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Politics: The Telephone Game

February 25, 2008 | 2008 campaign,Barack Obama,Blogging,Ethics,Hillary Clinton,Journalism,Media,MSM,Politics


CityMama at the MOMocrats accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., of leaking a photograph of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., wearing a turban. Where did CityMama get her information?

CNN’s Political Ticker.

Where did CNN get its information?

The Drudge Report. (CNN editors: “No need for fact-checking. Get this published now!”)

Where did Drudge get his information?

An e-mail sent by “stressed Clinton staffers” “obtained by the Drudge Report.”

Really? Hmm.

I found the picture published by HAN-Geeska Afrika Online in September 2006. Anyone with a mouse and five minutes could have found it. It’s already been “circulated.”

Posted by Becky @ 11:26 pm | 4 Comments  

You less-than-3 me, you really less-than-3 me!

Blogging,Blogland games,Magpie Musing


Magpie Musing gave me a <3 award, a blogtreat created by Magneto bold too, who explains it this way:

When my daughters and I want to express our mutual admiration in public we say ‘Less than Three’. If you look at it sideways:


It looks like a heart. So I heart you.

Thanks, MM!

I’ll be busy passing it on.

Posted by Becky @ 6:03 pm | 3 Comments  

Brought to you by the letter E

February 21, 2008 | Blogging,Blogland games,Dad2twins


Dad2twins honored me with the “This Blog is Rated E for Excellent” award. Wow. Thanks, D2t! (Is it just me, or does the award look crooked? I keep wanting to straighten it out. Nah. It’s straight. It must be an optical illusion with the crooked E and all.)

It took some time, but I found that the award originated with Project Mommy, a 23-year-old mother of two girls. She wanted to show her appreciation for the blogging community she’s found. She asks that anyone who receives the award turns around and gives it to at least 10 (or more) blogs, and it doesn’t matter if they’ve already gotten it. So now I need to pass along the award.

Ack. I still haven’t given out the Thinking Blogger Award.


Or the Nice Matters Award.


Finding the origin of the Thinking Blogger Award was easy. I mean, it has its own Web page. The Nice Matters Award? Different story.

I got it from Stimeyland. She got it from Oh, The Joys, who got the blue version (made by Something Blue and Motherbumper) from The Journey.

Oh, The Joys also got the original version from from Arkie Mama, Slouching Mom and Spinning Yellow.

Slouching Mom got it from MP, who got it from Purple Valley, who got it from Ramblings From Life, who got it from Just a Minute, who got it from PENSIEVE, who got it from Deb’s Lucky Patch, who got it from O So Mo Love, who got it from Our Happy Happenings, who got it from Sit With Me Awhile, who got it from Karen’s Ramblings, who got it from My Life as Annie, who got it from justabeachkat, who got it from My Montana Moments, who got it from Pieces From Me, who got it from All Stitched Up, who got it from — the blog that started it all!Bella-Enchanted.


So, yeah. I’ve got some awarding to do. I’ll get to it, I promise. I just can’t guarantee that I’ll get it done before 2013. (What … am I running for president or something? More on that soon. Promise.)


Posted by Becky @ 12:30 am | 2 Comments  

I’ve been experimented

February 19, 2008 | Blogging,Blogland games,Great Interview Experiment


The second half of my experience with the Great Interview Experiment is complete. Tiffany of The Would-Be Writers Guild just posted her interview with me.

The first half, in case you missed it, was my interview with Alisa of A Juicy Life.

So … if you want to read more about me, go check out Tiffany’s interview. Or just go check out Tiffany. She’s nice. And she likes Beckys. So if you are one (a Becky), be sure to leave a comment. Oh, and she’s celebrating her birthday, her husband’s birthday and her blogiversary. Go wish her a happy, happy, happy!

Oh, and Neil? Thanks for putting me in touch with two incredible bloggers. It was fun. Here’s hoping you get that 3,000-comment post!

Posted by Becky @ 3:15 pm | 1 Comment  

The Great Interview Experiment: Alisa of A Juicy Life

February 14, 2008 | A Juicy Life,Blogging,Blogland games,Citizen of the Month,France,Great Interview Experiment,Valentine's Day


Neil at Citizen of the Month started The Great Interview Experiment on Jan. 18, 2008, after deciding, “We all should be interviewed, at least once.” So I signed up and interviewed the next person to comment after I did: Alisa of A Juicy Life. She runs The Juicy Pear, a pottery studio in Los Angeles, and Art-Works Studio, where she and her husband, Bruce, teach art classes for children.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here is a story of amour and bonheur. A story of the loves of Alisa’s life: her husband, her dogs, her art, pears, wonderful food and République française. Reading through her blog, I was struck by how happy she is. Turns out one meaning of her name is “great happiness.” It fits.

