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When Tara Met Blog
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Special Delivery
Look what I received today at work:

Sorry, mums the word. I once was sent a teddy bear but never flowers...and plus the bear was from my step dad :-P

The flowers above also happen to be the first photo that I've sent from my new Verizon LG VX-8300 cell phone that I got this week, and now that I finally have a camera phone do expect more photos accompanying my posts.

Posted by Tara at 12:58 PM PDT
Monday, June 19, 2006
Fainting Adventure
On Sunday, the hottest day this year in New York so far, I headed to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jersey for some roller coaster riding. I hadn't been since my 9th grade school trip back when the only big ride there was Batman The Ride.

While standing in the long line for Kingda Ka--the tallest, fastest roller coaster in the world or as a friend said Galaxy--I fainted from the extreme heat combined with lack of sleep and water. And when I write faint, I don't mean those dainty swoons that you see in old movies, I mean my body shuts down and I fall right there and then, with only a 20 second warning. I've once landed on my chin without even bending my knees. The scariest part for those around me is that I go extremely white and my eyes stay open without blinking, thus I look dead.

So this time I wake up on the cement floor to the words, "she's coming back," since my hearing is the first sense to come back to me causing everything to be super loud at first, then my sight, speech, feeling (which hurts the most since it feels like all my nerve endings are being turned back on at once) and then smell and for some reason I always end up smelling the scent of blood. Luckily my terrified friend Raphael was with me since I couldn't even walk over to the medics who were waiting beyond the fence. I don't remember falling just telling him that I was going to faint then waking on the ground to his words and much embarrassment and pain. Some guy in the line apparently gave me his water and another man offered to help carry me, which was all very considerate. Extremely embarrassed I rushed getting up to only get a few steps when I dumped the water over my head in order to snap out of it, but to no avail. I had to slump back down once again as I saw pairs of feet try to step around us on the line. I was then brought to the park's hidden air conditioned medics area, which resembled an army barrack. I was given a "grape flavored Gatorade derivative" (the EMT's words not mine) and ice to put on my temples and behind my neck to cool my body down.

After a little while my strength and color returned with the help of the grape liquid and a salty pretzel. Now I was pissed my day would be ruined and that we had missed the ride, plus also afraid we wouldn't know how to meet up with our other friends since we had all left our cell phones in the car. A water bottle later we headed back to the ride to see our friends just getting off of it. Feeling much better and determined to go on the fastest roller coaster in the galaxy (I'm still thinking there might be something cool on Uranus tho ;) I went to the security guards area to see if we could go back to the head of the line. Maybe not the wisest choice given my health, but that's me. Actually we ended up cutting, since they didn't even notice us go up the ramp to the loading carts area. My faint ended up lasting longer than the ride itself, it was that quick. So some good came out of my humiliation and ickyness, we didn't have to continue to wait on that line in that heat. After that I kept standing on the bridge near the water ride to be soaked by the big wave that results from it.

I've fainted since childhood many times, usually 2 to 3 times a year, due to seeing blood, feeling extreme pain, being dehydrated and now it seems from heat exhaustion as well. It runs in my family on my dad's side. After many many tests in college like an EEG, EKG, MRI, stress test, etc I was finally diagnosed with vasovagal, a.k.a. the classic faint syndrome or neurally-mediated syncope. Meaning I'm a fainter plain and simple and it's my bodies response to pain or my body being off. People with low blood pressure like me are more likely to have it too. "A vasovagal attack happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness. Typically an attack occurs while standing and is frequently preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheartedness and visual grayout." (WebMD).

Luckily I don't pass out from fear or anger which can happen to some cases with vasovagel. The only thing the doctor recommended was that I avoid stressful situations. I was like "yeah, ok I won't live then." I can try preventing my fainting sometimes by drinking a lot of water and eating more salt in my diet. WebMD also writes: "Some types of fainting seem to run in families. While fainting may indicate a particular medical condition, sometimes it may occur in an otherwise healthy individual. As many as half of people faint at least once in their life. Three percent of people develop it repeatedly." Of course I have to be in that 3%!

Posted by Tara at 7:48 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, June 19, 2006 7:59 PM PDT
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Strike a pose
there's nothing to it? Um I think not.

Last week I played "model" for a NYCPortraits Project that budding photographer Jenny Yee is doing. To build out her enviromental landscape portraits portfolio she reached out to me and several other people & couples to capture them in a NY envrioment that is important to them and/or to showcase their personality. I thought why not and figured I could also use the final photos for my writing bios and for all the conferences that I speak at. I was joking about the latter.

