about Kramer and the "A**man" license plate. Seinfeld thought it meant the guy looked for a certain, er, physical trait in his women, Kramer figured the guy was a proctologist. As usual, Kramer was as wise as he is anti-semitic. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) A**man was a doctor. Point being, moneyman can only go one of two ways. Either the guy wants you to know he makes a butt-load of money (lame) OR he works for the US treasury.

Turns out it's the first. This was the body of his message:

I have read your profile and we are extremely compatible. I am a very responsible person, trustworthy, funny, affectionate, great lover, and extremely optimistic person. I am a professional businessman who owns my own companies and am looking for a soul mate to spend and share my life with and be a part of my empire I have built. I am a little older but have a lot to offer such as; nice house on golf course, many trips throughout the world each year, great lifestyle, and a very loving and honest person. Since i am not on this service much please call me any night before 1am at 616 -xxx-xxxx. Look forward to talking to you. Steve

First. "Great lover?" Really? Do you believe someone who has to advertise it? And is it something I want you to tell me in a random first email? Maybe.

Second. "be a part of my EMPIRE I have built?" Is he Darth Vader? Cause that's the only emperor I know who can legitimately claim he built an empire. And my niece and nephew will fully back that up. I have always wanted to be an empress...but c'mon.

Third. Is this a resume? I love the checklist of things he has to offer. Just throw in "a reasonable salary and great medical benefits" with the great lifestyle and trips throughout the world, and I might sign up.

Finally. Call me before 1am any night? Is this a 1-900 phone service?

I don't know people. There's some nuts out there. I have some girlfriends who recently bought in to the current dating guru who says to "approach dating like a job" and have been networking their little hearts out for referrals, and spending x amount of time a day on online dating sites to increase their number of contacts and chances for marriage, and I'll say it's been working for them. Maybe this resume style formatting is the new (and hopefully final) frontier. They seem to be having good luck--maybe moneybags will find the right gal too. One who wants to share in his empire and travel with him through galaxies on the Deathstar. Me? Not so much.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Step Back in Time

This past weekend I moseyed (is that how you spell it??) my way on over to Lancaster county in Pennsylvania to visit my old friends the Bairds. This past December we were reunited (thank you Facebook - ultimate people connector!) while I was shooting a film for Hampton. Chris and I were best friends from my freshman year and had lost touch about 13 years ago.

I can't even express my joy at being reunited with the entire family. I also knew Chris' brother Dave pretty well, and his sister Brooke, and had spent a week with the Baird family at the end of our freshman year when we (Merrilee and I) went to send Chris off on his mission.

Merrilee recently reminded me of a funny story from that trip. Chris is infamous for having no concept of time or concerns about punctuality. He's an artist folks - you know how THEY are. Anyway, he took Merr and I to explore some local waterfalls, and let it be said we had a great time. However, when we returned to his house, looking like drowned rats, we discovered his farewell party had kicked off an hour before we arrived. You can imagine his mom's pleasure at our arrival.

The funny part of the story was that his mom blamed poor, hapless Merrilee for our lateness. She told everyone, "Chris had to take them to the waterfall because Merr is from Arizona and so she doesn't ever get to see water." Talk about thinking on your feet!

Some of my favorite moments on this trip to the Baird clan:

1. I stayed in the Ephrata Hampton Inn & Suites where we had filmed in December and was THRILLED to reconnect with this team. (You can see the documentary we did on them here.) It is unequivocally, the BEST hotel you can ever stay in. Amazing service, amazing people - LOVE them. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive to a sign welcoming me as "Guest of the Day." That's no joke people.

2. On Saturday night, I told the Bairds (Chris' parents) that I wanted to meet them to go to church because Chris had no ability to be on time. There was a lot of chatter about this and how he was late and I was punctual. So the next day, when I suddenly found myself a mile or two from their house and the center of an Amish parade you can imagine my chagrin at realizing I would arrive 10 minutes late. I took these pictures to prove to them that the only thing that could keep me from arriving on time was 5 buggies in front and two in back and no passing lane.

