Friday, April 30, 2010

FLASH_____ FRIDAY: Moving On, Perhaps?

It has been a week without a post, and in my punitive mind this is not acceptable.

But I'm going to tell the punitive part of my mind to shut the fuck up so I can focus on the things that are making me feel good instead. Take THAT punitivity! You've been punitively powned.

I was planning on writing a long post about how this apartment search was making me go bonkers, but today I finally found a place that I will hopefully be able to call home.

I'm superstitious, so I'm not going to say anything more than that until I fork over the money and finalize the deed. Until my feet are planted firmly in Greenpoint and not in the hell-hole I call home right now.

Maybe I'm exaggerating. There was a time I was hopeful about my new apartment. Kensington was everything I thought I needed: space. nature. beautiful homes. closet space. the Q train.

But you know what Kensington is to me right now?


The Boom Boomboomboom Boom vibrating through the chair, straight through my seated bum, making my heart pump spasmodically to the same beat. Blood pressure rising. Urge to thrust fist through floor and grab the nearest pothead I can find and scream so loud that my spit shoots down their throat. The woman with lopsided breasts, teeth missing, her face so shockingly busted that my eyes almost bulged out of my head the first time I saw her.

Don't lecture me. I'm allowed to be mean when I spend $1200 on a place that broods such aggression. Where you reach to grab your toothbrush and a cockroach says hello. Where hot water isn't hot. Even unexplained specters, fueled by the negative energy of our heated anger, have plagued us.

I will miss the antique Victorian homes....lazy afternoon brunches at Connie's....The walks in Prospect Park. Rocky's Pizza....The reliable Chinese place that gave us an extra soda for delivery....That store called "Tis Da Season Too."...The sign over the paternity test clinic that asks "Does he really have his father's eyes?"...The way the light comes through our windows during the day....the predominantly Jewish car wash....

Dear Kensington, you are not all to blame. In the was good. But it's time for a change. Ive found a place with friendly neighbors and a landlord that might as well be my third grandmother. Where the neighborhood has hardly changed since 1920. The streets are vibrant and cozy, sharing the bustle of the city life and the charm of a main street suburb. Polish groceries on every corner. Friends that live only a subway ride away.

There's even a dishwasher.

So, I apologize for any disappointment in this Friday's post; it's not so much of a flashback, as much as it's a flashforward. Hopefully, into a better future.

And no more fucking reggae.

Friday, April 23, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: "Unkosher", the Trailer

Well....2006 is not that far back of a "flashback", so I may be cheating here a little. But I certainly have grown over the past 4 years, so I deem it fair.

Here it is, a trailer based on the self-documentary, the catalyst from which this very blog was formed....
"UnKosher," 2006
Director, Writer & Editor
Documentary, NYU Undergraduate Film

*This has also just been updated on my website, along with all my other film works. So, you know, if you want to continue to hear me toot my own horn, be my guest.

Friday, April 16, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Matlock Corrupts My Youth

I knew that would get your attention. I'm will be talking about Matlock, and how as a sweet little girl I was charmed by his elderly wit into committing a devilish deed; but first:

I have a new professional website. Thoughts? Concerns? Airborne tomatoes? (Whatever, this site is a helluva lot better than redirecting people to my film blog constantly. I need to grow up sometime, people.)

Speaking of growing up, I shall now continue doing the opposite, and tell you all a little tale for...

(the colors make it super-fun!)

As most of you might have already figured out, I wasn't very popular in school, and so even elementary days were tough to get through. This may have been completely inside my head, given that I was extremely shy and thought everything was my fault, but I'll opt to play the childhood pity card today.

I remember sitting in my 2nd grade art class doing some sort of sculpture and generally talking about things that probably seemed really important at age 8, but most likely weren't.

The two "most popular" girls - each with the same letter in their first names (birds of a feather flock together, especially the bitches) - were sitting across from me. "Popular" meaning: one had a training bra, the other an acting trainer. (I could say I had the training pants, but not sure of the bed-wetting timeline here...)

