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When Tara Met Blog
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Seems Like Old Times
My college friend Jacquie is in from Boston and staying with me this weekend. She had business in the city on Thursday and extended her trip so she can hang a bit in the city.

When taking a taxi to my office, she hailed the same driver that she had from the day before and he remembered her and where he dropped her off even. In all my years here I can't recall ever riding in the same taxi, what are the chances even?

We spent the very warm Saturday in Central Park without jackets trying to find the Bethesda Fountain. Eventually we did after going from the east side to the west side and then having to phone a friend to look up the exact location on the Internet. Here's a photo of Jacquie before the fountain and one of me in it (it's empty this time of year).

That night we headed to Canal Room to see Debbie Gibson perform at their I Want My 80s Party. She started off with a bunch of jazzy Broadway hits, which we actually enjoyed a lot, especially the Cabaret song "Maybe this Time." Then she moved onto the pop stuff after a 10 min break. She looked great, very skinny, rocking different wigs & weaves for the different sets and full of energy. We were right next to the stage near a VIP seating area, which during intermission Olympic skater Sarah Hughes came in to sit down at with a group of other girls, apparently it was one of their birthday's. The crowd otherwise consisted of some sketchy people and some Gibson stalkers.

Guest Blogging: I took notes during my office's annual networking event and typed up a recap on their corporate blog, Toasting Digital Defrost: A New York State of Mind

NY News: Littlejohn's blood was found on plastic ties that bound Imette St. Guillen I say we cut off his "little John." The graduate student's murder was horrible and has many of my friends in the city concerned. My mother called me to remind me to not walk home by myself late at night and Jacquie said she was nervous about it this weekend while visiting too.

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Monday, March 13, 2006 10:44 AM PST
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Shopping at Sheckys Girls Night
Two of my girlfriends and I went to Shecky's Girl's Night last evening at the Puck Building (the same building they use to house Grace's office in Will & Grace). It's this big shopping event where jewelry, handbag and clothing designers/vendors come to display their wares, plus free cocktails and a goody bag when you leave. We had to pay $30 in advance, otherwise it's $45 at the door.

As soon as I walked in, the first booth that I stopped at, I bought something. I have no willpower! It's a beautiful necklace with a gold plated leaf and pink stone that hangs low on my chest and only cost $25. The rest of the night everyone kept complimenting me on it, so I guess I made the right choice. It was designed by Jennifer Young, whose website is unfortunately not up yet, but I'll post it when it is. My friend K bought a really cute handcuff charm and Angela got a nice green purse to use as a portfolio holder for her head shots. All three of bought these $3 no slide slim headbands from Scuni, because apparently headbands are coming back. The ones we got have little rhinestones on them too.

After those purchases we signed up for raffles, got some free samples, sipped from little bottles of Virgin vines (The Shiraz wasn't bad at all) and rummaged through our goodie bags, which included a full bottle of Skin Milk face scrub, which is really light and moisturizes. I'm going to buy their regular hand lotion as well, I had tried it on there and it was very smooth and had a fresh scent.

Just when I thought I had made it clear with just those two purchases, I also snagged a black long sleeved shirt from Candid Couture that has a pink heart and says "If you break it, you buy it." ($15)

News: A friend of mine from J-School, Dana Lerner, wrote about Sheckys Girls Night back in November, to read it check out Fashionistas Flock to Shecky's Girls Night Out

Posted by Tara at 12:16 PM PST
Updated: Thursday, March 9, 2006 2:33 PM PST
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
The Superstar Pastry Princess
I wrote the following article for my food writing master's class last year at NYU and am honored to say the pastry chef that I profiled is also my friend. She has asked me though to not to use last names or restaurant names on my blog though, because she says the business is cut throat and the head chef just fired someone for speaking to a local paper without permission, and especially since, and I quote her "your blog gets more hits than a French whore *grin*." Bon appetite!

By Tara Renee Settembre

When you are the pastry chef at a five star restaurant in Maine, which is frequented by elite guests such as the Bushes, the pressure is on. There is even more to prove when you are the only female cook in that kitchen too. But when the Boston Globe reviewed the establishment last summer and found the cuisine just average, except for the pastries and desserts that is, which were rated as excellent, well then victory is sweet, literally.

While the other chefs read the review out loud to a chorus of groans, the six foot, 26-year-old, Jeanie, who trained at the Baltimore International Culinary, finally felt vindicated after years of harassment and abuse in the male dominated kitchens.

“I felt sort of like the evil step child when the review came in. It separated me from my team a.k.a. the guys in the kitchen. I was back to being the pastry princess and not one of them anymore. So in that aspect it sucked. However, behind closed doors I was doing some serious praising of myself for coming so far and not getting slammed. It was a sense of real accomplishment,” admits Jeanie.

