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When Tara Met Blog
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The sun did in fact make an appearance on the last two days of my 4 day trip to St. Kitts, although the constant gusting winds did not let up. But ce la vie, I still managed to get a bit of a tan and some natural highlights. Most of all, I chilled with my mom and that was nice. I also acted like a kid in a candy shop at the duty free shops, buying rum and Clinique, then add in the unique island jewelry that I kept buying from the friendly vendors, equals the re-allocation of my casino earnings, but again ce la vie. I'm wearing a fun wooden necklace today, which is cheering me up even though I'm back in dreary New York weather.

Oh so my mother and I were looking for some um... ganja to enjoy in the evening (we were on vacay and all ;) but only came across someone 'in the know' a of couple hours before I was leaving for the airport, so I was forced to pass. She, however, emailed me at work today informing me that she got two rolled joints for $5 and that there isn't any wind on the island now either. Brat!

Now here's the coincidence part that I mention in my post's title. On my return flight from St. Kitts to San Juan, seated in a very compact and cramped plane (being 5'2 at least has it's benefits) I started a conversation with the guy seated next to me or more like on top of me given his 6 foot frame and tiny tiny seats, poor guy his knees were hitting the seat in front of him, anyway I digress, it turns out he was two years below me at my undergrad, Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Now, the small private college had fewer students than my high school and I happen to sit right next to a student from there on a small afternoon plane leaving St. Kitts? How weird is that?

Being terrible with names and faces (good thing I'm a journalist!) I didn't recognize him, not that he remembered me either, but we learned that we sort of knew some of the same people and that I had watched him play in the Wheaton baseball games. He was on a family business retreat and headed back to Boston after San Juan and me back to JFK.

Don't you love random meetings like that?

Tonight, off to celebrate K's birthday at Kanvas.

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2006 7:41 PM PST
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Rain Rain Go AWAY!
77 F / 25 C
Mostly Cloudy

I'm online during my mini vacation because the weather has been crappy :( Lots of clouds, the sun just peeks through enough for us to run out to the pool then run back after being pelted with rain once we lie out on the lounge chairs. The 29 MPH winds have been constant, no stop and go, but more like a hair dryer, always blowing. Definitely not good hair days, but whatever it's at least warm.

On the upside the food is great, we had fried lobster and the amazing local Brinley vanilla rum--I'm gonna be bringing a bottle back home. The place is beautiful too, that is when you aren't being bombarded by the wind or having your drink blown on you.

I'm also up $60 in the casino so far, I was up a lot more but started spreading out my bets too much on the craps board. I did win by rolling a hard eight (my lucky combo), 1 to 9 odds too. Due to the weather, I'll most likely be back there this evening.

We rented a car so explored the highland during the bout's of rain and clouds. From the back of the fun, but tiny Charade smartcar we spotted many "wild" goats, tree monkeys and cows on the peninsula, sometimes hidden in the trees or brazenly crossing and blocking the road.

We took several snap shots:

Free Image Hosting at

News: Meanwhile the tech PR firm that I work at, Horn Group, was named TOP PR AGENCY IN NEW PRSOURCECODE STUDY .

Posted by Tara at 12:42 PM PST
Updated: Monday, January 23, 2006 5:51 PM PST
Friday, January 20, 2006
"I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend." -Red Shawshank Redemption For the last six year (shit has it been six years?) January's have been a difficult month for me. It brings memories and flashbacks of last holidays celebrated with my dad and then later his unexpected passing while I was home watching the Golden Globes hoping Friends would win and planning on seeing my dad the following day after school like always--neither happened. The night I found out that he died in his sleep drowning in his own fluid that was filling in his lungs, there was a terrible snow storm making the funeral a few days later even more miserable and difficult to accomplish. Four days afterwards I tried not holding my breath or scream as I passed his coffin, climbed the carpeted church steps and gave his eulogy at the high perched podium. Two weeks later, my mother took me to Cancun to help clear our heads and try to get us far away from where we were. It helped, her gesture and bonding even more so. Yesterday I went to a friend's father's wake, seeing her pain brought that week even more to mind. This Tuesday is the 6th anniversary since my dad's death (he'd only be 51) Tomorrow we leave for St. Kitts away from the cold, away from familiar surroundings. My mom and stepdad are going for 7 days but I'm only tagging along for four.

I think this should do the trick, don't you?

Be back Tuesday night.

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Friday, January 27, 2006 10:37 AM PST
Thursday, January 19, 2006
The best laid plans, who should plan a date?
I have been polling a few of my girlfriends to ask how they feel about having to plan first dates instead of the guys doing it.

