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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  

Oh, hell, my TravHELL was not HELL enough

February 7, 2008 | Blogland games,Traveling


I didn’t win the TravHELL contest. But … go see who DID win. Yeah, there were times during the whole Nightmare in Norway when we said, “It could have been worse … she could have puked at the CHURCH during the FUNERAL … or on the PLANE … or they ALL could have been puking on the PLANE …” So, yeah, while it was our own personal TravHELL, it could have been worse.

Now I’ve got to get back to begging digging for my missing $6,000 … mine is the HELL that keeps on giving.

Posted by Becky @ 6:35 pm | 1 Comment  

Do you think I qualify for TravHell?

January 23, 2008 | Audience participation,Blogland games,Traveling


Well, it’s not like you can go vote for me or anything. The blog-sponsors will do the judging. But, hey, I figured my travel experience sucks as bad as the next person’s. Ya think?

So …and the pursuit of happiness, Hotfessional and Sass Attack are running a contest to see who has the suckiest TravHell stories to tell. They’re even giving away prizes. (Think they can get my $6,000 refund? OK. Probably not. But I bet it’s better’n a bag of airline peanuts.)

Here’s my story. It’s all one trip. It’s just so hellacious that I can’t fit it into one post.

Got a horrifying TravHell experience? You can enter until Feb. 3. Go check it out.

Posted by Becky @ 11:07 pm | 4 Comments  

And the winner is …

December 5, 2007 | Audience participation,Blogland games,Books,Family,Motherhood,PR,Tracy Thompson,Work,Working Mother


Rhonda Van Diest!

One signed copy of The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Raising Children, and Struggling with Depression by Tracy Thompson is on the way. Thanks, Rhonda, and thanks to everyone who played along. Big thanks to Tracy, too.

Posted by Becky @ 9:51 pm | Comments  

It’s time to choose a winner for the book

November 28, 2007 | Blogland games,Books,Working Mother

Did you participate in the teleconference? It’s time to put names in a hat and draw a winner. Let me know if I should include your name.


Here’s what you do.

  • 1) Register for the teleconference. (It’s free.)
  • 2) Leave a comment or e-mail me so I can add you to the list.
  • 3) Call on Nov. 15.
  • 4) Blog your reaction, and send me the link. (If you don’t have a blog, you can guest post here.)
  • 5) Win the book! (I’ll draw a name at random.)

Join us, won’t you?

Posted by Becky @ 7:02 pm | 6 Comments  

Are you free for lunch Nov. 15?

November 5, 2007 | Audience participation,Blogland games,Books,Ethics,Family,Parenting,PR,Work,Working Mother



Here’s what you do.

  • 1) Register for the teleconference. (It’s free.)
  • 2) Leave a comment or e-mail me so I can add you to the list.
  • 3) Call on Nov. 15.
  • 4) Blog your reaction, and send me the link. (If you don’t have a blog, you can guest post here.)
  • 5) Win the book! (I’ll draw a name at random.)

Join us, won’t you?

Corporate Voices for Working Families says it focuses on “Five Pillars of Work,” 1) Afterschool Care and Early Childhood Education, 2) Youth Transitions, 3) Mature Workforce, 4) Flexibility and 5) Lower Wage Work.

Members of Corporate Voices are companies affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce through their local chambers. The Chamber, which ranks first in lobbying spending ($72.7 million in 2006), holds this position on labor and workforce:

Oppose expanding workplace laws and craft alternatives when necessary. Aggressively oppose union-backed proposals to increase the minimum wage and abolish secret ballot elections in favor of card check majorities for union recognition. Oppose any efforts to expand Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave or mandate paid sick leave. Block attempts to increase penalties for criminal violations of OSHA. Continue to expose unreasonable union organization tactics such as salting and corporate campaigns. Protect the use of binding arbitration in employment. Aggressively advocate for pro-employer provisions in priority international labor and employment policy proposals. Continue to push for a reasonable application of the revised Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines.

The U.S. Chamber believes NCLB is one of the critical tools needed to transform U.S. education so that all students graduate academically prepared for college, citizenship, and the 21st century workplace.

  • The Chamber supported the presidential veto of SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program).
  • The Chamber opposes a bill that would give employees seven paid sick days each year. More here.

What will they say about you? Tune in and find out.

Posted by Becky @ 7:16 pm | 14 Comments  

And the winner is …

November 1, 2007 | Audience participation,Blogging,Blogland games,Books,Tracy Thompson


Heather McGuire! Congrats and enjoy. Thanks to everyone who played along. I’ve got another autographed copy to give away. (Thanks, Tracy!) Stay tuned.

Posted by Becky @ 8:30 pm | Comments  

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