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When Tara Met Blog
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Cox News Service

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Here's a wine to get all shook up over: It's the Elvis Presley wines produced by Graceland Cellars. The first vintages of Elvis Presley vinos were released last fall and sales have been extremely strong.

"We launched Graceland Cellars as a tribute to the King of Rock 'n' Roll," said Scott Cahill, president of Graceland Cellars' parent, Signature wines. The winery is in Hayward, Calif., a northern coastal area. "But while the soul of our company is in Memphis, our products are firmly planted in innovative California winemaking."

Getting Elvis Presley Enterprises to allow them to use the trademark took time and assurance of a quality product, he said. "We couldn't ask for a better partner than Elvis Presley Enterprises. People feel a real connection to Elvis and that opens the doors to our wines. The quality in the bottle is what brings them back."

Graceland Cellars is releasing 20,000 cases of the wines this year; area buyers can expect to see them in retail shops within the next month. Blue Suede Chardonnay, Jailhouse Red Merlot, and The King Cabernet Sauvignon will have a suggested retail price of $12 a bottle.

"Wine and celebrations go hand-in-hand," Cahill said, "What could be more fun than bringing Elvis to a dinner party?"

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, April 10, 2005 1:59 PM PDT
Sunday, April 3, 2005
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it, Vogue!
After a long week, my friends and I had a girls night out yesterday. The bar we went to had a black and white photo booth in the back. After a couple of Tiki drinks, we couldn't resist.

We tried to start with a group photo and then run out of the shot for single photos. I would drop to the floor, my other friend would press up against the side, while my other friend was supposed to make a funny face. Apparently, they got camera shy and couldn't think of what to do when the light flashed, because they are laughing while I was doing wacky things. Maybe that was their plan all along though ;)

Take a look, for one of the shots we were not ready for the camera to flash yet. haha

Attention Fellas! If you are supposed to meet up with a woman or are going out for the evening where you plan to pick-up or hook-up with some random lady, well remember this, BREATH MINTS! Come on, common sense. No one's breath smells good after beer or dinner. I habitually pop gum in fear I'll offend someone, it's not hard to do. Plus it costs less than $1 to buy! Just do it! Personally, I'd rather kiss an ashtray than ass breath.

Posted by Tara at 10:17 AM PST
Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2005 1:30 PM PDT
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

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