For my enviromental portraits I chose Chelsea Market--one of my favorite places in the City. It's near where I live and a spot that I love to visit, eat at and people watch. When I'm there I feel like I'm not really in the city. I'm always relaxed and at ease there too. It's also the home of The Food Network, NY1, and the Oxygen channel, plus the original Nabisco factory where the first Oreo cookie was made. Inside you can, see bakeries like Amy's Bread baking their breads behind clear window displays; sample awesome brownies from Fat Witch bakery; taste wine at Chealse Wines and pick up fruit, flowers, italian spices, kitchen supplies, jams and even fresh seafood. I especially enjoy the market's industrial artistic look of exposed pipes, brick and steel mixed with yummy food smells. Given my background in journalism I'll often read the paper inside on one of their stone benches or where ever I can find an available spot. I also like introducing the market and area to outsiders too, thus where I went for my photo shoot with Jenny.

Unfortuantely the weather was terrible, massive amounts of rain was coming down making for poor lighting, a bad hair day and wet clothes, plus creating the need to have to protect her camera while outside. On the upside, most of the photos she took were indoors and I got to show off my bright umbrella.

I posed, or tried to, for an hour and a half. It's so much harder smiling for a camera when you're not with friends or doing something in particular, plus even more so when a camera is being pointed right at you in close proximity.

Here is the final photo gallery that she put together. She really did a great job with the lighting that was available and keeping the photos itimiate. Keep in mind that she was working with such a difficult subject ;)

New DVD Review: Something New

Posted by Tara at 6:43 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:20 PM PDT
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Take Pride
Here's a plug for my artist cousin Ryan who is working on a project with some other high-end NYC designers to create a series of meaningful t-shirts that support a good cause.

Each tee design was inspired by the experiences of an individual American who is serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. So they're also a symbol of support. Plus 20 percent of the profits are donated to charitable causes that assist veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Political? Not its intent. They were designed to give people, especially younger and more fashion-conscious Americans a new way to show that they recognize and appreciate the efforts of Americans serving in combat. He personally designed the shirts "The 2nd of February" and "One Land, Two Missions."

Go check them out at

Posted by Tara at 6:34 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:55 PM PDT
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
The Lone Star State
The wedding last weekend in El Paso--the sun city--was a good time and most importantly provided me with the chance to sample some real Tex-Mex at KiKi's (Hispanic Magazine named it one of the nation's 50 Best Hispanic Restaurants) as well as riding on the back of a motorcycle while visiting the state of Texas for the first time. The heat (hitting 101 degrees on the last day) provided a great escape from the constant rain and unseasonably cold weather we've been having in New York and the desert mountains were majestic. I experienced some of the local night life too and had a great workout while dancing to Techno and House music at OP for a couple of hours after pre-dancing at the wedding reception earlier.

We also hit up chains like Chicos Tacos, which one reviewer wrote "If you go to El Paso without eating at Chico's Tacos at least once, I fear you will have missed the point of your visit entirely" and Whataburger. I can now see why Texas is considered one of the most overweight states in the nation, there are just way too many good food chains across the huge state.

We ended our trip by doing a quick jaunt across the border to Juarez, which was a lot nicer than my previous Mexican border experiences of Tijuana, where there was more poverty. I also drank too much there due to their 3 for 1 drink specials and was almost denied entrance back to San Diego (long, fun story for another post). Anywho, it was an interesting time to be in Mexico since the World Cup was going on and many cars sported shaving cream messages saying "#1 Mexico" on their back windows, plus lots of enthusiastic people were waving their countries' flag.

As for Texas being a red state and me being from a blue state, I actually didn't notice much difference, although it's not like I talked politics with anyone. In general I saw just as many Support the Troops car ribbon magnets here and there, but noticed the lack of rainbow bumper stickers and flags. Yet the number of Texas state flags flying were uncountable and literally everywhere, even tacked on restaurant walls. In contrast, I can't say I've ever seen a NY State flag outside of a court house or some state run facility. I guess we rely more upon our I Heart NY shirts and Yankees hats for state pride instead. Oh and I did spot a Budweiser truck in camouflage colors, which I have never seen here, but then again we don't have a military fort in Manhattan like Ft. Bliss.

Moving to the hot political topic of border control, I saw the fence that ran along the Rio Grande with the occasional Police car or truck patrolling by along the great stretches--no national guard or wall...yet at least.

Posted by Tara at 7:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 7:09 PM PDT

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