Interview with Beth and Randy of @beersandbeans: Lucky 13 31

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Beth and Randy are two of my favorite people, who also happen to be incredibly talented bloggers and photographers. Their website is slick, professional and heartfelt, and I hate them because their pictures are a lot better than mine. A lot better — which leads to some serious photo and blogger envy and hatred.

But considering they gratuitously and unnecessarily both complemented me in one of their answers, I am going to overlook my petty jealousy just this once and tell you that if you aren’t reading their blog and checking out their photos, you are missing some visual and verbal delights. It is candy for the eyes and the mind.

Pretty much they had me hooked just with the name of their website, Beers and Beans, but then I got to know them a bit more online and learned they are not only incredibly talented, but also incredibly nice, helpful and thoughtful. We’ve been talking lately about meeting up later this year in SE Asia and I am going to make it happen from my end, just because these are two people I think I am going to form a lifelong friendship with. Check out their blog and follow them on Twitter and enjoy their answers to the Lucky 13:

1. I am a little embarrassed that I have never finished a book written by _________.

smiling Bob Woodward on Meet the Press

"Now, Randy, I can't believe you have never read my stuff..." (via AP)

Beth:  I’ll let Randy tackle this one.

Randy: Bob Woodward. In reality, I think it has less to do with Mr. Woodward then the timing of when I sit down to read his books, but for some reason, I just haven’t been able to get through All the President’s Men or Obama’s Wars.

2. Your favorite travel resource on the web?

Beth: My first stop is always fellow blogger sites (including, of course, Go, See, Write) because you can’t get better advice anywhere! Then it’s Google, and lately I am completely addicted Pinterest as a place to find visual travel inspiration.

Randy: Twitter, Gogobot and Go, See and Write.

3. What is the superpower you most want?

Beth: Ooooh tough one. Can I pick two? It would be a toss up between time travel and reading minds. I guess I would go with time travel.


Randy: Travel at the speed of light. Because then I could do what Cher couldn’t: turn back time.

4. Where do you want to retire to?

4. Beth: I want to retire on a farm for homeless and abused animals. Anywhere will do but  Lacedonia, Italy or Paris would be my ideal spots.

Randy: Boca Raton. For the ladies, of course.

5. Most common error you see in other people’s photography?

5. Beth: Cropping. Composition can be a tough thing to learn but cropping while you edit is a great way to create a good composition out of a boring one. Most travel photos I see online could be improved greatly with a good dose of cropping.

Randy: I’ll defer to Beth on this one.

6. Worst and most embarrasing artist on your iPod?

6. Beth: Trisha Yearwood: Katie & Tommy. I hate most country music with a passion, but for some unknown reason I have a real soft spot in my heart for this song.


Randy: White Lion: When the Children Cry  (Beth replies: Seriously? That wasn’t on your MySpace page when we met.)

7. Particularly appropriate question, give your blog title: What fictional character would you most like to have a drink with?

7. Beth: Roux. Johnny Depp’s character in Chocolat. A gypsy traveling through France played by Johnny Depp–what other reason do you need? hahaha.. Now the only question is red wine or gin? hmmm…

Randy: Mr. Miyagi. I could be his Daniel-san.

buffy the vampire slayer movie poster

is this the Buffy inspiration for Beth?

8. what is your nickname (or one of them) and how do you get it?

8. Beth: My long time family nickname is Buffy. I had a cousin who could never pronounce my name correctly and so this version was invented. Most people find it hysterical because I am pretty much the farthest thing from a Buffy. Thankfully only family calls me this.

Randy: Kalper. Beth thinks she invented this name for me but she’s wrong. I’ve had it my entire life and have no real idea why. Beth has come up with a whole slew of other nicknames for me that I’d rather not share or even acknowledge. haha

9. Give us one of your good, embarrassing guilty pleasures?

9. Beth: I love first person shooter video games. If I can be a sniper then I’m officially hooked. I also have a very large collection of different yarns, including ones I’ve spun myself.

Randy: I have a real weakness for Million Dollar Listing on Bravo.