At some point during the conversation, things got ugly. I don't remember what we started arguing about, but it didn't matter:
they were right, and I was stupid, ugly, worthless and, of course, wrong. After the two had thoroughly beaten my self-confidence into a quivering mass of worthless scraps, the familiar saltiness of tears began to resurface in my throat, while almost simultaneously my head fumed like Mt. Vesuvius. But which emotion to act upon?

I was tired of being the shy one, the easygoing one, tired of being put on the spot and then laughed at because everyone knew I wouldn’t do a thing about it. It was time to fight back.

Most people might t
urn to Jesus at times like these, but at home we had our own religion: television. Every night at dinner, we would all gather round the table completely ignoring eachother while we watched the small B&W TV mindlessly, entrapped within the world of 90210. One of dad's other favorites was "Matlock;" that rapscallion of a lawyer with his smart wit and snow white hair! He must have been the perfect role model for an 8 year old - after all, we had so much in common: we both wet the bed and were generally grumpy about life!

In that moment, when I was up against my vicious classmates, unable to defend myself, I thought, "WWM[atlock]D"?
Earlier that week, Matlock had lost a case to some stuck-up lawyer, and he had felt the same sense of shame and anger. And what had he done? He had called him a jack-ass.

So I turned my eyes away from the girls, so the fear in my face was hidden, and muttered: jack ass.

They stopped talking. "What did you say?" they gasped in disbelief. At first, I was overcome with triumph! They would have never though to use such a clever word!

But almost immediately afterward my stomach nearly dropped to the ground. No second grader uses that word, because it's BAD.

Jack ass fail.

They were already telling the art teacher by the time I realized my fatal mistake. Once my homeroom teacher came back, I performed the walk of shame as I faced them both, hot-faced and ruined: all my exemplary elementary years (about 2 of them) flashed before my eyes in a taunting whirl. They were stunned at my language...I had never caused any trouble before. By the time word got around to my mother, I was done with the incident. I never wanted to talk about it again. It was a mar on my record, and it was only the beginning of a youth full of embarrassments.

The worst was that I had tried to stand up for myself, and yet still failed. I was the bad guy somehow. It appeared to me that keeping quiet was the safest way to get through life.

It took me a long time to learn that keeping the anger inside was like trying to hold in your shit. One of these days, it's bound to hit the fan. Nowadays I curse people off all the fucking's become part of my daily language. And it makes me feel better.....sort of.

What else did I learn? That TV really does influence kids.
And don't trust lawyers; they're jackasses.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Crochety Crocheter, (or the Pains of Getting Old)

It's a gorgeous Wednesday: the sun is out, the temperature is fair, and instead of being stuck inside at work not really enjoying it all, I am sick in bed, really not enjoying it.

If my immune system were capable of answering me apart from waves of nausea and the secretion of more respiratory-blocking mucous, I would it address it as follows:
Dear Body,
Since when have I had allergies? Why do I feel like an elderly woman that will quite possibly fall and then not be able get up at any given moment?

This bit is getting a little ridiculous. I am 24 years old for god sakes. Let's not continue to be sour about the recent influx of pizza and lack of exercise over the past......year. We need to work together. And I need to get shit done.

Yours sincerely,
Tara (the brain part)
No one warned me that after 21, you literally lose 40% of your health. Where did my energy go? My immunity to nasty, body-invading elements? My ability to climb more than two flights of stairs without getting winded?

Sometimes I really believe that I am becoming an elderly woman. Suddenly the old taunts of "Grandma Tara" are coming true: and this time, it's not just about wearing a shawl everywhere and using phrases out of the 1920's. It's both physical and psychological.

When I started working my 10 hour + per day job, I realized that my ability to concentrate passed 8pm had diminished. So had my physical ability to say, stand up straight and finally, to actually stay awake. I started turning in for the night around 10:30/11pm.

By that time, most people my age haven't even gotten drunk enough to puke yet.