Joyeuse Saint-Valentin, Alisa and Bruce!


I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog Daisy in July. How old were you when you got your first dog? What kind was it? What was his/her name?
We got our first dog “Dixie” when I was about 6. She was a white Shepherd mix. Sweet as can be. My sister and I would dress her up in skirts and shirts. She was so great. She was a mom and had seven puppies after a romp with Reddie the Irish Setter that lived down the street. The pups were like golden retrievers, we kept one “Buffy” … she would steal bread and sleep with it. They both lived a long life, Dixie passed away when she was 18 and Buffy lived until 17. I will always have a dog (or two or three). We currently have three.

Augie, one of Alisa’s three dogs


Congratulations on your recent marriage! What was the first thing you noticed about your husband?
The first thing I noticed about Bruce was his blue eyes … they are beautiful.

Getting married after 11 years together on 11/11 is pretty cool. What made you think of that?
Our first date was on Nov. 11, 1996. We were married 11 years later, on our 11th anniversary of our first date.

Alisa and Bruce on their wedding day


Your photographs of food make me hungry. What would you prepare if I brought a bunch of blogfriends over for dinner?
Duck. For sure. Most people here in the States don’t eat duck, and it’s so so so good. I would also make either my goat cheese-and-leek tart or the new tart I just tried, roquefort and onion. I have a great recipe for orzo and arugula salad, which is fresh and light. I’d also have a couple good baguettes and a plate with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping … AND a couple bottles of a good Côtes du Rhône or Bordeaux wine. For dessert … either crème brûlée or a good flourless chocolate cake.

[Becky: Délicieux! Magnifique! Who’s coming with me to L.A.?]

Where did you grow up and what brought you to California? (That’s assuming you grew up somewhere other than California … )
I grew up in Lansing, Mich. Born and raised there. Youngest of four. My father was a golf professional and my mom a stay-at-home-mom. I left Michigan when I was 23 and went to New York City. Didn’t know anyone. I tell people I grew up in New York because I sure did. I left New York three years later and moved to Los Angeles, again not knowing anyone. The sun brought me here. I’ve been in Los Angeles for 18 years, although Bruce and I moved to Las Vegas for one year to rock climb. It’s time to leave L.A., though. I’m tired of the traffic, the smog and so many people. I will miss the ocean (I live 1-1/2 miles from it and bike along it three to four times a week) and the weather. That’s about it.

What made you fall in love with France?
Everything. My first trip there was 15 years ago, went to Paris and Nice. I have never been to a place where I felt so comfortable. When I arrived in Paris, I actually felt like I had been there before. I love — the language, the people (they are not rude … at least not to me; I have met some very lovely people there), the food, the wine, the lifestyle, the countryside, the architecture, the history and the Tour de France. My favorite village is Saint-Antonin Noble Val, located one hour northeast of Toulouse in the Tarn-et-Garonne. I also love Lourmarin which is in Provence, and Najac in the Aveyron and I love the Dordogne. I love it all.

Alisa in France


Are you or is your family French? (Gigi and Mathieu [Alisa’s niece and nephew] sound sort of … French.)
No. I sure wish … it would make it easier for us to move there. I do speak French, though. Bruce and I have been taking private lessons for three years. My sister is married to a man whose mother is from Nice. That’s where Mathieu (spelling) comes from. Gigi — Georgia — was named after the Republic of Georgia (once part of Russia). My sister adopted this lovely little girl when she was 3 months old. Went to Georgia and picked her up. She’s a pistol.

What will you miss the most when you move to France?
Peanut butter. A good clothes dryer. The ocean. Southern California weather and a few very close friends.

Why “juicy pear”?
I love pears. Not eating them but the way they look. So not perfect! They are all different and unique. I want my pottery to be not perfect … nothing is from molds, no two pieces are the same. “Juicy” because a hard pear is horrible! Some people say that Bruce and I are the “Juicy Pair” …

What inspires you?
People who are risk-takers, free-thinkers and go-getters. Life is too short to moan and groan about things. Take a risk, take a chance, do something different, try something new. When I hear about people who have followed their dream or taken a chance, it makes me smile and realize that our goal to sell the house and sell the business and live in France isn’t crazy.

Were you always an artist? Or was there one thing (person, class, event) that made you want to be an artist?
No. I never thought of myself as an artist. Bruce is a painter, started drawing and painting as a young child. He can draw anything. I was a gymnast growing up. Very athletic, not artsy. I took a pottery class when I was 38, and it was so easy for me. I loved it. Bruce is the one who got me to take the class. He said that all of us are artistic; you just have to find out what it is. I found it in clay.

If you could talk to your 20-year-old self, what would you say?
Don’t get married before you are 35. Stop and smell the roses. THINGS don’t make you happy.

