Extroverted Introvert, or Twisted Tara

The extroverted introvert. I love this descriptor… it is just a juxtaposition. Just like me I suppose. I am friendly, gregarious even in many folks opinion, but I really am a fairly introverted person. I enjoy parties (that I host) and people (in 1 on 1 interactions or smaller group gatherings) but I am quick to get overwhelmed, surprised in situations that I am not controlling or expecting (and therefore retreat into my shell) and just plain max-out on people-overload.

People shake their heads when they hear this about me. “You can’t be introverted, you are a great public speaker, or you are so bubbly and excited….” Yes, but that takes work! And of course, being an introvert or “shy” is not to say I am not adventurous (I am - in small doses with people I am close to - … travel the world? Sure! Open up and be honest and vulnerable about my emotions? How much time do you have?!) But if given only one option, I would never chose hanging out with others over being alone with my work or my man - so I am an introvert by definition. I know, cause besides my husband, my best friend is an extrovert to the max, and we often laugh about it.

Close friends of mine know this about me really well, so when they don’t hear from me for extended periods of time, they just know that I went into people-hibernation. Then I come out and schedule a bunch of stuff in my personal-space/boundary-version of spring. People who don’t know me that well are surprised to hear that; let’s face it, I’m kinda shy. If you like me at all, DON’T surprise me!

Thank goodness I married a people person. I often don’t think I would have a social life at all if I weren’t married to mister diplomat himself: let’s all get together, let me help you, let’s be friends: Yuri. It really is the perfect balance. I often joke about how I am more than happy to keep our books (I love numbers) if he can just keep our friends (so they don’t abandon ship when I am nesting). *I actually have to be reminded to reach out and see if people want to get together with when it has been too long (ha!)*

But there are definitely times when I am dreading heading out into a public situation - especially if it is back-to-back several nights in a row… when I would rather be inside, curled up with a book who won’t ask me what I have been up to lately. (Making small talk is my own personal hell.) This doesn’t mean I am not more than happy to have a great conversation - let’s talk about travel, your opinions (especially if it is a topic I can contribute/debate on), things you are passionate about, etc… but the drudgery of having to make small talk with people I don’t know well, well, sucks.

It always surprises me when people comment on how outgoing I am (I smile a lot) how friendly I am (I do smile a lot) how nice I am (like I said, I do smile a lot and nod) —- I think there is a trend here. When I feel the opposite. Not only do I not feel those things in particular, they actually kind of scare me. I do also think it might in part be due to the fact that I am not afraid to make a fool of myself, so I am not shy in a “I want to stay hidden” or “don’t judge me” way more in a “I just don’t know the people-rule for how to play nice without it feeling fake and like a time suck and how quickly can we leave and still look like we were friendly without them discovering my deep dark secret (which you now all know).”

So I have been working on this behavior A LOT(!!) to try to change it. Ah behavior modification, you are my friend, I will master you if it takes my whole life…. To try to come up with genuine and interesting things to answer to the “so what do you do” or “how have you been” questions that come up in social situations. To find ways to enjoy being uncomfortable with large groups. To encourage myself to find someone and go up to them to talk. To, gasp, have FUN at events. But then again, it is also equally important to recognize that there are just some nights, when the best thing to do, is put on your PJs and hunker down…. if only it rained more than once a year in LA! :)

Are you an introvert? an extrovert? or an introverted extrovert/extroverted introvert? Any way you cut it. Next time I see you at a party, I do promise to not just smile for the safety sake of it, but to try to really be present to the moment, and *actually* friendly! :)


I am a third of the way through my self-proclaimed 365 project (see more about it here): http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkd1IbeHr8D1_jv228LYGG76fzQI8PuBn

I have been really blown away by the number of people who have joined me on this journey, either by doing their own 365 projects, or by sending me emails, texts, messages, voice mail, comments, etc :). It means the world to me that you are interested in the process and sharing your experience with me as I explore things that are on my mind, and work on my main project this year: me.

