"Though she be but little, she is fierce."
Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A. She put her drink down and shook her head." I knew I should have prepared!" she laughed. "Well, I would say that 'most happy' is when it's me, [husband] Tony, and the three kids just enjoying each other. Nothing fancy. Whether we are all lying in bed watching videos or letting the kids make their own videos. The funniest part is watching their reaction to their videos, they think they are so funny!"
Q. What is your greatest fear?
A. In a somewhat reverent tone, she said, "losing another loved one too early." She discussed her sister, who had been a lifelong diabetic, and the struggle she experienced when her organs began failing. She passed away this past January at the age of forty-four." Do you always make people cry at these?" she laughed.
Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
A. "I am always late! I try and I try to get to places early and on time, and I am still late! I think it is disrespectful of other people's time so I really try, but I just can't seem to manage."
Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A. She answered this question quickly, without hesitation and in one word. "Dishonesty."
Q. What is your greatest extravagance?
A. "Probably my gel manicures. I haven't had one in a while; I have been trying to cut back. I would go every two-and-a-half weeks and every other time I would also get a pedicure. I am probably due for one now!" she joked. "But!" she added, "if you asked my husband, he would say my $20.00 sandwiches."
"$20.00 sandwiches?" I asked.
"They not really $20.00, but my husband thinks that a lunch is something you should pack at home and bring in a sack to work. But I eat out for lunch nearly every day and he makes fun at me about it."
Q. What is your favorite journey?
A. "I can't really say that I am well-traveled. I can't stand being in the car for a long time. But I really enjoy being a mom. And I wasn't the type of girl who dreamed of being a mom, I mean, I thought I would have a little girl one day, so I never planned for three boys. But they are the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. I guess you can say I am a little obsessed. I play this game at night where I ask myself 'which one do I love the most?' knowing there is no answer, but I think about each child and how amazing he is. Being a mom is my favorite journey, and I think I am doing a pretty good job at it. It is exciting to see what is in store for them."
Q. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
A. She thought for a moment, then smiled. "Patience, because I don't have much."
Q. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
A. "When I was younger there was a lot I was unhappy about, but now I really don't even think about it. I would like to be thinner, but I honestly wouldn't do what I need to do to lose weight. I don't ever exercise and I love food."
Q. Which words of phrases do you most overuse?
A. "I use the word 'basically' more than I would like to."
Q. What is your greatest regret?
A. "I wish I had been a better sister while my sister was still alive."
Q .What or who is the greatest love of your life?
A. "Diet Coke! Other than my husband and my children. Diet Coke is a close second," she joked." I typically drink three or four a day. If I have not had one for a while, I will start to get a headache. Really!"
Q. When and where were you happiest?
A. "When was I happiest? Well, when I think about a nostalgic time—and it was actually an equally traumatic time—I think of December of last year. I was an organ donor for my dad who needed a new liver. We were at UCSF for the liver transplant and after the first three days—after I got over the belief that I was dying—we were so overjoyed to see that my dad was a completely new person and I knew that everything was going to be okay. I was never happier than that moment with my family, my mom, my brothers, and my sister was still with us; it was love and family in a way that I had never felt before."
Q. Which talent would you most like to have?
A. She squinted her eyes in concentration." Probably to play an instrument, the piano."
Q. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing what would you like to be?
A. "A seven-year-old boy. Life is perfect for them! They are independent, but young enough to not have any real problems or worries. It has to be the easiest existence ever!"
Q. What is your most treasured possession?
A. She mused. "My iPhone."
Q. What is your favorite occupation?
A. "I would love to be a stand-up comedian. At my friend's wedding we did a 'toast or roast' for the bride and groom. I spent a lot of time coming up with really good material for a roast of my friend, the bride, but when the time came, everyone was just toasting, saying all these nice things about them. I was a little unsure how people would react to me making so much fun of my friend—it was really brutal material—but I spent so much time on it, I decided to just go for it. I had everyone laughing so hard they were crying, it was awesome and it felt so good! A friend in comedy has offered to let me open for a show with a five minute set, but I have only been able to come up with about ninety seconds of material. My husband tells me not to quit my day job!"
Q. What is your most marked characteristic?
A. "I am short. Very short. I am not even five feet tall. It used to bother me, but not anymore."
Q. What do you most value in your friends?
Q. Who are your favorite writers?
A. She thought for a moment. "I would have to say Toni Morrison. "We talked a little about her books and her artistic ability. Lisa summed it up with, "her storytelling is untouchable!"
Q. Who are your heroes in real life?
A. "I guess there are two," she began." I always had great admiration for my sister. She is the only person I have ever known who has made me feel unconditionally loved every time I was in her presence. I could physically feel her love, every time. And then there is my friend Rachel, who I knew during childhood, but we were never really friends, more of acquaintances. We reconnected on Facebook and she sent me a message after my sister passed away. She would send me messages at the right time with the exact words that I needed to hear. I think I really needed someone removed from my everyday life to help me through that time. It is an uncommon gift to be able to say the right words at the right time, but she always did. And she came back into my life when I needed it most. She was my rock, my hero, for that time."
Q. What is it that you most dislike?
A. "Men in jean shorts. My boys are not allowed to wear jean shorts. It's my pet peeve."
Q. How would you like to die?
A. She smiled. "In my sleep, on a full belly".
Q. What is your motto?
A. "I have it engraved on my iPad. The quote is from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. 'Though she be but little, she is fierce.'"