What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m pretty anti-social and a homebody. I’d be happy living in the country with just Bruce and the dogs.

Posted by Becky @ 10:02 am | 6 Comments  

The checks (or some such) are in the mail

February 8, 2008 | Blogging,Guest blogger

Here’s what I hope is a proper thank you to all my fantabulous guest bloggers. I delivered little Scandihoovia-land treats to the post office this week, and some of them have already arrived. (Go, USPS!) I swear they have nothing to do with St. Pukealot. Nothing doing with lutefisk either. I promise. Maybe a wee bit about jul, but that’s no big surprise coming from the Land of Christmas. (I’ll write more about that later … with pictures!)

To my guest-blogging pals … thank you!


AdventureDad lives in Sweden with his Mexican wife and two children. He also blogs for The Blogfathers (Dads You Can’t Refuse). He wrote about Paternity Leave Heaven.


Bad American worked in newspapers and radio and now owns a bookstore in Ohio called Granfalloon Books. He has strong political opinions, and he’s not afraid to express them. He wrote Iowa: Smelling the Fear and the Hope.


The Bullshit Observer is married with two sons. He knows bullshit when he smells it, and I like that in a person. Besides, he makes me laugh. He wrote Gentlemanly Conduct and The Presidency … Let’s Outsource.


Matthew at Childs Play x2 is married with twins and lives in California. He makes me cry. Oh, he makes me laugh too, but the way he writes about being a father gets me right there, dammit. He wrote Today I declare my candidacy. While I warned my guests that I had not endorsed — nor did I plan to endorse — any political candidates, Matthew made me take it all back. He gets my vote.


Wendy Hoke of Creative Ink is a writer and editor in Ohio. She makes me think. She wrote Accepting the Quiet. The book she mentioned, The Gay Talese Reader: Portraits & Encounters, is now in my to-read pile. Thanks, Wendy.


Lance at Dad2twins has been a guest here before, reviewing a Los Lonely Boys CD. He married a German, and they have twins. His family comes from the Land of Lutefisk and Reindeer. He calls his daughters the Farty Pants Twins, and what’s not funny about that? He wrote Where should I begin …


Elana at Funny Business writes about business trends. She wrote I may not be Norwegian, but I’ve tasted lutefisk. She lives in Minnesota, so she knows from Norway. I recently read an article about Norwegian-Americans all up in arms about Norway closing its consulate in Minneapolis. “What’s more Norwegian than Minnesota, anyway?” one of them asked. Indeed.


Kemp at Kemp’s Blog is married with twins. He also blogs at The Blogfathers, The “Bush”-Whacked Administration, Draft Day Suit and the Supercoolest Book Club Ever. He wrote Hmmm? What to write?


Thea at The Little Bird is a musician and an artist. She’s expecting a baby in May. Oh, and she reviews books. She wrote Attack of the long-winded book review!


Mamma Loves is smart, witty and hilarious. I got to meet her IRL on a recent visit to her neck of the woods. She also blogs at DC Metro Moms. She wrote Believe it or not, I wasn’t late to my own wedding.

I told Margaret she needs to start a blog. She’s smart, savvy and has lots of interesting things to say. (C’mon. How about a little Blogland pressure? Go, Margaret!) She wrote Are your friends Republicans?


Mom’s Minivan writes about everything you ever wanted to know about traveling with children. She survived Hurricane Katrina with her sense of humor intact. She wrote Get Your Costumes Ready, which has generated a ton of search hits for crawfish costumes and other Mardi Gras-related, umm, things.


Adam at One Man and his Blog is a business journalist across the ocean. He’s got lots of great information about journalism and blogging, and he’s all over the Internet. He makes me laugh, and not just because he talks about quid, hacks and Hogmanay. He wrote Have A Very Bloggy 2008.


Aviva and Devra at Parentopia are the authors of Mommy Guilt: Learn to Worry Less, Focus on What Matters Most, and Raise Happier Kids. I met Devra IRL after convincing her to book my town on her speaking tour. If you don’t know Devra yet, trust me … you will. Devra also blogs at DC Metro Moms. They wrote Oy To The World, the Chinese Is Come, Let Jews Receive Their Food!


Sarah at Sarah and the Goon Squad never fails to crack me up. She has twins two weeks younger than mine. We met when neither one of us could sit properly at a table because of our huge twin bellies. She also writes for DC Metro Moms, BlogHer, Draft Day Suit and the Supercoolest Book Club Ever, among others. She wrote I’m #1 (or first if you prefer that).


Toddled Dredge has a husband, three children and kickass sense of humor. She wrote Green for Danger.