3. Loved just sharing stories about the old days and the new days and feeling like no time had passed. Chris' dad shared some stories about his current wrestle with cancer and how it really changes your focus and where you place importance. He shared a story about the power of prayer in one man's battle with cancer and everyone in the family seemed to be appreciating each moment a little more. I came to town to take some photos of the family and capture some of these moments and felt inspired and touched when I left.

I feel pretty blessed to have come in contact with so many wonderful people over all the years of my life. I'm not great at staying in touch, but maybe that's cause I love all the "reunited and it feels so nice" moments. Whatever the case, I'm excited to finally be reunited with my own folks who come home on Monday--AT LAST.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Some favorite Pics from the Weekend

Today I shot a few pics of my Niece Keely, and nephew, Ben before we went to church. Neither was what I would call "cooperative", but there were a few smiles when candy was fished out of pockets. I love summer. I'm by-passing Silent Spinster for these.

Respectable Wait Time

A Question:

How long should you wait to date a guy after he gets out of a relationship? A year? Two years? 2 weeks? The next day?

I ask because I seem to always stumble on the ones who are fresh out. Or sometimes even a year out and it just seems like they're still fresh out. And I have to believe they are NOT really available to me. That I'm clearly being set up for rebound.

And I don't mind hearing their stories about the past relationship, cause frankly I'm curious too, BUT I DO mind hearing the stories twice and three times, or ONLY hearing their stories. Yes, this I mind.

BUT, if you wait too long, well someone else can slide right in when they're good to go and you miss your window. OR you hear the stories about the couple that met right after the breakup and got married 4 months later. Seriously.

So I ask, how long do you wait?

A Nephew in Need

I am a sucker for my nieces and nephews. Friday night I was planning to go with Kristin and Abram to the movies. Lisa and Shawn were watching their kids for 24 hours, and I had just left the house where Max was in a terrible state of distress. I had offered to hold him and had promptly been hissed and screamed at. Apparently the devil in side had full possession at that moment.

As I got about a half mile away from the house, I got a phone call from Shawn. He said Max wanted to talk to me. In a sobbing and heart-rending voice Max said,

"I want you to come back Aunt Shauri. I want special time with you. Please I want special time."

It was much more tragic than I can ever really do justice here and Max has NEVER wanted special time with me. I was torn. I REALLY wanted to see this movie, and had been super excited to go.


My little tiny, helpless nephew needed me to calm his little heart and help make him happy Max again. It's impossible to not go to a crying child. Which is why I'm an aunt and not a parent so I have no discipline responsibilities. Just hugging ones. And reading ones. And feeding candy in a constant stream ones.

I'm glad I gave up the movie for my little sad buddy who snuggled on my lap while I read him books and put his little gulps to rest.

Besides, Shawn let Lisa go with me later that night, so it was really a win/win.

Puppets Are Scary

Yesterday I was riding home from a special cupcake trip with Keely and Max, which it should be noted was not the success I anticipated as they both hated the fluffy frosting, ate them from the bottom up and proceeded to smear the frosting all over clothes, face and hair followed by a full bottle of chocolate milk being spilled on the floor. And yes, we were the only customers in the store, so we were noticed.

Anyway, as I was saying. We were riding home when Keely told me she was excited to see what Grandma and Grandpa brought her from Australia when they came home. She said she hoped it wasn't a puppet. This began a small debate between us as we discussed why she would like dolls then because aren't they the same as a puppet?

Turns out they're not. Puppets are much more boring. Why remains unclear.

In my efforts to convince her that puppets were actually far more entertaining than dolls the conversation continued as follows:

Me: Do you know what a Marionette is?
Keely: No.
Me: It's a puppet with strings so you can move it's hands and legs, and it can wave at you.

Long pause.

Keely: (in monotone) Terrifying.

Upon further reflection I believe she is right. Puppets are scarier. Unless your doll is a clown or looks like Chucky.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another one bites the dust

I don't know if all of you know this little tidbit, but it rains wherever I go. So if you're looking to stop a drought, your best option is to pitch in some cash for a plane ticket and send me packing.

