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When Tara Met Blog
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Strike is over!
Transit Workers to Return . Phew!

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
Strike is over,
TWU is going back now,
Strike is over!

Now I won't have to worry about walking to Grand Central Station with all my bags in order to head to my mother's home for the holidays.

Update: Most of the trains and busses were back in service by Friday morning.

Posted by Tara at 8:29 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, December 29, 2005 8:00 AM PST
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
A tree grows on Wall Street

I now pass this pretty tree on my way to work. I think it looks even better than the Rockefeller one. This one is fuller, has large lights instead of the little ones and has xmas balls hanging. Plus look at the pillars of the stock exchange all decked out in a flag of lights.

Famous Last Words
Last week I compared the impending MTA Subway Strike to Y2K, thinking it was causing a lot of buzz and fear for nothing. I guess I should eat crow now, right?

So yeah, the strike has indeed happened and I'm working from my apartment today. My laptop is setup to the server and I'm using conference bridges to talk with my coworkers and our clients. Tomorrow I'll just have to leave earlier and head to New Jersey's PATH train, which will bring me to the World Trade Center stop. Hopefully it won't be as cold as it is today.

News: Last stop! 'Shut everything down,' says TWU chief as bus, subway workers walk

Strike Day 2: I made it to work today despite the strike. I just had to leave earlier and walk to the PATH train, which brought me to the World Trade Center but first stopped in New Jersey. So yes, I had to go to Jersey first in order to go back to downtown Manhattan. Crazy, but it wasn't too bad, just very crowded and out of the way. On the way back it was chaos as lots of people tried to board the little train. I had to wait until the third train went by to just get to the front of the platform. As I was standing there we all stared across the tracks to the empty NJ only bound trains and their empty seats and platform. One woman muttered, "This is the first time I've ever been jealous of Jersey." Poor Jersey it was the butt of other comments while on the train as we stopped at their Newport station one wise guy said, "Close you're eyes, we're in New Jersey." Yet, some people were getting off there so he was lucky he didn't get takin out Sopranos style, lol.

Strike Day 3: Took a cab with three people heading downtown to the financial district. Still cost $10 each, which would be what it would normally cost but when split by three people it would be a lot cheaper yet since the meters aren't running it's a basic fare of $10 for going through one zone. Whatever, I was warm and didn't have to be herded like cattle onto the PATH. Tonight K and I are walking back, since she works near me and we're headed to a big screen showing of It's A Wonderful Life. Yay!

Posted by Tara at 7:15 AM PST
Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2006 6:36 AM PST
Friday, December 16, 2005
Pinch me, I saw George Clooney
Although I was having a pretty shitty day on Thursday a dream of mine did come true. OK ladies, get ready to hate me. I met George Clooney, well not met but was in the same room as him. First let me say he's #1 on my jump list. I used to have a calendar just of his photos.

Anyway George was speaking at NYU Journalism School about his biographical film on broadcast journalist Edward R Murrow, Good Night and Good Luck. It wasn't easy getting tickets either. I had to put my name in a raffle to be in the 100 person auditorium and luckily I got picked, phew. His Gal Friday helped organize the event and definitely got a more up close meeting than I.

Back to George. He came right into the room and said hello before sitting down and being introduced and was super friendly and conversational. His confident, but low-key charmer reminded me of his character from One Fine Day. He was dressed in a tight black turtle neck shirt with black blazer over it. He looked like he walked off of a magazine cover, he looked that good, just like he does in his films. I'm sorry I don't have any photos, photography wasn't allowed and my phone does not have a camera.

Oh by the way the screenwriter Grant Heslov and Murrow actor David Strathairn (River Wild, Dolores Claiborne) were in attendance and answering questions too.

Besides the film itself George talked about his father, newscaster Nick Clooney, as well as his own experience majoring in journalism before deciding on a career in TV and film. He said he wasn't meant to be a journalist because he had a problem listening to the people he interviewed since he was already planning his next question and going through the list of questions in his head. Much was my problem concentrating for the first 10 minutes of his 'Inside the Actors Studio' like Q&A. I tried taking notes but I simply stared at his handsome face ;)

Here is what I did manage to catch. So George who directed and co-wrote the screenplay said that they almost did the film as a live television series instead of a feature film. His father and himself always admired Murrow but decided on exploring it as a film topic once he saw what was going on with people's civil liberties post 9/11. What concerned him was the idea that the government was practically saying you're with us or your against us, which reminded him of another era--McCarthy and his black list time.

In regards to the political attacks that he's been getting due to his politically minded films. He said, "I can't say I believe in freedom of speech yet then say 'but don't talk about me.' That's alright though, I can handle it." He did clarify that he doesn't go around spouting out his political convictions but does not shy away from answering questions during interviews. He also said that he was surprised that the film wasn't as controversially received then he thought it would be, but then said a lot has changed in the last 6 months and Good Night and Good Luck is a historical piece not solely a political message or even the fictional based film Syriana that is also out now. He mentioned that O'Rielly gave the film a good review but said he could not recommend George Clooney as a commendable human being, lol. He laughed about it.