10. Book I should buy tomorrow?

10. Beth: The Gospel of Mary Magdalene translated by Jean-Yves Leloup. I have always been fascinated by all religions. Most people don’t even know that Mary Magdalene has her own gospel but she does. Even though it was written almost 2,000 years ago, it’s completely relevant to life in modern times. It’s startling in that it’s so old yet so relatable. It’s fascinating in that although it is technically a religious text it doesn’t have any strong religious undertones. Kind of throws the idea of what religion is supposed to be upside down. The Gospel According to Mary is a really interesting text and definitely worth a read no matter what your religious (or lack thereof) background is. Plus, where else can you read the words of a woman who had a back stage pass to a very sacred knowledge from a very influential man during a time when being a woman meant very little?

Randy: Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion by Henry Miller. At its core, Sexus is about Miller’s wanderlust and his desire to break free from corporate America. Sound familiar?

11. If I know I wouldn’t get arrested, I would __________.

11. Beth: Oh I have a very long list, which I would love to share, but I’ll whittle it down for the sake of brevity. I would love to rob a bank. Then I would give all the money away to the people who really need it. The people who don’t have enough money for food, medical insurance or rent. The single moms, the single dads, all the people who keep fighting to make this world a better place. In fact, as part of my elaborate bank heist I might take all the big bank CEO’s, FDA liars & big business jerk offs who run this country and make them give the money away in person to the people that really need it. Since I don’t own a gun, I might be overselling my powers of persuasion, but it’s worth a try! In any case, bank robbers are undeniably hot, and I would really like to join their ranks.

Randy of bearsandbeans modern day Icelandic warrior

gratuitous funny shot of Randy

Randy: Open up a medical marijuana collective in North County San Diego. Despite California’s approval of medical marijuana in 1996, most North County politicians continue to fight against the state law, making it difficult for collectives to operate without having to fear local or federal prosecution.

12. If you could trade places with anyone right now, for a week, who would it be and why?

12. Beth: My Dad. He’s had a broken foot for two years (long story) and recently he has been very ill and in the hospital for the better half of two months. His favorite thing is the beach, and I’d love to switch with him so he can go swimming and walk on the beach, something he hasn’t been able to do in the past two years.

Randy: My younger cousin, Robb, has less than two weeks left in a year long tour of duty inAfghanistan. I wish i could take over for him. He’s done enough; it’s time for him to relax on a trout stream.

13. If you could ask one question of anyone in history and get an honest reply, to whom and what would you ask?

13. Beth: Michael, I pondered this question for a full week. You have no idea the time suck this question has created for me and I think Randy is ready to shoot me because I haven’t answered it yet. From my Nonna, to Regan, to Napoleon, to Mary Magdalene, to Pocahontas, to Mumtaz Mahal, to Niépce, to the people who have decided that their life goal was to dress up and become a circus clown, there are so many questions I can’t decide! But there is one I keep going back to, and, although I would prefer it be answered by a relative, it can really be asked to anyone who has moved on: “What’s it like on the other side?”

Randy: When I was five, my father passed of cancer; he was only 28. So, I wish I could go back to those final days and ask him for his thoughts on life.

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

31 thoughts on “Interview with Beth and Randy of @beersandbeans: Lucky 13

  • Brooke vs. the World

    Wow. this was an interesting one! Beth and Randy are on another level, which makes them so interesting — interesting bloggers, writers, photographers that I love! #13 is exactly how i would have answered it Beth!

  • Lisa | LLWorldTour

    Okay, now I love them too. Beth…I’ve thought about retiring the same way. Been thinking more that i need to do MORE to help those that can’t speak for themselves. AND I LOVE their ‘switch places’ answers. Notice neither one of them wanted to switch with someone that would make their lives more interesting/exciting…they switched with someone for that person’s betterment. Really cool.

