Saturday, January 28, 2006

Everything you always wanted to know about a man, you learn from AIM

My mother is a spy! She’s also an excellent judge of character. More power to her since she’s found a perfect man (my Dad) even before the Internet was available. Now, she’s convinced me that the best way to tell if a guy is worthwhile is by studying his AIM messages. It’s foolproof. My mother’s AIM reading (more reliable than reading horoscopes and studying handwriting analysis) determines whether a guy is just one more jerk or whether he’s a keeper. I’m so tired of men that I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll give her a guy’s screen name and say, “check him out mom!” Even my girlfriends have used my mom for the service.

Here is her wise advice on “Who’s a jerk and not worth your while” and “who just might be a good guy”…

1. The Sexual Deviant - The one who IM’s you and asks questions about your sexual interests before he even knows your birthday or what your parent’s do for a living. Block him!
2. Sexual Deviant #2 – The one whose away messages mention anything to do with their own genital body parts or “long standing” abilities. This guy is a braggart who probably uses a magnified mirror!
3. The Bore – The ones who only have “I am away from my computer right now” as away messages. They are dull and unexciting people, verbally non-responsive so you’ll never hear nice things like “I love you” or “you’re beautiful”. Steer clear. You’ll never know what he’s thinking or where’s he’s going. Totally boring.
4. The Intellectual Quote Man – the Intellectual quote man always has a quote and some obscure intellectual comment from some genius in history or right wing radio host. This is not necessarily a bad thing. These are men who are actually stimulated by something other than your breasts 24 hours a day! If the intellectual type appeals to you, this guy might be a keeper. If you are already bored reading #4, forget him. He’s not your type.
5. The Comedy Quote Man – the comedy quote guy whose away messages are from Family Guy, The Simpsons and movies like Napolean Dynomite are fun-type guys, but they aren’t really the relationship-type males. They are upbeat, usually in a good mood, far from manic-depressed and their maturity level is most likely equal to your kid brother’s. You’ll hardly have dates to a museum or the theatre so get ready for spending Friday nights watching whole season episodes of Family Guy on the couch…with his buddies.
6. Mr. Song Lyrics – Ah, the passionate romantic! If you like the romantic, poetic male, or the lyrical junkie type, most likely you’ve found a dreamer, a slacker, oh no….an actor!…One that you’ll be supporting for the rest of your life. Make sure you tell him how great he is 50 times a day or he’ll be off with someone else.
7. The Reporter – the reporter tells you everything, where he’s going, what he’s thinking, how good or how bad his day was. Even his “be back in a minute” means he’s most likely on the toilet. My mom highly recommends these guys. They are most likely good to their mothers since they want to report everything to you. They are honest, open, and content with their lives. They’re keepers!
8. The Imaginative – Their messages are creative and make the reader guess what they are doing. Not in a sneaky way, but in a positive way. Now these are the guys that will surprise you with a dozen roses…and not just on Valentine’s Day. For instance, “We’re gonna be the toast of Vegas”. Hmm.. Upbeat, exciting…interesting…a keeper! Too bad he’s a gay friend.
9. Mr. Sign on-Sign off – He’s most likely stalking somebody and since you’re online, it’s not you.
10. The Worker – The worker usually states that he is “at work”. Ambitious and has money….enough said…KEEPER.
11. The Sportsman – The guy who has his favorite teams on his profile, reports the scores for the game on his away messages and regularly goes to the gym. These guys are a little rough around the edges, lack female sensitivity, but will most likely respond to you if you dress up in a seductive nighty and stand in front of the TV (that is after Sports Center is over). Jocks are jocks and 80% of men fall under this category.
12. The One Word Wonders – “Out”, “Gone”, “Class”, “Food”, “Bed” “Sleep”, …grunt…Cavemen…enough said.
13. The Study-er – The one who is always “studying”…or “at the library”. A keeper…hardworking, seeks high ambition! Great provider. Mommy likey!
14. Boozers – the ones who brag about going to the bars, being drunk, and then come back to their computers and type “Im durnk an on the frolor”. Time to recycle!

So ladies, before you respond to that random IM from a guy you really don’t know, give yourself (or my mom) a week to check him out. And guys, be aware of your away messages. Get some personality, don’t be a pig, and maybe you’ll meet a nice girl.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ch-Ch Changes

The truth of the matter is people change. I’ve changed. Or have I? I know I came to college to learn, become responsible, have fun, experience life, freedom, and ultimately grow up, mature and learn to survive living on my own. Raised and nurtured in the safety and warmth of a loving family, I feel I have achieved my independence while gaining a true appreciation of those things that are really important. I am now ready to move on to the next chapter of my life. To find success, find happiness and maybe even someday find true love. With 101 days till graduation, I’m beginning to ask the question, “Has the IU experience changed me for the best?” My answer, yes. Oh some may say, “Whew, whatever happened to that dear sweet Tara I used to know in high school?” Well, that dear sweet Tara has now undergone the total IU college experience and she’s learned that in order to survive, you have to: (1) Do what’s best for you, (2) Believe that it’s not absolutely necessary to please everyone all the time, (3) Realize your family is truly who really matter in your life and who care about you the most, and (4) hard work and the ability to schmooze are the absolute keys to achieving success in college and in finding a career for yourself.

