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When Tara Met Blog
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Captain Hook of the East Side
I've been a bit of a social butterfly lately, going to dinner parties after work and after my grad class.

A few days ago I went to a 75th birthday dinner for my friends' grandmother. The apartment was around 48th street on the East Side and decorated in a Victorian style. It was definitely a NYC party from a different generation, with all the women arriving in floor length mink coats and smelling of Shalamar and Channel #5. I had champagne courtesy of the waiters that were present and talked with a real-estate agent and a man with an eye patch. Mr. eye patch said he was a retired producer or director for Law & Order. I mentioned that I had interviewed Elizabeth Rohm, the blonde district attorney on the original version of the popular show. He then said that they had just been talking about her and wondered what I thought about her. I said I wasn't really impressed by her. He laughed at that and said she couldn't act and was hard to get along with, which is why she is being written off the show. I think it happened on last night's episode or so he said. I was itching to ask him about the patch but I didn't have that much champagne ;-)

PS: saw Super Size Me yesterday and it was really well done, intersting and funny. Although I was disgusted and barely wanted to eat that evening I have to say I was also strangely still craving the golden arches french fries, lol. I definately will avoid going as often now, not that I go that much anymore, but I'm not cutting myself off altogether.

PPS: Is it weird that I want one of these? Darth Tater: The dark side of Mr. Potato Head

Posted by Tara at 9:56 PM PST
Updated: Friday, January 21, 2005 3:06 PM PST
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Why it sucks being small
I was going to say vertically challenged but I thought, why sugar coat it?

* You can never reach items on the top shelf

* You often get asked for your ID because people think you're a minor.

* On the subway bad breath gets puffed your way.

* It's harder to find clothes that fit.

* When dancing with someone taller, you can't lean your head on their shoulder like they do in the movies, instead your nose is in their chest.

* You get called Gidget--girl midget.

Why it's good to be small
I'm going to try and stay away from the cliche, good things come in small packages, because frankly I'm not a fan of jewelry, which is what usually comes in tiny boxes and instead would prefer a big screen tv, which would come in a big box...I digress...

* When you can't reach items on the top shelf, you can point and have someone else get them down for you.

* You get asked for your ID a lot, and it can be flattering as you get older.

* Nobody on the subway can smell if you have bad breath

* Smaller clothing items are usually the first to go on sale.

* When dancing with someone taller you get a close-up view of their chest.

* Gidget, played by Sally Field or Sandra Dee, are cute, lol. Although I really did hate being called this in elementary school, and it was my own mother who started the nickname!

Yay I Made The Top 10

For the last few days I've made the top 10 list here and there at BE but then people click on my link and rate my blog with a low score and I'm back off, until someone gives me a high score and on it goes... But I'm glad to have made the list even at some point :)

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, January 22, 2005 12:21 PM PST
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

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