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When Tara Met Blog
Monday, January 17, 2005
Catch-22, Thighmaster and Cupcakes

Can I just say that I had wanted a ThighMaster the moment I saw Suzanne Somers infomercial back in the 80s. I guess I've always been a sucker for celebrity driven infomercials or maybe it was the bright colors on the twisty gadget that attracted me. Or perhaps even at the age of eight I was looking for a gimmick to losing weight without really exercising ;)

Either way, I was determined to have one, even after my mother laughed at me when I asked for it that Christmas--I got a Fisher Price kitchen set instead.

A decade and a half later the red exercise gadget still lingered in the recesses of my mind and thanks to eBay my dream of owning one came true four years ago, albeit a lot later than expected.

I now own a buttmaster too, which I like even better actually, but picture being in college and your friends laughing at you for having them in your dorm room. Their double takes though were worth the teasing, lol. I would also bring my toys along for long car trips, when I was not driving of course, and to entertain my passengers.

I just moved them from my family's attic to my apartment, where two skeptical, former college friends of mine have been seen using them while watching TV on my coach earlier this week. Ha!

At first I wasn't impressed with the devices fitness ability for it was easy to do the thigh crunches, but holding those crunches closed--that's a different story.

Magnolia Cupcakes On a side note... I spent a wonderful weekend with my girl friends from across the country, but now I have to do an afternoon yoga class tomorrow to forget the Magnolia cupcakes, King cake and Ferraras cookies from the weekend. I also have to get my New Yawk accent back, because some how I've seemed to have picked up their southern drawl unintentionally. My friends have noticed it on the phone that I'm drawing out my words. I was all "dawwnnnntown" instead of "downtown" and said "fahrends" instead of "friends" ;)

PS: Happy MLK day!

Posted by Tara at 7:01 PM PST
Updated: Monday, January 31, 2005 7:22 AM PST
Thursday, January 13, 2005
What Liberal Media?
Even though you might not be aware of it, there is a bias in the media, no matter which way you lean on the political spectrum. There will always be a spin or a slant to the news, because people from both the red states and the blue states are biased. For every book like Bernard Goldberg's Bias, which argues that the media is biased in favor of liberal causes and issues, there is a book like David Brock's The Republican Noise Machine, which says there are organized right-wing Christian voices dominating the media. It seems liberals want to blame the conservatives and argue that there is a conservative bias in the news and vise versa. It all depends on where you stand on the issues being mentioned in the news.

I do not believe that bias occurs only from the left or from the right, but that there is a general bias because people, who have opinions and views, report the news and no one single person is completely unbiased. EG: Lou Dobbs or Ann Coulter. Although books like What Liberal Media?, The Republican Noise Machine, and Bias, shows strong instances of when liberal biases and conservative biases have occurred, they do not prove an overall bias that is solely liberal or conservative that is dominating the media today. Instead, these books with their varying views reinforce the fact that bias can be seen on both sides of the political spectrum.


Ben H. Bagdikian writes in his book, The New Media Monopoly , "In 1983 there were fifty dominant media corporations; today there are five. These five corporations decide what most citizens will--or will not--learn." Since billion dollar corporate conglomerates control the outlets that supply America with news they also have the ability to manipulate what is shown and not shown, affecting public opinion based on what is beneficial to their monopolies. "They manufacture a social and political world," writes Bagdikian who hints at another bias besides conservative or liberal-- a money bias. He shows how the dollar and ratings have a stronger effect on news reporting than political agendas but how they can also go hand in hand.

Organizations are now making a conscious effort to battle bias and to report more fairly. The media tries to give the varying opinions a voice, but striving for balance in their reporting at times has led to there being more soft news and journalists being afraid to state their opinions as strongly as they once did. Being afraid to offend readers and take sides on an issue has led to the popularity of pundits and activist journalism, because there is a need for a critique on the media and news in general. After all, it is a Journalist's responsibility to be critical of people in political power and to analyze what is true and what is not, that is what American democracy and free press is about.

The idea of whether or not bias exists in the news is moot: it does. The bias is not in every report, but it has a presence, because people are biased even when they think they are not. Where people live, what they do, who they spend time with, where they live, all of this and more shapes their views and it is hard not to give more attention to your particular views and put a slant on them. I think the bigger question is not what kinds of biases are out there, but how much does it really affect public opinion, you are either one way or another already, how much will bias in the news change an opinion? In What Liberal Media? Eric Alterman writes, "a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

Yet, just because bias is already in the media does not mean we should accept it. I do believe the pursuit of objectiveness is noble and can be achieved. Every story should have two sides and journalists should strive for balance even in blogs, but obtaining even reporting will not eliminate bias totally.