So what else have I learned? I’ve learned to cook. I’ve learned to keep a checking account and pay my bills. I’ve learned the importance of being on time. I’ve learned the importance of car tune-ups and the importance of applying for scholarships. I’ve learned you can’t force yourself or others to have feelings that just aren’t there. I’ve learned that speaking up and reporting someone cannot only help you keep your sanity, but help you maintain a good night’s sleep. I’ve learned that drinking and dating are as dangerous as drinking and driving. I’ve learned what makes me laugh as well as how to cope emotionally with having tons of work to do.

Yet has the Real me changed?…The real down-deep-inside me? A little, yes. I’m less needy, less rigid, and less gullible. By gaining knowledge, wisdom, and experience, I’ve learned two’s company and three’s a crowd. I’ve learned love pains the soul, but can’t possibly destroy it. I’ve learned that lovers can’t be friends, but another female can be your soul mate. I’ve learned that love, most definitely, changes everything.

What’s different? How else have I changed? Well, I don’t feel the need to turn on the “ditsy” anymore, which was once thought of as oh so cute. (Well, maybe on that rare occasion when I play miniature golf with a man. I turn on the “the ditsy” in order to heroically enable a guy to come up from behind me, wrap his big strong arms around both me and my golf club all so that I can be skillfully taught the fine art of precise aim. Yes, those wonderful strong arms covering mine as we gently stroke that cute little colored ball ever so carefully right into that cute little Astroturf covered cup. Yep, friends, that’s the “ditsy”! And my oh my how well “the ditsy” works!).

Well, am I harder-edged, tougher, and at times, hostile…Yes. Do I still cry?...not so much anymore. When I move to New York, will I vote for Hillary Clinton? No….Will I vote for Carmine Giovinazzo winning a People’s Choice Award? Yes. If I get invited to The People’s Choice Awards, will I throw myself at Carmine Giovinazzo and start making out with him? Yes. Do I still insist on only wearing MAC makeup products?...No. Will I save money and actually buy clothes at Target?...Yes. Will I use coupons at the grocery store?….Yes. Do looks really matter?...No. Do I still only date guys with dark hair?...No. Do I still take two hours to get ready on a Saturday night to go out?…well, Yes…Geez what do you want, miracles? The transformation of Tara is still a work in progress.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

HOME Is Where Your Heart Is. And Don’t Forget It!

I’m appalled at people here who think the entire East Coast is…let’s see, what did the last guy I spoke to call our East Coast cities…Dirty? Please remember this person had only been as far East as Pennsylvania for a cub scout camping trip and felt free and knowledgeable to make his intelligent conclusions of the East Coast based on his stop at the Philadelphia Airport. First of all, the City of Philadelphia is 8 miles from where I live in New Jersey. It’s an amazing city with an amazingly well preserved historic district. One that allows you to freely walk the cobblestone paths of our founding fathers, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and John Hancock. A city where all of these men not only made names for themselves, but determined our country’s entire philosophy of attaining Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Philadelphia is the most patriotic city in our country. Oh, I’m sorry, Indiana, I don’t want to neglect your well known historic sites, such as the original homestead of the KKK.

People who make comments here about Philadelphia and New York make statements that they know nothing about. Yes, every city has its poor areas. But that’s no reason to call an entire city dirty. New York City is not only the fashion capital of the world, but also the financial capital of the world. Hello, IU Kelley Business School Finance major, where are you looking to pursue your career?…Indianapolis? Well, I guess some of us want to be the CFO of Viacom or Time Warner in the finance capital of the world while others seek to be the CFO of Harry’s Tires and Brakes in downtown Indy.

New Jersey is called the Garden State. Despite what you think, it’s not the armpit of America. Recognized for its industry in the northern part of the state, it is Southern New Jersey that is known for its farming and produce that once supplied Pennsylvania and New York with all of their food. Although New Jersey today is known as one of the most expensive states to live, its location puts you within an hour of the beach, the mountains, New York City and Historic Philadelphia, and tons of preserved American Revolutionary and Civil War Battlefields. If you are raised in New Jersey, you have no doubt been raised with an appreciation of American History. Also, let me add the greatest tomatoes in the world are Jersey Tomatoes! Farms in Southern New Jersey are far from scarce, but Jerseyites live and love convenience, quick commutes to everything and are use to the hustle and bustle. Small to middle-size communities are everywhere. Family is most important and excellent school systems are its pride. Jerseyites are not snobs. (In spite of my comment about Harry’s Tires and Brakes, I felt forced to say that out of the shear frustration of having to be on the defense here all the time!) I do not drive a BMW, I do not wear Uggs, I’ve never met a mobster, and Philadelphia is not a dirty city! My gosh, have some patriotism, man! It’s a freaking holy shrine from Independence Hall to Carpenter’s Hall, from Christ’s Church to Franklin Hall. From Betsy Ross to Rocky Balboa…Yo!