On her initial interview at the restaurant, the chef told her she had three strikes against her. “He said, ‘You are a woman, an American, and on top of that a New Yorker,’ not something they liked, but then he opened the door and introduced me to the rest of the staff,” says Jeanie with a laugh of recollection about her 12 hour interview, where she joined the cooking team for a day and had to come up with new recipes on the spot based on different regions of the globe. (read more)

Posted by Tara at 7:08 AM PST
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 6:40 PM PST
Saturday, March 4, 2006
How to Win an Oscar
For Best Director:
  • Make a LOT of films and the Academy will eventually award you for your contributions to the arts, especially if you suddenly change genres or film something out of your usual norm. IE: Spielberg for Saving Private Ryan.
  • Be an actor turned director like- Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford and Kevin Costner who have all won.
  • Be the hot new director making one of your first directorial debuts, a.k.a Sam Mendes for American Beauty.
  • Hope that your film wins Best Picture, and you're more than likely to receive an award as well.
  • Be a Man - As of yet a woman has never won Best Director :(

    For Best Actor:
  • Transform you're features. Robert DeNiro gained over 50 pounds to play boxer Jake LaMotta in his award winning role Raging Bull.
  • Play a nut or someone who's mentally handicapped / unstable. (Jack Nicholson did this for both of his Best Actor awards for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and As Good as It Gets. Tom Hanks as Forest Gump, Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man", Geoffrey Rush Shine and Laurence Olivier in Hamlet)
  • Or play someone with a physical disability like Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot, and Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Think the hunchback Richard the II, a physical impairment can give an actor great leverage.
  • Star in biography and play a real person. Ben Kingsley Gandhi, Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur, Robert DeNiro Raging Bull, F. Murray Abraham Amadeus and Charles Laughton The Private Life of Henry VIII.
  • Do two good films in a row or somewhat consistently and you'll eventually get handed an award to make up for not getting one for a previous role. It's the only way to explain Russel Crowe winning for Gladiator.

    For Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress:
  • If you're pretty then play someone less attractive. Lose the makeup, and show the lines. (Sally Field "Places In The Heart", Nicole Kidman "The Hours")
  • Take on an accent! Meryl Streep did and won for "Out of Africa" and "Sophies Choice", so did Francis McDormand for "Fargo".
  • Be Katharine Hepburn, after all she's won four of these!
  • Play a prostitute or a woman of the night. It worked for Kim Basinger in "LA Confidential" and Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite. Also Jane Fonda turned her hooker role into a Best Actress performance in Klute.
  • Be an older actress or a has been making a comeback after a couple of decades. Geraldine Page finally got her award in the 80's for A Trip to Bountiful. The same happened with Ingrid Bergman who came back to Hollywood after a prolonged absence to win for Murder on the Orient Express. At the very least this will be sure to get you a nomination like it did for Gloria Stuart in Titanic.
  • Don a costume like Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love.
  • Play a cross dresser like Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry and Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously. (And now maybe Felicity Huffman?)

    More: Check out my Oscar analysis on Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for this year's awards at Film School Rejects

    Tonight: Having an Oscar viewing party at my place. I'm making hot chocolate spiked with Kahlua & Malibu rum and trying out the fondue set that my landlords gave me for the holidays.

    Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
    Updated: Tuesday, March 7, 2006 7:34 AM PST
  • Friday, March 3, 2006
    My First Opera
    I’d love to say that I wrote my first opera but no, I just attended my first opera. I've read Puccini's La Boheme and Turandot and seen TV versions but last night was the first time I went to the MET Lincoln Center to see an opera live. My friend had an extra ticket so we went together to see Samson et Dalila a French opera by Camille Sainte-Saens. The biblical story about betrayal and seduction, which paints of course the woman (Dalila) as the evil temptress and destroyer of faith and man, so not an upper really.

    First of all, being in the Metropolitan Opera Theater is amazing, incredibly high ceilings and four rows of balconies over looking the stage. We had orchestra seats right in the center. I was afraid I’d have no idea what the actors were going to be singing about, but in each seat are little screens that provide the lyrics in English. The size of the cast was also amazing; at one point there were 82 people on the stage belting out in operetta, which was very powerful. The set was sparse but had modern art screens in the background that were very evocative. However, yes not being the great Puccini, this opera was a little boring and has three acts and two intermissions. My friend even nodded off for a little bit as did a man in front of us and a woman next to us. I don't blame them because although beautiful the show was long and dragged on a bit, plus the beautiful singing was very relaxing, especially with the glass of champagne we drank.

    I thought more people would be dressed up and many were, but not like Cher in Moonstruck and some attendees wore jeans even. I guess it's the same with any theater shows now-a-days.

    Overall it was a great experience and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go.

    Posted by Tara at 9:14 AM PST

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