It can be so hard to make changes, and especially ones that deal with matters of the mind: belief systems, fears, world views; as well as topics that seem often difficult to tackle: anger, forgiveness, depression, jealousy; not to mention a desire to get more connected with myself and be more loving in respect not only to my needs, but holding space and time for myself, exploring where things aren’t working, and generally doing a good housecleaning of my self-identity.

With a third of the process behind me, I can say that I am actually seeing a change in myself. Some of the things I have been working on: processing anger, dealing with disappointment… are actually getting EASIER. I am noticing that I am happier more of the time. I am taking actions to take better care of myself more often; saying NO to the wrong things and YES to the right. I am not perfect, it isn’t easy, but I can feel the shift. I keep taking two steps forward and a step back, but I like looking at it like dancing rather than failure when I do!

I recently came across a lovely quote that feels so fitting for the process,

So I continue to be a work-in-process. Each day the perfect day for me to be exactly who I want to be, who I was meant to be, just a little more than yesterday.

I am always looking for things to talk about, besides what has just been on my mind, so if you want to suggest topics or even words you think might apply to me to add, I would love to hear your suggestions (plus my word-a-day aspect to the project is getting a bit taxing.)

As always, thanks so much for tuning in and good luck on your own 365 journey.

— Tara :)

NaPoWriMo 2014… write me a poem…

So, as some of you know a good friend of mine, a one miss Kayla Cagan, posted a note at the beginning of April inviting folks to join her for this years National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). I decided that though I do not think of myself as a poet, I could certainly throw down some words and see if a poem was created in the monkey-typewriter variety, plus what a great way to take the pressure off. A poem is in the eye of the beholder and means something different to everyone who experiences it! …. So, voila! This will be my 30 days of posts (one for each day…) I would love to hear if any speak to you and your thoughts…

First, Yes, I wrote each of these “by Tara Platt" is inferred. Second, the NaPoWriMo offered prompts, but I found it more fun to just play, so I didn’t do them except accidentally. Third, I don’t know if I will participate again next year, but I challenge each of you to play with words and if you can’t find one that fits, Shakespeare it up and make your own — I did! You can join in for the month of April next year! Last, thanks for joining me and enjoy the journey!

April 1, 2014


popcorn candy corn jelly bean go

the bubblegum of my mind pushing forward

ignoring the silent scream

the clawing at the eyes of my soul

the dark inside

insides warm

a heat that is anger and raw

a fight I am looking for

but the culprit is not in the candy jar

it is my hand, my face, myself

fighting the things I know

I think

I think I know

perhaps it is just the fight that is left

from who I was yesterday

the chocolate covered grinning self

sated in its own wisdom

happy in its ignorance

it is time to look for treats elsewhere.

April 2, 2014


Gravity cannot be held responsible for two people falling in love

or so Einstein said

I had that poster on my wall and for years would gaze

The corners curled

The irony of his humor

His lopsided grin

My heart leaping at the mingling of love and science and love of science

Hot summer afternoons

My hair

The breeze

A hope

But though he may be in science


His truer equation

The one of my heart

Now that I have found you and grasp you near

The mass of you held in my whole being

The world to me

Twixt itself the rays of light alighting on your skin like bursting photons faster than my mind can see

Is equal indeed to the energy I spend in loving you

April 3, 2014


…“the writer, writes.”
the teacher said.
The class looked on entranced.

She searched the faces blankly,

still looking for the one.

Th’ half-finished pages of her manuscript 

Crinkled and aging in a drawer.

Who would be so daring?

And brave? And strong enough?

To fight the path she had not won.

And turn the tides, be tough.

And as the young man with his arm outstretched, a question on his lip,

She saw the plan, the world, the deal:

A pace galloped a clip.

There wasn’t only time for her.

For him.

For them .

To make.

Their job was but a smallish thing,

Their job was just to wait.

And squealing, she slammed the book abruptly shut;

the papered littered floor.

"I have important things to do,"

And she skipped out the door.