I can't even think about going out late on a weekday unless I want to be a zombie during work hours. And even 7 hours of sleep is not enough to burn the daily oil on. Ten hours of work is a bitch. And so am I, if I don't get my fucking sleep.

Like my lovely elderly grandma (who is nowhere near being a bitch), I have developed a plethora of aches and pains that I had once scoffed at when complained about by older folk. I'm quite certain I'm developing a hunchback from leaning forwards on my laptop all day, and my spine seems to forever be out of place and knotted into god-knows-what excruciating mess of deteriorating muscle. After just a day of walking a little extra than usual, my legs feel like rubber, and they chafe easily in cold weather. I can tell when it's going to rain, as my jaw begins to ache in remembrance of a previously painful wisdom tooth extraction.

Also, I now regret all those times I boasted that I had never felt a headache before. Because I have. And they suck. Best of all are the sinus headaches, which I've been having more and more with the onslaught of allergies. It's as if someone is trying to push a brick wall outwards from inside your face. Constantly.

I NEVER had allergies until last year. I had one bout with sinusitis and from then on my head become a ticking time bomb. At the slightest bit of congestion, I freak the hell out. It could just be a cold; OR it could be an infection that renders me incapacitated in bed, hiked up on antibiotics and having fever dreams with melting clocks. Over the past year and a half, I have feel victim to my sinuses three times.

Now, I'm stuck at home on a spring day afraid to even breath the air, since the record high pollen count has left my throat raw and my head heavy. I tried going to work yesterday, but felt as if there were cartoon-like putrid sick bubbles seeping out from my breath all day. I walked around as if I needed a cane and a couple of pills to make me lucid.

So today I decided to lay low and get the pollen demons out of me; although they are proving difficult to get rid of. I thought maybe I'd get some minor stuff done at home while I have the time;

My body simply pines for the comfy bed, a cup of tea, and a Rosamunde Pilcher novel. Throw in some Advair and an over-sized flowery muumuu, and I'm ready to party like I'm 89.

Friday, April 9, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: More Zorts, Of Course

Yes; it's time for more zorts.

If zorts (or as they are more formally called, zortians) are unfamiliar to you, then please refer to my past bloggentry (it's got a nice ring to it no?) concerning the origin and fascination behind these green little rapscallions.

I, unfortunately, cannot take all the credit for their whimsical creation (this entry is just so chock full of word goodies!). The talented Ed Emberley knew not what he created in these six-circled space creatures.

I promised I would dig up some of my old zortian doodles for your viewing pleasure. They were my escape during boring schooldays; I would use them for math sheets, word quizzes, note-taking reminders, and as characters in school projects.

Yes, I was a weirdo, but fuck you, zorts are awesome.

That said, welcome to...


Some early drawings of the zortian species. Like humans, they also enjoy being stylish. Apparently, wearing checkered clothing amongst sad Charlie Brown Xmas Trees is considered fashionable on Planet Zort.



A woofler (sort of like a horse) dog..seen here sniffing zits. Yes, you read right.

The fwap...not as friendly as the woofler. Lets out a noise that sort of goes like this....

"FWWAAAAP!" Thus, its name.


When I was a bit older, I was moved to write stories about the creatures, utilizing my exceptional compositional skills.

At the beginning of the story, the Zorts meet a Rok, a most despicable creature that ironically becomes polite when you hit it with rocks. I wonder if this trick would work with New Yorkers.

The tall creepy birds are Gleeks. Like all gleeks you know, they like to sing awful musical theater and sulk around all the other cool aliens.

Further into the story, the zortians leave Planet Zort and encounter Planet Earth (of course) where they land on an island, enter a lighthouse and encounter a boy with a backwards cap. I've spared you the rest of the visuals. I'm sure you can imagine....


I was quite cheeky as a child. Not sure when I drew these, but   I thought myself pretty clever.

Note my interpretation of early 90's GenEx fashion trends, and my bold, new ideas for selling toilet paper. Charmin, eat your heart out.


