Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hey Rach, Can I have My Job Back?

Everyone who knows me in real life can attest to the fact that I have always wanted Rachael Ray's $40 a Day job, and let me emphasize it was well before her TV personality existed. And I wouldn't use lame-o words either, to make you hate me hoping I would eat some bad escargot on the Paris episode!
In my circle of friends and acquaintances, I am known for being the Unpaid Travel Agent. I have people calling me and asking for help with trips and even though it takes a lot of time, I just love it!
I even tried to make some money at it, and failed. Before I was HTML savvy, a relative made a "travel advice" website for me. But I just couldn't figure out how I would charge people for advice that I thought should be helpful and budget conscious. Then I, embarrassingly, got roped into a "Become a Travel Agent from Home" scheme that I am only divulging to you all because I remain anonymous. (Funny that the company fell through just days after they received my $69. )
I also wrote for Epinions.com when it was just a baby. And that is where I actually did make money! I made exactly $440.06 total from writing travel reviews. I even used my I'm-a-paid-travel-reviewer clout one time on an airline when they refused to change our seat assignment so my then 3-year old daughter wasn't sitting 40 rows behind me next to a stranger.

I made homemade destination packets for friends going to Hawaii, and they actually used them and said it really made their trip! Recently I helped a dear friend's sister (who I only know through e-mail) with her first trip to Paris. I got the nicest thank-you and I really do feel there is more happiness in giving, especially when it involves travel.

I'm no longer wishing to make money with travel advice, that was just an early-Internet-Days dream. I moved on to Ebay and found myself a little niche there back then. But speaking of Epinions, I haven't been back to that site in years to write anything. So, inspired by speaking about it in this post, I opened up my account, and after plugging in 100 different passwords I possibly could have used back in 1999, I finally found the winning number.

I have been reading my stuff and I have a mixture of feelings about it. Now that I am writing again, I find that I wrote about many of the same feelings and experiences that I have here. Some of the phrases are the same, some are how I wanted to portray it 8 years ago but didn't have the articulation that I do now (not that I am articulate, just more-so than back then.) I have the same sense of humor, the same pet-peeves and the same passions, only maybe more balanced nowadays.

And so back to Rachael, I still believe she stole my job idea. And you would have liked me! I would never have tried to force you to say "EVOO" and I still would have taken you to Paris, sure, but I would also take you to lesser-known places that I fell in love with and that is where I'd make you a nice comfy spot to watch and dream and you would quickly fall in love with those places too....

And so, with that in mind, let me leave you with a YouTube video I found of Carcassonne. It is hours from Paris, but the charm of this Cité leaves the City of Lights in the dust...in my Epinion anyway.


Colleen said...

I can totally relate to the travel guru stuff. However, it can get out of hand. "Tell me the best Greek island to visit", " when should I go to Peru", or my favourite " do I have to speak French to go to Paris?"

Side note on Carcassone: Have you played the board game? It's fab.

ParisBreakfasts said...

I'll surely go to Carcassone on your rec!
I've never understood all the fuss about "Rach"...
Epinions! Good for you! :)

My Inner French Girl said...

Dear CC,

I thought the same thing re: Rachael Ray. She didn't exactly invent the concept; Japan has had the same format shows for years. I happen to like Rachael myself, but I do envy her that particular show! God, the girl runs on Energizer.


Cassoulet Cafe said...

I'm not getting my notifications when someone posts, so if I don't answer right away, that's why :)

Yes I agree it can get out of hand....I've been asked some really annoying stuff like the speaking French in Paris thing. Or, "Won't they be mean to us because we are Americans?"
No, I haven't played the game. I think I saw it on Ebay once. What is the premise of the game?

PB-Honored to have you post on my little blog! You will LOVE Carcassonne! I'm a bit obsessed with it and I'll post more about it soon with some personal photos.
Oh man she's got some energy! We were watching her show last night so I could show hubby how she gestures for each word. But, I am sure that if I had the show (it's only the travel show I want) I would annoy everyone with my "um" word whisker habit. Whenever I see myself on camera I just cringe. "Hi, I *um* am going to *um* show you *um*...."
Yeah, maybe it's better for
Rachael to have the job after all. LOL

Cécy said...

You know, it's a good idea, but nowadays with the availability of things through the web it's harder and harder to make yourself a name and use your knowledge to make money.

treating friends with it is always rewarding though.

I got to see Carcassonne for July 14th (that's when they have th huge firework show) it was fantastic.

PS: yes blogger seems to be messing up lately, no email for messages either and when I want to see a picture bigget it uploads it on my computer instead of opening it in the browser. Go figure.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Can you believe that we were at Carcassonne one time on July 13 but didn't go the next day for the fireworks??? They were setting them all up, but we didn't know how spectacular they would be.

I totally love helping friends plan trips, and since I am the budget queen (love to save money where I can to travel!) I love to give tips, usually based on my own mishaps LOL.

Mostly I help my friends get their tickets and hotel much cheaper than they were about to pay, since I frequent the travel sites.

La Belette Rouge said...

Rachel Ray has had her 15 minutes. How many shows does one women need? Food network/ Travel Network you need a new shot in the arm. Replace Rachel and Samantha Brown with CC! Just the fact that she would never say "sammy" makes her highly hirable.

Side note, CC. I am not getting notifications of comments either. I hope they fix it soon. It is so lame-o!

Zen Chef said...

Bonjour Cassoulet cafe!
I grew up in southwest of France so i'm quite familiar with Carcassonne, what a beautiful town it is! Full of history.
By the way, do you know the story behind the town's name?

Cris in Oregon said...

Yes CC take back your job from Rach.. Pleazzzzzzze...I am sooooo tired of seeing her everywhere. ;)
Enjoy your postings.
Loved the photo below of the sunflowers along the road. Look forward to your photos on Carcassone too.

Colleen said...


The boardgame Carcassonne is tile-based. In essence, each player puts down a tile for their turn which shows a picture of the fortified town. Their are roads, castles, farmers, etc. HHmm, I am not doing it justice here, but it's a fun game.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

I remember reading about the story, but can't quite remember the details now. Something to do with a lady and a pig???? ;)
Maybe you could remind me!