I have made it rain for days in desert landscapes that have never seen rain. Like Australia in the outback. I'm a walking water miracle. Case in point, I just went to Utah. Also a desert. Forecast? Rain for 4 straight days.

Which made it very difficult to find time between the rain showers to take photos of Travis and his soon to be fiance. You can see some of the shots on

One of my favorite moments during the shoot was when Travis wanted to stage a picture of him jumping off the wall and Jessica holding on to his legs. It was totally staged, but while Jessica was pulling his legs she cried out, "Travis, don't jump!" And she was serious.

Welcome to the family Delsa junior. We love you already.

This is another shot we took. Travis titled it "Guess who's getting married..."

I suppose I should be upset and bitter that there is now only myself and my youngest brother left as the single-tons in the family. Oddly, I'm not. I figure, if Travis can make it happen, anyone can. And after all, aren't I anyone?

Seriously people. It's a moment of rejoicing. A new baby is on the way via Kristin, a new in-law via Travis, and I am ushering in a brand new bushel of wrinkles. I guess we're all contributing!

Happy Engagement little brother. I love my newest in-law.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Card For Jessica

First let me say that my spinster status is secure if I never leave Michigan. I have not had a date or spent time alone with an available man in 4 months. Unless you count my trip to Paris with Joel, but since I paid him for his services, it would more appropriately fall under the category of professional escort. And considering that nothing happened, a poor one at that. Good thing I learned some photography skillz. Yeah - no dates.

Since I have no dates, I am always available to babysit for my sister and brother. Lucky them. On Friday I babysat for Shawn and Lisa. Keely (their 5 year old) and I decided to make a card for Jessica - Travis' girlfriend.

After she drew a lovely Bride and groom, I asked her what message she wanted me to write to Jessica on the card. This is what she came up with:

I hope you have a good time being our aunt. I hope you don't feel left out at any time. Ever.
From, Keely"

An interesting and thoughtful message. I wonder if she feels left out a lot or if she just inherently understands the gauntlet we make all potential family run through before acceptance is assured?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Crafty Spam

Every night I get an email message from "Junk Mail" with all the spam emails it snared in it's crafty little net, allowing me to see if any were mistakenly held up.

Several funny situations have arisen including a work email that had the words "Card Penetration" in it that went straight to junk mail. That's not the funny part. We later discoverd it didn't get filtered for the word penetration, but the word "savings." ??? What??? Give us your porn mail, we just don't want anyone selling us crap. That's our job.

Moving on, one thing I've noticed is how crafty this "spam" guy is. (And yes, I do know that spam is male.) Spam has picked up on my own email address, and sends me stuff from me. I assume "spam" believes that if it's from myself, I will instantly trust the sender and just accept my senility. Not a bad gamble considering my memory these days. But you lose spam--I'm not all gone yet.

I have ignored approximately 36 emails to me thus far.

I had to crack up today when I scanned the junk mail messages and saw that I, squinn@..., had written the following subject to myself, "You A##hole, answer."

Well, I knew right away that I would never call myself that name. But it did crack me up that I had so obviously gotten under the skin of this spam character to the point where it was trying a new fear tactic on me and resorting to calling me names.

I'm strangely excited to see what my nemesis will try next. Game on spammy, game on.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Time to do a little bragging on my brother, Mr. Ryan Quinn. He has just published his FIRST book. If any of you have tried to write a book--well, it's hard people. I'll throw some props dad's way as well since I believe he is co-author, but this is old hat to him and Ryan invested some ridiculous amounts of blood, sweat and tears. So...

BRAVO, Ryan. Standing O for you. I feel more proud of you than my pick for tonight's American Idol title (wait for it) Kris Allen. Sorry had to be done.

At any rate, I have read the manuscript for this book and trust me, it is fantastic. This book is a good read for anyone who wants to be a positive influence, whether you are a parent who is concerned about the influence you have on your children, a manager who is trying to lead employees (or an employee trying to influence your manager), a teacher trying to educate students, a coach training athletes, a concerned friend, a philanthropist or activist, or in my case a single woman worried about how to have a positive influence on men. I kid, but all the rest is true.

Click here to see (and order) the book on Amazon--"Lift".