In closing, I would like say that no matter where you live there are the good and the bad, the clean and the dirty. You can find a clean bad person as well as a dirty good person no matter where you live in the world. The comments people have made to me about Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia are hurtful and offensive. I came to Indiana 3-1/2 years ago without any pre-conceptions about the people living in the Mid-West. I was not prepared for an abundance of judgmental attitudes and hateful comments about the area where I grew up, nor the people I grew up with and around. Maybe it’s that competitive sports thing that goes on around here that makes people “hate” the competition no matter where they’re from. I don’t know. As for the Southerners at IU who seem to have the same misconceptions about the Northeast…Well, we all know where your anger and hatred lies,...and that should have ended about 141 years ago. As we Yankees say in New Jersey, “get over it!”

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Shall We Dance?

I’m taking a class this semester called Ballroom and Social Dance. It’s my first dance class since sophomore year when I was taking the musical theatre path (of destruction). Now in my senior year, I’m taking dance for the fun of it and, of course, the dire need for socialization. I figure, social dance can always come in handy at wedding receptions. If the guy sitting next to me at the reception table is gay, I might just have a great dance partner! So, I’ll be prepared. Anyway, I figured this class would consist of all girls and gay men. I was wrong. The guys are straight, Indiana-born and all corn-fed and most likely trying to either meet girls or please their girlfriends. First class was cha-cha lessons, second class, mambo. I think I’m the only one who’s ever danced before. Class consists of 25 girls and 25 guys…oh and lots of sweaty palms! Seriously, taking this class was a great idea. The teacher is cute. He’s straight and kind of reminds me of my high school boyfriend...who was by far also a better dancer than me.

Anyway, classes are Monday and Wednesday evenings in the HPER. Let’s just say I’m dancing with guys who much rather be at the IU basketball game than doing the Cha-cha. Fun times!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Roommate Needed

Scheduled to move to NYC in May to begin working in June, I am looking for a roommate to live with in order to split expenses. Male, Female, Straight, Gay, I don’t care what you are as long as you have a secure job, are extremely neat and clean, and are willing to work together to create a civil, trustworthy, and friendly environment with each other under one apartment roof. Oh, and I want a roommate who cleans their own dishes! And that’s about it. I will live just about anywhere in the city. I prefer Manhattan over Astoria or Brooklyn, but I’m open to anywhere that makes for an easy commute. I want to get a nice place, but want to find something affordable for both of us.

Over the holidays I spent time in the Upper West Side around Columbia University as well as the Murray Hill area. Both are great. The Upper East Side has been recommended to me as well since a lot of the college grads live there. I can’t wait to get there and am planning to spend my spring break with as many trips to NY as possible to look at apartments. If you are looking to share an apartment, please feel free to contact me and we can meet and talk. Please feel free to contact me through Facebook or at

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Good Things Happen

“Whoever said life is fair?” “Life Sucks”, “Being female sucks”, “Men suck”. These are all phrases I’ve either said or heard in the past six months. It’s been a difficult time for me. I was incredibly lonely last semester, incredibly depressed yet incredibly emotional! But hence, finally, the long awaited silver lining has finally crept through the dark clouds that have loomed over me. After the excitement of receiving my much-wanted NYC job offer, someone I respect tremendously congratulated me then added, “Good things happen to good people, Tara.” This little phrase has meant so much to me. I’ve decided to add it to this blog so that I never forget it. Thanks, Tom.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Kudos to UITS

The unsung heroes at Indiana University are by far, the group of helpful students that work the helpdesk at UITS. UITS stands for University Information Technology Services. Every time I freak-out about my computer, I know I can call the UITS 24 hour support hotline and they are always there with kindness to patiently walk me through my computer problems. They’ve destroyed viruses, reconnected me to friends and family, helped me retrieve important emails from professors, and guided me in downloading essential programs to make my computer run faster than a speeding bullet. The UITS hotline is the greatest offering that IU provides for its students. I sing their praises continually but felt the need to blog the praise. I don’t know any of the UITS people personally. In fact, I don’t know any computer specialists personally, that’s why it’s so great to have the hotline for students. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over and if this is the only time you get a special thank you, then shame on the students of IU.