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When Tara Met Blog
Friday, April 1, 2005
The Shop Around the Corner
A little children's store on the corner near my apartment, Big Fun Toys, is going out of business and it reminded me of the movie, "You've Got Mail." I often passed it and once bought a little finger puppet there and Shirley Temple paper dolls for my cousin. I never really gave the shop much thought, except for when I was dodging all the strollers that were in front of the place.

Inside, the greedy people rummaged through the 50% inventory as the sales people replied tersely to their abrupt questions, like were they selling the lamp at the register? Little kids carried dolls and pulled on their parents pants waving their prizes. One woman kept repeating to the owner, an aging blond woman, that, "You don't understand how upset I am." The owner smiled and said she was upset too and her young coworker patted her on the back as she rang up the sale.

Not able to resist the prices, I bought a Sponge Bob Square Pants pool paddles for my cousin Selena and a battery operated ball for my baby cousin, Anthony. As the owner processed my credit card, she told me in a sweet voice, "Oh that's a beautiful name, It's one of the prettiest I've sold to." This made me feel even sadder that she was losing her shop ;)

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 1:48 PM PDT
Crunch Gym, Let's Get Physical
I went to Crunch Gym for a trial membership and "won" a free week. It's this gimmick, you go and scratch off a Crunch membership ticket and it reveals how long your free period is, you can do it on their site too. They claim that you could win a year for free, but like mine they probably all say "1 week." Anyway, it's a nice gym. Four floors and the one near me is 80% female, which I like. I hate how some gyms have become meat markets and pick-up places, where girls parade around in spandex and sports bras that lift and separate. I'll probably join once my week is up or maybe next month, when my Yoga classes run out. Becuase this gym also has Yoga, belly dancing and even Retro-Robics (a la Jane Fonda and disco music).

The sales people at the gym reminded me of the Ben Stiller gym in Dodgeball. The guy who showed me around the place gave me a speech saying how much better Crunch is than any of the mom and pop places, they even have their own line of clothing and energy bars and drinks. On the purple painted walls are motivational signs that read "We like you," I almost spit out my VitaminWater when I turned the corner and saw it, haha. I think a painted cuddly bear was next to the sign. In fact the gym has a league where the trainers from different crunch gyms compete against each other. lol! That would be worth watching.

I did 30 mins on an elliptical machine, while listening to music on my iPod and reading the headlines on CNN about the Pope, which was on the TVs in the gym. Until a man got on the machine in front of me, with white hair all over his back, escaping the confines of his muscle tee, from there on out I just stared at the stats listed on my machine.

Technically, I could go to NYU's gym, but I'm being kind of snobby and cowardly, because I do not want to workout with all the young undergrads or the students in my grad program.

Continuing on my health kick, I stopped for a smoothie at Jamba Juice, which is my new fav drink spot. I even bought a gift card there instead of renewing my Starbucks one. Warning TMI ahead: the fiber shots that they can add to the smoothies for free, really work.

Posted by Tara at 11:20 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, April 2, 2005 9:26 AM PST
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
The Pleasure of My Company
I've always been impressed with Steve Martin, the Renaissance man. We all know he can do comedy and act, and he even wrote the witty film Bowfinger too. A few years ago, I saw his paintings at The Belagio in Vegas and have been reading his witty articles in The New Yorker for years. But now I'm also enamored with his books. Granted they are not adventure and plot driven but they are insightful and I love getting lost in his words and writing style.

In his first novella, Shopgirl, I was amazed at how well he understood women. I was like, guys know that about us? lol. Although I must warn new readers, at times throughout the book I also felt depressed like the heroine was.

Last month I read his second book, The Pleasure of My Company, which has now been released on paperback. It's about a male character and his OCD obsessions and his struggle to overcome them. Again it is Martin's commentaries on society and people are what is really interesting.