Buy it, share it, love it and be up"lift"ed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

UK and The Frenchies

A couple mis-adventures in Europe.
The first was when I arrived in Machester after about 12 hours of travel (layover in Amsterdam) and got off the plane looking for my "driver." No Shauri sign to be seen. Turns out the message he got was that my plane was arriving at 10am, so he came and I wasn't there so he left. I actually arrived at 12. He told me to sit tight and wait for him to come back..he was an hour away. This is all fine except for when you are totally exhausted and the only food options in the airport are stale donuts and really bizarre UK sandwiches that include egg and pickles on them no matter what else it is made of.

I should also mention that I only got ahold of my driver after asking 3 people at the airport to show me how to dial the phone number. Simple? No. Not for me.

On this 6 day journey I flew to Manchester, car to Liverpool, plane to Paris, train to Bordeaux, plane to London and back to the states. Several taxis and tube rides in between. I tried every mode of transportation available in Europe...and few went smoothly.

I mentioned in the last post that I was in Paris learning how to be a photographer with professional photog Joel Addams--highly recommend him for anyone in need of a brush up or a get me started lesson.

Basically he is a slave driver who tried (I emphasize tried) to get me going by 6:30am both days and wrapped us up around 11pm. In between we covered every inch of Paris possible and he taught me the finer points of how to turn off my "auto" function for good.

Here are some photos from our journey together:

Our time together ended Saturday night, and that's where my travel mishaps picked up again. Somehow, someway we ended up running late for the train station and not only were we late, but I hadn't printed out my online receipt to get my ticket.

SOOO..once we got there the nice french lady at the ticket booth said she'd look up my reservation by my credit card and dice. I had 10 minutes at this point to get to my train gate and board so I had no other choice but to (pause for dramatic effect) buy another ticket. Sigh.

But not too much time to sigh, we got it in hand and RAN. Ran because my new ticket was in steerage and so my train car was practically the VERY-LAST-ONE. Breathlessly I jumped aboard just as it was about to pull out.

Au Revoir Paris!

Next stop was to see Maria and Desmond who are a bit outside of lovely Bordeaux. I can't even describe how happy I was to see them. Especially because when I was getting off the train I asked all the Frenchies if this was Libourne (my stop) and no one understood a word I was saying. So I stood in the dark on the platform looking around for a familiar face, or even a sign and if like an angel from heaven who should pop around the corner but Twizzle. Aka, Desmond the delightful.

Followed shortly thereafter by Maria the Magnificent.

Two of my favorite people in the world. Or at least in France. For sure in France.

I will tell you that I have never seen a more beautiful place to call home in my life than their petit chateau. And by petit I mean ginormous.

Their house, their property, their villa all made me feel like I had just stepped on to the set of Pride and Prejudice. (And believe me, I kept hoping Mr. Darcy would appear, but this was the closest...)

I LOVED our morning trip down to the dock to see a village boat race...

Our trip to get french bread and croissants, and you'll note their house is listed on the street sign...

and then our trips to the most quaint little town in the WORLD and of course Bordeaux for dinner.

I got to sleep in my own WING of the house...hello. AND they served me bread, cheese and chocolate to my heart's content.

They were the best hosts ever and the best part was all the laughs and quality time. It was fantastique!

Finally, back to London. Where I had a few hours that night to see a couple big sights with every Rootster's favorite (if barely remembered and past fun award winner) Mark...

and to have dinner with two of my new lovely goddess friends from my Bali surf adventure trip.

All in was a perfect dream - and in terms of my jetlag I sometimes think that's what it was.

One minor sidebar. On the flight home, this man who was sitting kitty-corner from me decided to come over pre-flight and literally stand in front of my seat between me and the other seat and make inane jokes about the socks I was wearing.

I gave him the requisite polite laughs and only mildly mocked him and then thought that would be it. BUT, no. The whole 8 hour flight I would see him out of the corner of my eye, twisting his body and staring at me trying to make eye contact. It was hard work pretending I never saw him, believe me.

Would have been great if it was Mr. Darcy, but he was much closer to Mr. Collins.

And thus ends my lovely European dream.


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