April 4, 2014


My love has left

He has now gone

And lost

Bereft am I

He left without a sweet soft kiss

He left without goodbye

He’s gone away to places far

To lands I can not see

He left me standing all alone

To live in misery

Perhaps the gift he left is here

I must just find it now

But cold and dark my soul it sits

My lightness all snuffed out

I cannot make the clock turn back

I cannot turn the tide

I am just lost

And sad

And worn

I know not how to fly

The hope I once felt all aflutter

Has turned and soured me

I want to find a hole dark dank and rot my insides free.

I know not more of laughter

Or the joy of skipping time

How’d he leave the best of me?

This wanting it is mine

The joy the fun the life the play

It all is gone from me

He turned his back and walked away

He left me on this day

I am breaking all asunder

My heart might rip in twain

My tears my cries filling all the seas

The chasms filled by rain

A fleeing white and barren mess

My limbs don’t feel attached

I want to find my love once more

I want to be with him

This feeling left, this hurt remains

This love that that now is sore.

Our places switched

Is all I hope

The darkness round me tore.

April 5, 2014 (which do you prefer? Forward or backwards?)


A memory in a cloud

Playtime at the park



My favorite pair of shorts



Clambering down the hill

My face

Pricking my skin

The green short shoots

Twisting my way



I am here

I am here



Twisting my way

The green short shoots

Pricking my skin

My face

Clambering down the hill



My favorite pair of shorts



Playtime at the park

A memory in a cloud

April 6, 2014 (not actually a haiku, it is a senryu)


A cat purrs once more

Roar of the fire warm hearth

Solitude brings me

April 7, 2014


light flashing

bright white glow

the sky is ripped apart


sand. so. sharp.

a lizard ignores the violence coming his way

skittering through the rocks

with no focus

side to side

back… and… forth

a storm is coming

sheets of cold sizzle on the pan that is the stage

a darkness running

liquid me-tal

acid to the touch

twisted, churning, angry earth

the ground hungry for the rain

clouds. bang. against one another

dark, descending, ominous

and then the water hits

first slowly, gently reaching out

touching the ground, tickling it

and then, deluge

rip’t open

cavernous the sky


crayola melting

the night is young for storm/gazing.

April 8, 2014


The man crossed the street ahead of me

Slinking onto the sidewalk just in front
It was only then that I realized I was alone
My pace was quick, hurried
I scanned him
His lumbering walk
He kept turning to watch me

To glance at me from under his brow
Was my discomfort arising from
Or fear of my
His wild eyes, his dirty torn clothes
His uneven gate
My awareness of his size
My size

My mat slung over my shoulder

Only my keys phone and water

The smell of urine and body odor
Action plan
Through my mind
Judging a book
Its cover
Not one I want to read
I speed up once a car turns down the street
I outpace him

Stepping down into the street

To hustle

Giving wide berth
Heart racing

Two steps



Ahead of him
I am alone in public
Once more
Secure but not
False sense of protection
What is connection?
Smart or scared
I survived this time

Namaste, moth@rfu<ker.

April 9, 2014

THE STICKY WEB (a light little limerick on internet notoriety)

I once wanted many to listen,

My words thoughts ideas they just glisten.

Fame fortune and folly,

It all made me jolly!

For all to click, link and “like” this in.

April 10, 2014


The patience of a saint
His crinkly strong hands turning the cocoa chocolatey brown
Making magic fudge appear
A buttery battery goodness of love
Their house old and cigarette stained
The big fat pillow on the closed in porch
That see thru glass tic TAC toe board
That they always let me win at
Going down the stairs
The stairs
The picture lined stairs down to the basement
That entranced and scared me
Where treasures stood hidden in plain sight
A rocking horse, a table tennis set
Broken dolls watching with their glassen eyes
Wondering what I was thinking all alone down there
It always made me sad
The whispers of history
The laughter the tears
But upstairs the gum drop tree
With its tasty treats
The prune juice cocktail
And moffee to drink like an adult
A Christmas 
The possibility
His pipe puffing plumes of jaunty and warm joy

April 11, 2014


Sea of red:
a bioluminescence,

unnatural for this time of day.
The mottled sunlight reflecting on their shiny backs.
Chaotic movement;

the back and forth:

stop. go.