Bill at The View from Here just got a new place in Blogland. Same Bill. He’s just spiffin’ up the place. I came this close to meeting him IRL during a recent visit to his neck of the woods, but he had Brownies that night. I think it had something to do with firearms. Oh, wait. That’s his regular job. He wrote A Little Talk About Guns.


Rebecca Laffar-Smith is a writer, editor, poet and novelist. She has two children and lives in Australia. She also runs the Writer’s Round-About. She wrote Writing From The Heart.

Posted by Becky @ 10:06 pm | 6 Comments  

Blogland quotable quotes

February 4, 2008 | Blogging,Quotes


“You know what, Devon? You know that band you were listening to earlier? Sublime?”


“Uh-huh. He overdosed on heroin in some motel in 1996. They wheeled Tom Petty and his oxygen tank onto the stage at the Superbowl and he rocked the fucking house. Who’s the loser, now?”


I win.

Read the whole post here.

Posted by Becky @ 11:38 pm | 2 Comments  

More new stuff on the Internet



Catherine Morgan, whose blogs include Informed Voters and Political Voices of Women, has helped develop a political blog for Care2, the Care2 Election Blog.

Posted by Becky @ 11:20 am | 1 Comment  

New stuff to love on the Internet

January 30, 2008 | Blogging,Journalism,Media,Photography

I’m still catching up on Blogland through my feeder. Yes, still. (But, then, I’m still digging myself out of the Nightmare in Norway hole … )


I found a new site called Full Frontal Scrutiny, which “exposes” (get it?) front groups. (After my “Tricky Dick” search, I had to laugh when I saw the latest post is called “Tricky Wiki: How Public Relations Companies Try to Spin Wikipedia.”) It’s run by Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Center for Media and Democracy. Hat tip: Center for Citizen Media.

One of the bloggers I stalk read started a new photo blog, called Say Chee.se. (She’s in Sweden … .se … get it?) She also blogs at The Many Faces of L, Citizen Media Watch and Skriva.net. (Yes, they’re all in my feeder.)

Speaking of photos, I saw a cool project on Soule Mama called “30 days.” It’s 30 days of photographs of ordinary, everyday things. Kerflop‘s doing it too. I learned about it on BeanPaste. Updated: Photography blogs, Shutter Sisters and Looking Into.

Posted by Becky @ 11:23 pm | 1 Comment  

A day late and a (few thousand) dollar(s) short

January 11, 2008 | Airlines,Blogging,Norway,Traveling,Vacation


But, hey, I’m back! (And, yeah, that’s what it looked like up there. A lot.)

First off, thank you, thank you, thank you to all the incredible guest bloggers for keeping the blogfires burning while I was gone!

I have a ton of photographs to go through, bags to unpack and boxes of Christmas gifts yet to open. I also have massive blog updates to do. In the meantime, here’s an update.

  • The good: The travel to our destination went surprisingly well.
  • The bad: That’s the last thing to go “surprisingly well.”
  • The ugly: Puking (and other unmentionables) started the day after we arrived and ended, oh, about two weeks later after three trips to the on-call doctor and one overnight stay at the hospital for IV fluids and attacking every, single one of us and then some.
  • The travel from our destination? FUBAR.
    • Missed the overseas flight — even though we called ahead to the airline (which rhymes with Rocksuckernental) to tell them our first flight was delayed and sprinted the entire length of the airport — by literally five minutes.
    • The plane was still there. They just wouldn’t let us board. So we watched it leave with 12 empty seats, five of which were ours, paid in full.
    • Haris the Gatekeeper said our only option was to show up the next morning and wait on “standby.” Or we could buy new tickets, even though that wouldn’t guarantee our seats. Or we could check out other options with other airlines. And, oh yeah, if that didn’t work out, he would be “happy” to see us again the next morning. (I didn’t tell him where I would be “happy” to see him … you know, burning and gnashing teeth and all.)
    • We spent the next several hours checking our nonexistent options. I will never go to Vegas. (I may be unlucky, but I’m not brain-dead.) Here’s what happened.
      • New tickets with no guarantees — $6,000
      • Hotel room with one bed, one crib and five bodies — $300
      • Three hot dogs, an order of fries, some yogurt and juice from the airport kiosk — $50 (instead of $175 for five burgers and no drinks at the hotel)
      • Less than an hour on the Internet to check in and print boarding passes (without which I am certain we’d still be wandering the Oslo airport) — $30
      • 1 child with a fever, 3 weeks in Winter Wonderland with no snow and Haris telling us the next morning that we “probably would have been fine on standby” (meaning we gambled away the equivalent of, oh, about two months of his annual salary) and the fact that I let him walk away from me and continue breathing — priceless
  • How long before I do this again? Infinity. As we said from the security of our seats in the air, “Buh-bye, Oslo. See ya NEVER!”
Posted by Becky @ 6:14 pm | 15 Comments  

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