Speaking of his good humor, when someone's cell phone emitted a crazy ringtone while he was talking he called out "Telephone!" the second time another cell went off (grr) he pretended it was his own mobile and that his agent was calling him. He also admitted that he was surprised that Good Night and Good Luck is still doing well and then he joked accrediting it to it being in black and white, and all the ladies going to see his costar David Strathairn, plus the heavy sex scenes. ;) He also joked that the 7.5 million it cost to make the film was subsidized by FEMA, lol.

When asked if he was afraid of taking the risk of making a black and white historical film, to which he replied "The riskiest thing he could do would be to chicken shit out of doing what he wanted to do or make."

Then a woman directly behind me asked a question and it was like the see parted and he was staring right at me *sigh* No, I didn't ask a question, I had nothing to say and was too busy enjoying what I was hearing and taking down notes.

David Strathairn asked a good question to the journalism audience, could Murrow exist today? Can broadcast journalists speak out against the system without being a pundit or ostracized?

Overall it was an interesting discussion, George was incredibly friendly, personable and amazingly intelligent and articulate. If it's possible my esteem for him has soared to new heights, haha.

News: George Goes Back to J-School.

Lecture: George Clooney

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Monday, January 30, 2006 12:34 PM PST
School's Out Forever!
I'm rocking out to Alice Cooper's song in my head right now. I handed in my last final ever. That's it. Undergraduate degree, check! Master's degree, (provided I get a B average) check! I already have a cummalitive 3.7 average, so even if I get a C, which I doubt, I'll be an official graduate graduate :) Stick a fork in me, I am done. Done, no more homework, just real work. It will be nice to just work full-time instead of doing school and work full-time. No more night classes, phew. Was it worth it? Yes, my writing has improved a great deal as did my journalism skills. I have to head back to NYU soon though, need to get all the alumni gear. Plus keychains and tees for the family. Note: if you are family reading this, please disregard the above statement. Thank you.

MTA Strike = Y2K?
So all week the threat of a possible subway transit strike wreaked havoc in the city but so far has turned out to be nothing. I didn't have to work from home or walk further than I usually do. My friend K slept over my place last night in order to have a shorter walk to work, all for naught. It's like Y2K, all the media fuss and disaster preparations that took place and then nothing the world contained on.

Posted by Tara at 10:56 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 12:07 PM PST
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Pac Man Diaries
Last night around midnight, on a work night mind you, Miss Ski Boots above me decided to play some music and I'm not talking the lull you to sleep kind. Even through my ear plugs--which I bought for these occasions--I heard the constant thumping of the bass from her speakers vibrating through the ceiling ... and my pillow.

When I finally fell asleep around 1:30ish I had equated the sound with the noise Pac Man makes when he eats a pellet. I ended up dreaming that I was searching for the moving, stomping cherry bonus point, trying not to get killed by Blinky and the other colored ghosts. Instead of being on a PacMan board though I was going back and forth on the Upper East Side grid, well I suppose it could have been the Upper West Side too. My race finally ended when I ran into a friend going into Central Park and my dream changed focus. Maybe my neighbor had decided to finally turn off her stereo and go to sleep. I know, dreams are only interesting to those who had them.

I actually have my own Ms. Pac Man machine. Not in my current tiny studio, but in storage waiting to be played again. It's the sit down cocktail table kind. My father gave me the one he had in his restaurant for my 10th birthday. I remember coming home to it in and seeing it sitting there in the living room of me and my mom's apartment and then all my friends and I playing it. The best thing was that I could enable it to accept quarters or open the coin holder and jimmy the free credit button.

The problem with having one in your apartment though is that it's really loud. I put cardboard over the speakers to help muffle the sound otherwise I couldn't play it in the evening or mornings so that I didn't disturb my neighbors. Over the years as I moved around it has graced my bedroom, a spare room, two basements and a living room. I stupidly covered the sides with large stickers when I was twelve and unfortunately it will look even worse if I attempt to remove them. I guess the ASPCA bumper sticker will have to stay.

The sad thing is that in all the years that I've had the machine, I've only been to level three before losing all my spare guys. My cousin holds the record at reaching board four. In my defense, It's the PacMan game with the extended screen, where you think you reached the end and then it moves to show you more and more dots. It doesn't have those sneaky passages either that let you go to the other side, nope you have to munch your way back and not get killed.

Food for thought: If Ms. Pac Man is supposedly married to Mr. Pac Man and begot a Junior Pac Man even, then why isn't she a Mrs.? Poor grammar usage, where is Lynne Trust?

PS: This is my 200th post!

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Monday, January 2, 2006 2:33 PM PST

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