  • Mica

    Love this interview because really…The pictures on their site make me go ….huh? Why can’t I do that? Mind blowing stuff. Interesting answers…Boca Raton for the ladies! Ahahaha
    always wanted to be able to turn back time…also wear that leotard. Cher was hot. I hope I get to meet all 3 of you later on in SE Asia 🙂

    • bethany

      Wow! What a compliment and I guarantee you can do those things too. Hit me up if you ever have any photo questions. Hopefully we can all meet up in SEA or maybe Boca Raton.. hahah

  • twoOregonians

    Ohhhh yes, on the Pinterest obsession!

    I’ve loved your site and photos ever since stumbling upon them last year… Thanks for the interview. (And thanks for broaching the envy/hatred issue, Michael 😉 I try to tell myself I’m “inspired” … but it might just be jealousy!)

  • Amanda

    These two are the real deal! Great bloggers, and even greater people. Thanks for featuring them, Michael!

  • Lorna - the roamantics

    holy cow i got CHILLS reading this one!!! i love these guys so much already, but reading their incredibly thoughtful, generous answers just makes me want to hug them for days. they have beyond mad skills- a super duper dynamic duo photographer & journalist to boot. plus, who doesn’t want pot-sellers and bank robbers for friends?? 😉 love this michael!

  • Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    Oh man… “When the Children Cry” used to be my favorite song in high school. I gotta hear it again now and see what I think of it. You two are the bestest.

    • Randy

      I still remember hearing this song for the first time. I was about 13 when I heard it over my hometown mall’s muzak system. After the power ballad washed over me, I went to the mall’s record store and bought the cassette single. This is the first time, though, that I’ve actually seen the video. And I got to say, it’s awesome! I mean the guitar player is using an amputated guitar; it doesn’t get much better than that. And the lyrics, do I even need to go there. I mean when Mike Tramp sings, “no more presidents and all the wars will end / one united world under god,” it’s like he’s channeling John Lennon.

  • Nomadic Chick

    That’s it Bethany and Randy, we have to meet in SE Asia. Mind you, sounds like Michael has already called shotgun, which means I could slip in as the 4th wheel, but after spending a month on trains with him and enduring his snoring, not sure about this whole meeting thing.

    Screw it, we HAVE to meet. If anything, to find out what’s so intriguing about Boca Raton and play first-person shooter games with Bethany (I, too, love shooter games, does this make us subversive?).

    More importantly, to just give y’all a big hug. Oh, and Lorna has to be there too!

  • bethany

    You like first person shooters too?! Yeah I think we could probably be labeled subversive… hahaha And YES it looks like SEA is going to be busy with all of us meeting up. I have a feeling that with you, me, Michael & Lorna a lot of ‘whatever crazy shit’ they drink in SEA is in the near future!

  • Bridgette

    this is SUPERB. Awesome questions and perfect answers. I totally enjoyed reading this through! The responses were fun and personal. 🙂

  • Grace

    I actually just discovered them on facebook and being new to your site as well was pleased to read this. Q11 had me thinking what illegal thing I want to do most. Care to tell us what is yours?

  • Audrey

    This was such a great interview! I really enjoyed learning about Beth & Randy – such wonderful hearts! I particularly like the answers to #11, very Robin Hood of you guys ;D

  • Ali

    I really enjoyed this interview, lots of really thoughtful and funny answers. And I will admit, I love that White Snake song and I’m listening to it now as I type out my comment. The video is pretty bad though.

    • Randy

      Yeah, I can’t get enough of that song either! Currently, I’ve been stopping back every few days just get my fix.

  • Bill Collings

    Both amusing and a learning experience! It’s been raining for 72 hours here in Lakeside, Pokhara, Nepal so exploring the net for other travelers and content is entertaining while taking a break from the book I’m reading and watching BBC, the only English channel.

  • Erica

    Why is it that both of our second halves want to retire in a place where they can have eye candy? Shaun answered Japan to be a perverted old man and Randy, you basically just said the same thing!

  • Stephanie/Chasing Chestnuts

    I have to say that I am utterly impressed. I am new to Go, See, Write and to Beers and Beans. I have read quite a few traveler interviews and the questions here are original. The answers….wow…made me think about what my answers would be. Many are very altruistic… Fantastic.

  • philips kaffeemaschine

    Hello, I check your new stuff daily. Your story-telling style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

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