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.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Joel vs. the Universe

If you haven’t read the Alchemist, allow me to sum up: The Universe conspires in your favor if you listen and read the signs. If you do…you find your treasure, and sometimes it’s where you least expect it.

Me believe-ee.

For example. I wanted to learn the finer points of photography, but didn’t want to take a class. I thought it would be cool to just spend a solid day or two of time with a professional who completely focused on me and my learning gaps (or canyons if you’re so inclined) and got me up to speed quickly.

I randomly found a guy who has amazing work (Joel's Website) through a friend’s facebook profile picture. She pointed me to his website, I asked if he would be open to a couple days intensive personal instruction and he said…yes. And how about in Paris?

I thought umm, yes. But having just returned from Bali didn’t know how set I was on disposable income for this journey.

As fate (or the universe) would have it, one of my clients, literally the next day, asked if I would go over to the UK to do some testing. Let me just add that this is the first time in 4 years a client has had me go international. (are you buying the universe thingy yet?)

Joel agreed to meet me on the weekend after my test group in Paris where we spent about 36 straight hours of him larnin’ me how to shoot.

This my friends is following the signs.

But it gets more interesting…and sad. Let me tell you how my good, new friend Joel scoffed at the universe, took destiny in his own hands and throw away my future.

We were sitting in front of the Notre Dame getting set up for a shoot when a woman walking by bent down, picked up a gold ring and came up to us. She offered it to me, but I told her it wasn’t mine. In French she kept telling Joel that I should keep it anyway because she was divorced and we were lovely or something like that. I don’t speak the language and let’s just say Joel wasn’t doing a ton of translating word for word.

As I listened to this discussion and cradled the ring in my hands, the lady walked away. (Now I will insert here that this is a classic French scam that we learned about later because she came back asking for a little money.) When she returned Joel said no on the money and with finality took it out of my hand and thrust it back at her and turned away.

I stared, jaw agape, as the woman walked away holding MY gold ring. And then I turned on Joel.

“You. You sign-hater. Do you not REALIZE that the universe was speaking by handing me, maybe even us a ring – the symbol of marriage – and you have yanked it away and laughed in the face of my destiny?? Do you not KNOW how many years I have been waiting for this message from the universe?”

Fine. So we laughed a little, joked a little, whatever whatever. BUT all of this did happen right after he told me that he was afraid of commitment which of course is rather ironic, and… AND, I assure you that I am still convinced he has thrown away what the universe was handing me.

I am happy to say that if I never find my perfect and eternal companion that I now have someone on who’s shoulders I can with satisfaction place the blame. Which is nice since it had been resting on mine until now.

Thank you Joel.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am a slacker

I think this may be the longest I have ever gone without a post. And quite frankly there is no excuse. Who am I? Lisa? No...NO!

So here is a little nugget of hope--there are several posts a'comin'. And soon. I am sorting through the cob-webby inner workings of my head to remember all the adventures of the last several weeks and I have tales to tell.

Tales of a destiny stolen from my very hands, A photography workshop in Gay Par-ee, A visit to a comedy team in the south of France, and much, much more.

So consider yourself warned. Or better yet promised. Good stuff coming...keep your ear to the ground and your fingers on the keyboard.



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