(These are excerpts from an essay I wrote in my Media Ethics graduate course at NYU.)

Rush Limbaugh? Don't get me started...

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 7:54 PM PST
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Doin' the caw caw pigeon


So, I'm walking to work today and it was one of those warm mornings where I didn't have to wear a hat or scarf and was enjoying having the wind blow my hair around for once. Then just as I crossed the street and was nearing the subway entrance, a mad flying pigeon appeared out of no where, flying right at me. I sort of made a little squeal as I crouched down, hoping it would fly above me or veer to the left before making contact. Alas, it flew straight towards my head and flapped its dirty wings in my hair. It was so scary, if felt like a bat was in my hair or something and I could hear cooing noises above my ear, which made me squirm even more. I could have been screaming, I really have no idea for sure.

When the pigeon finally flew away--what seemed like hours later--I had a group of people looking at me from a distance but not wanting to get too close to the actual fiasco. Some of the women gave me a sympathetic look; men were looking at me as if I was crazy while I was busy checking frantically to see if there was any poop on my black coat or in my hair.

I tried my best to walk away gracefully and seem somewhat unfazed by the incident, I smoothed out my hair and walked down the subway steps as if this happened to me everyday and I was late for a day at the spa, lol. At least that's how I hope it looked to the people around me shaking there heads as if I invited the pigeon to have a romp on my head.

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 7:55 PM PST
New office, same cubicle


The office that I work at in Times Square, just moved from the 16th floor to the 9th floor. Although the new floor smells of fresh paint and is all shiny and new, I still have the same icky cubicle with a tinted window on one side, where my coworkers can see in.

*Good news: I'm away from loud cubicle neighbor guy who talks about nipples. The new office also has a foosball & TV rec room. Let the games begin!

*Bad news: I'm no longer near cute office boy, but he did stop by this morning to inspect my new space :) I'm also in a heavy traffic area since I'm near the printer and everyone keeps walking by. I better not access my official blog page, I'm sure the pink background and cosmo glasses will catch their attention and get me into some trouble.

Words of Advice: Never eat a powdered bavarian doughnut at work, even if it's free and especially if you are wearing dark grey pants. I look like a sloppy coke addict.

Posted by Tara at 6:41 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2005 9:52 AM PST
Sunday, January 9, 2005
Tara Reid's nipples---appropriate office conversation?
This new guy at work, who is in the cubicle next to me, keeps telling me about Tara Reid's nipple and how one came out at some celebrity event. He offered to e-mail me pictures of the Janet Jackson-like accident, "please don't" was my reply. Every time he says 'nipple' it seems to reverberate off the white office walls and into the quiet work area, making me cringe. Someone definitely needs a lesson on appropriate office conversations. The account managers behind us are on conference calls with clients and he keeps screaming, nipple. I was not really answering him, thinking he would get the hint that I had no desire to talk about Tara Reid's nipples, but he was not getting it. I finally was like, "um, can we drop it." He did thank goodness but now he's talking about Dave Chappelles show.

It also annoys me that he speaks so loudly in general and is always trying to have conversations between the plastic dividers, it's not like we are in a private office, everyone can hear, which is why I don't even like to make personal phone calls either.

On a side note, that slutty Tara Reid, so ruined the name Tara for all the Tara's of the world, me obviously included. I was able to deal with Tara Lipinski, after all she won a gold medal for America, but Tara Reid does not serve any purpose, she can't even act.

PS: Since I already broke one of my resolutions this year, I'm going to stick to another one. I am going to a Yoga class tonight at this Yoga center near my apartment that I've been meaning to try since this summer. I think it was featured in an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It's been awhile since I did yoga, I'll let you know how it goes.

News Article: Looming pitfalls of work blogs

Quality of condoms, Planned Parenthood does not protect
Consumer Reports conducted a study on condoms and guess what got the worse rated condom for both reliability and strength out of all 23 brands? Planned Parenthood. LOL! Isn't that just great, *shaking head* Full Article

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 2:22 PM PDT

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