The following description really impressed me, I'd love to be described and analyzed so thoroughly by another person. But then again I might not like what I hear ;)

"I see something that describes her more clearly. It occurs in the pauses in her speech when her eyes fix on an air spot roughly waist-high and she seems to be in a trance. And then suddenly it's as if her mind races, trying to catch up to real time, and she continues right where she left off. If you saw her in these moments, you might think she was collecting her thoughts in order to go forward. But I see it another way: her mind is being overwhelmed by two processes that must simultaneously proceed at full steam. One is to deal with and live in the present world. The other is to re-experience and mourn something that happened long ago. It is as though her lightness pulls her toward heaven, but the extra gravity around her keeps her earthbound."

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2005 8:03 AM PST
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
I'm ready for my close up Mr. Demille
I just got back from hosting another TED-TV episode for Manhattan Cable TV. I had hosted the wild Greenwich Village parade for them in October.

This time it was for the 8th Annual Timmy Awards, which are awards given to up and coming talent featured in the magazine Talent In Motion. There was a fashion show and some musical performances.

The segment airs on Sunday, April 10th, 7:30 p.m. Manhattan Cable TV, channel 56 on Time Warner Cable. Channel 108 or 111 for RCN Cable.

I have no broadcast journalism training so I learned a lot from the Oct taping by just throwing myself into the deep end. So this time I think I did a better job. I did not dart my eyes away when the camera went close-up or ended my smile too soon.

It's difficult trying to interview someone on the fly or deliver the little intro spots off the top of my head, while also remember those annoying things, like facing the camera and not the person I'm talking to, smile, etc.

I think I'll stick to print and blogging.

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 9:40 PM PST
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Teri, euthanasia and my sister
I try not to have my blog be political and for the most part I keep it fluffy and stick to non heated issues. But I?d like to briefly talk about Teri Schiavo, after all she is currently the #1 blogged about person right now.

I feel for everyone involved in this case, Teri, her husband and her parents. I do believe that it is a personal decision and that it should be up to the family as well. I?ve held my tongue on the subject even when my fellow grad students were discussing the issue in class. One student commented that Teri?s husband obviously does not love her anymore. But if that was the case he would have taken the money that was offered from the anti-euthanasia people and let his wife continue as is.

Some feel that it?s not right to take life into your own hands and that taking Teri off the machines goes against God?s natural plan. But there is nothing natural about having machines breathe for you. Fifty years ago Teri would have died naturally by now--modern technology is what is keeping her alive. If her family allowed the media?s cameras to show Teri's current condition with her laboriously breathing in her hospital bed and photos of her bruised body, then there is no way you could think that this is natural. Not that starving the poor girl is any more humane, urghh its just a hard case because we have no idea what SHE wants.

Let?s go back 23 years, when my mother was pregnant with me (although she didn?t know it) and my sister Serina (isn?t that a beautiful name?) who was three years old. One autumn day she chased her dog Toto across the street in front of her house and was hit by a careless driver. Going through what no parent should, my mom saw her daughter lying lifeless underneath a car.

When I was 11 and taking a bath with my mom, she pulled me into her arms and told me she could still see Serina?s little feet when her body was lifted onto the stretcher and brought into an ambulance. Desperately holding one another, we both cried as my mom went into real detail for the first time about Serina?s death. The doctors said she was brain dead and would never truly be ?alive? again; she would only be a vegetable and would never breathe on her own. After a month of my parents living in the hospital, watching their daughter being poked with needles every couple of hours, and seeing her chest being lifted off the bed as the machines pumped air into her tiny lungs every couple of seconds, they realized as desperately as they wanted their child alive and always with them, they could not stand to see her exist like this. With a priest in the room, my parents turned off her machines and my mother gathered her child into her arms one last time, like she did to me in the tub that day, while she told me of how Serina?s skin turned blue and how her baby was finally able to rest peacefully and not simply existing in a comatose state for the rest of her days.

This was obviously not an easy decision on their part, nor anyone forced into a situation like this one. So, it seems the only way to have your beliefs be carried out in an event like this is by writing instructions in a living will for your family. I know several people who have done so already.

Live Wire Article: "NYU Students Prepare for Death" by Jennifer Richards

Stat: A woman's risk of untimely death increases by four times in the three years following the loss of a child (Newsweek)

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2005 10:48 AM PDT

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