Seeming to have no mind,

but the hive.

-shimmering across the spine-
There is a shark amongst them.
(no need to follow the natural laws)
This is the 405.

April 12, 2014


For with no pride I come to t’problem here,   

My life is my own, with choice in my mind,

But truthfully the things I do all but steer

From thoughts I have alter’d myself to bind.

O many things I’ve heard, seen, taken in;

To make one with what I believe I am.

This who I be, not true to that, in sin,

The shame is all mine for is mine to damn.

Self who I can only come to know in time:

This thing in the world that is made of much,

Others collude to create, but I’m t’grime.

For piec’d together a puppet of such.

The humiliation that learning is;

What a life, lived, be, last that final quiz.

April 13, 2014


Wabi sabi,


In its perfectness: imperfection.

Odd -



The love of the irregular.

The life that is filled with un-normalcy,

Tap it with gold

Where it breaks.

Let the beauty in.

The cracks which show the life well lived;

A medal around its neck.

The change ever imminent,



Shards glinting and pointy

Aloft and aesthetic,

Incomplete without the rest of it

And yet, complete in its own.

Bless those bowls for having seen

And fallen onto hard times,

So that we may Buddha ourselves

Into betterment

Simply by drinking the broth.

And once there, gone again

Until tomorrow…

The mossy damp hand

That is life

Snuffing and puffing

Things in and out;


A breath…

April 14, 2014 (villanelle)


My heartbeat: a canon, a drum.

The rhythm that pounds in my ears

I follow this music, my internal hum.

We all have this friend, buddy, this chum

One with us in darkness, in light all the years

My heartbeat: a canon, a drum.

Guiding us softly to who we become,

Never in stillness, just muting the fears

I follow this music, my internal hum.

This song, one of life, and my anthem;

To fight, pick me up and wipe tears.

My heartbeat: a canon, a drum.

When last we hear it, it softly goes mum

This last call for action, disappears.

I follow this music, my internal hum.

Those left missing this song, sitting numb

The memories of our dance, souvenirs.

My heartbeat: a canon, a drum.

I follow this music, my internal hum.

April 15, 2014

A short fable…


Once upon a time,

There was a magical bug.

This bug was not your typical ‘pede,

For (s)he had no eyes:

The stalks on her head

Acted as such,

And he was able to fantasize.

The world,

Her world was made of magic:

Pure flighty-whimsical.

The beasties

He envisioned

Were simply supernatural.

This life lived in wonder,

Not of the practical,

Left him fascinated;

By all that life

Held out for her.

Then one day a whizzing pest,

One, winged and aloft

Flew by laughing at our bug,

Insect in core not in heart.

And mocked him for his loss.

Now did she know of things she missed,

The sights he couldn’t see.

The tears not rolling down her face,

For no spring to sprung could they.

Our bug then wandered,


And sad.

From branch to rock and puddle.

No where was safe from the

Visions he had,

The dark dusty evil that held her.

Until quite by accident,

Our creepy crawly bumped into another


And sobbed out her misery.

-A wretched shrill crying inside-

At this small beetle,

Who listened and nodded demurely.

When finished, the beetle in its shiny wisdom,

Said only a few words to our bug.

Did you like your life “seeing” and happy and fun

Or do you like wandering in muck?

Our buggins just sat there and cleaned hisher eyestalks.

Empty of vision were they.

And then the light went on and magic returned,

And our bug she skipped far away,

Once more free.

The moral is clear,

And we live it.

Do we choose to light our own way,

With things that are exultant and joyful?

Or do creatures that are small-sighted,

Turn to dust the delight on our


Let the magic within escape but briefly

The light that we hold

Make us glow.