In middle school I continued to incorporate zortians into my life. This time, they helped me cope with the harsh transition from childhood to maturity. I wasn't about to give up without a fight. Years later, I'm still fightin'.

When finished with vocab quizzes early I would doodle on the paper, hoping to give my teachers a bit of humor and a break from the shittiness of dealing with moody, hormonal teenagers. Zorts were able to take on a variety of roles....


My 8th grade self being transported to the Planet Zort....accidentally.

Perhaps that's where I truly belong.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Unscheduled Flashback. Deal.

Sooooo, I haven't been writing very frequently these days. STFU, it happens.

It's been absolutely crazy at work, then there was Easter in Ohio, and when I DID finally get a moment to myself, it either didn't last very long, or my brain could not scramble together coherent words worth writing down; it would have sounded something like Bill Cosby talking whilst fully submerged in Jell-O.

That said, I've been unable to keep up with my Flashback Friday (I only lasted two weeks....this is not a surprise.) Each day I attempted to begin writing one to redeem myself, cleverly naming it with the use of the current day: Monday Memories.....Time Travel Tuesdays....

But alas, shit happens. So screw alliteration. It's a fucking Wednesday and I'm gonna talk about my childhood.

As you know, I love to reminisce, especially when I'm back in NJ, sifting through my treasure trove of junk, now piled carelessly in our attic after my room was taken over (thanks little sis!). This can also be described as my tendency to hoard massive amounts of childhood paraphernalia in an effort to cling to the past. Whichever romantic notion you prefer.

I do not shy away from sharing the great colored pencil masterpieces of my imaginative youth. They are the gentle reminders of a simpler life, where diner place-mats served as canvases, and people were drawn with no necks. Every idea seemed like a good idea. Like the time I wrote the label of every room in marker next to the light switches: cause everyone needs to be reminded of what room they're standing in!

Here a few gems I was able to dig up last weekend:

"Tara's Different Kinds of Cats," My First Book
 I must have been at most 5 when I crafted this masterpiece. At least I hope so. I don't even know why I made this book about cats....I wasn't a big cat person. My guess is that I only knew about 2 kinds of dogs, but at least 5 different types of cats. They were also easier to draw.

This was followed up by "The Parrot and a Computer on a Stick," inspired by some interesting pencil tops.

"An Un-Ordinary Family," My First Script
When I was about 7-9 (the years are blurred here), I came up with what I thought to be the most groundbreaking and fantastic idea for a play/movie ever imagined: a kooky family with an uncle named Popie and an aunt who hoards cat food, and their general crazy shenanigans (gee, wonder where I got that idea...) My cousins Beck and Missy were giddy with excitement at the prospect of acting this out. We often put together our own plays to perform in front of the family.

This particular performance debuted at Missy's house alongside our other hit "Sometime's You're Gonna Get Hurt" (a musical, complete with a namesake theme song.) But "Unordinary" was different; this was gonna be Hollywood big.

I started the script and tried to put together a production in 3rd grade (see my above announcement that was taped to our classroom door). This plan eventually fell through, since attention spans at that age are slim. Apparently, I assumed that all scripts were just a continuous stream of consciousness that took up three columns to a page.

"Return to Chewandswallow," One of My 1st Rip-Off Books
I say one of my first rip offs because the first one I wrote was actually based on a Full House episode where D.J. befriends a horse. I was so proud of myself, I brought it to class to show off (man, I was such an egotistical little first grader). Then one girl, who probably meant no harm at all, pointed out that she had watched that Full House episode the previous night too. Bitch.

Anywho, after my devout love of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," I decided that there should be a sequel. (They literally came out with one a few years later....but whatever.) The big deal here was that my mom taught me to sew the binding myself. I must have been tired after doing all that, which probably explains why the rest of the book was done so crappily. I prefer the laziness factor over the risk of being perceived as retarded.

"Personality T-Shirt," Take This As You Will
We had to make a t-shirt design that displayed our personality traits. Don't judge; it was 1996 for god sakes.

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