You know the situation, you get asked out on a date and are pretty excited about the possibilities, and then he turns to you and says, "so what do you want to do?"

Hint: Girls are more likely to go on a date when propositioned with an actual offer IE "Hey, I was wondering if you'd like to go to __ with me. (no, that fill in the blank did not mean 'bed' lol ;)

It was unanimous among those that I asked, it is definitely considered a turn off when women are forced to plan a first date, not that they would turn down the date because of this, but most felt that it's not considered as exciting or dazzling when you know each stop that you're going to make. Granted, it's nice not going somewhere that you don't want to and having control in that sense, but the surprise element is often considered a plus on dates as long as the surprise isn't that he's married or some shocker like that. I know I'd rather my date take some initiative and me be out of my element, like say at a tractor pull, then actually having to plan the date for him.

Several times I've picked the restaurant and bars because the guys I were seeing were not familiar with the city since they lived in NJ or CT and that's understandable, but those dates definitely weren't as fun when I was continually coming up with suggestions on where to go and what to do. One of my girlfriends suggested that it emasculates the guy in their eyes because it's like they have to lead them around on a leash by taking charge of the date like that.

Don't get me wrong, presenting your date with a list of options is not a bad move and neither is asking if there are any types of food they'd prefer, but other than that make some plans, show that you gave some thought into the date and had been thinking about it ahead of time. Work a little.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be spontaneity and that you have to plan everything, because yes, then that's no fun either.

Two really nice first dates that I had consisted on agreeing to go explore a certain place (zoo, park, fair) or area of the city and then deciding on a whim together where to eat and what to do. So although not everything was planned the guy at least decided on an activity and got the ball rolling and it's fun discovering likes and dislikes as you choose restaurants and explore new surroundings.

Link: The best blonde joke ever.

Posted by Tara at 6:52 AM PST
Updated: Sunday, January 22, 2006 12:27 PM PST
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Poem: Italian Princess
A couple years ago during my senior year of college, my friend Nicki (Whose now married and living in Cali) joined me for a weekend trip home, during which she met my friends and heard stories about me and my family. Being the passionate poet that she is, she wrote a poem about the weekend. I was very honored and deeply impressed at how she was able to recapture the feelings of the weekend and the essense of my family. It was also interesting seeing the same weekend from outside eyes. Nicki was also the first person to graduate from Wheaton College in Massachusetts with a poetry concentration, read the poem below and you'll see why. Oh and she got the title, "Italian Princess" from a gold charm that's in my jewlery box, one my aunt gave me when I was in middle school or maybe even younger.

Italian Princess
By N. E. Tasker
She introduced me to her father
and then she said a prayer…
She made movements with her hands
as I stood in silence,
hovering over him as he lay
below the Impatiens that stared up at me.
She was in New York to see her Nanny:
someone unrelated by blood,
but linked by affection.
I was in New York to see how the absence
of family is crowned by the abundance of friends.

In the distance, the cemetery foliage is dying…
I don’t know this man beneath my feet,
but I’ve seen his pictures, heard his stories.
I don’t ask questions or force her to remember,
but I do listen when her memory speaks.

Forty-eight hours later
in Connecticut by the ocean,
we drank Merlot with her mother.
My senses virgin to the
maroon flavor of Clos du Bois,
she had to teach me how to relish.
The first sip, a raw introduction;
the second, the aromatic Napa Valley,
dismissing the sour fermentation;
the next, a noisy slurp splashing the tongue
and cleansing the palate;
finally, the swish of mouthwash-redwine.
Hard to remember, now,
the swallow of this drink
because it so quickly distorted my thoughts.

As the ruby liquid disappeared from
my glass, my mind drew crooked pictures
of family gatherings:
one-hundred plus people
imbibing on my new-found plum,
as they bring to life their past in pasta—
penne a la vodka and buttery cavatelli in
Settembre family red sauce—
each member glistening in yellow gold
as their voices chime high and their laughter
resonates in my ears.

It was then I saw
the shadow of an Italian Princess
and there I took a long drink
from her family tradition.
But it was in the constancy of shifting seasons
that death and absence silently drowned
in the ocean’s distant fury.

For more of Nicki's poems check out her poetry site I'm a fan of For What, Midnight Chant and Noon In New York City (I was there for that one too).

Posted by Tara at 6:54 AM PST
Updated: Friday, January 20, 2006 11:02 AM PST

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