Become a lightning bug through your life-dance

And leave the unenlightened


April 16, 2014


It has been said

That only sticks and stones

Are the ones responsible -

For the agony inflicted

Not the joking


That burns

The sting

The hurt

But I often wonder

Who it is that has never


The pain

That comes

When a sharply placed


Cuts to the bone

Of a soul

The thought

That lingers

Gremlining us through our lives

What then of words

And their power

Can then we not


Turn back the clock

To make the time



And listen


To those


And build a wall

Of mudrock and twig

To make a castle


Not one to leave us cold and alone

But to play in for hours

In solace

In fun.

Join me



April 17, 2014


She fell out of bed hard

The ground was much closer than it had been the day before

Awake with a burst

She still wasn’t sure whose side today was on

So many things


And should-ing

To do

But also the beach

It was calling

The sand of time trickling through the narrow neck

Drinking in the sunrise


A clone to take care of the business

The busy-bee

The busyme

And what exactly did she want

A nap


And a medal

To win

To prove

To show

She was here, she came, she conquered


April 18, 2014


The cat
He is helping
I’m sure
He is helping
His body all furry and warm

The cat
He is purring
I hear him
His purring
Laying on top of my work

The cat
He is sleeping
Oh why is
He sleeping
I can’t seem to get a thing done

This cat
He is wise
Full o’ kn’ledge
So wise.
Perhaps I shall take a small break

My cat
I do love him
His graceful departure
I love him
And my work sits alone on my desk.

April 19th


It has come to our ATTENTION
That you
aren’t following the
These ones made permanent
In ink
Or in blood
In our minds
That lock us in
And keep us in place
Please keep your hands inside
The vehicle at all times
Even now
When you need to scream
Don’t forget to dot the i and cross the
Street after looking both ways
And then again
Just in case just in case
You forgot
Counting the poles between here and there
The jaggity crooked
A skeleton bone of
A marker
To let us know when we have passed it
We’re past
It has passed us
Passed us right by
Cause we stayed in line
At the bankmallofficeplace
Where we needed that thing taken care of
You remember that thing
And instead I said no
And I skiphopped away
And the ripples the stone bounced were turned into fractals
If only the ice would stay frozen
But instead the cool magical designs
Do their own dance into the ether that is past
And rules may be rules but the earth still goes round
Until we cross the event horizon and just keep on stretching
Into the west that is wild

April 20, 2014


Doing nothing
Is harder than it looks
Especially if you are me
The time
With everything
The stillness
A waiting
Trying to distract me from
More not doing
Can’t I just play one more game
Spider solitaire
Giving me a brief solace
From this being
That is so hard
The clock ticking
And breeze blowing
And I am stewing
In my not knowing
I Wonka’d myself
A trick to hide
From the creature
That will lick my mind
With ideas and action
And a big todo
With my list of doo
Which makes me feel safe
And comfortable
And happy
In my foot in front of the next
Leasing my time 
A cup of tea
To soften the blow
The breath
Breathing me instead
Letting go.

April 21, 2014


The eggs made of chocolate

Memories melting

The hot sun

Leaving the sky for the moon

Some days it feels longer

And wetter and summer

More making

For the girls and the boys

The thoughts they have floated

And jumped and have gone

The cool sand

Between toes and eyelids

The photos so grainy and brown

In their frames wooden so square

More laughter

For the women and the men

The sandcastles built and built again

Crumbling into prisms

More options

For the moments and the time

The plans made of stone

Ooblecked into water smoke

The chance behind

Frolicking the day with the light.

The bunnies have liquefied

Past is the gift that is now.

April 22, 2014 (a twist on a tanka)


Liquid chocolate

The hot steaming warm goodness

Small mountains of white

Perhaps whipped cream in the cup

Maybe marshmallow play time

April 23, 2014




The vines round the glass

Ever so slowly

The days

To week years



Practically not moving

The sprout

A shoot

A spurt

The dead leaves falling

A winter

A spring

A new yellow green

Springs to life

The stalk

Full of life

And yet




And making

A tree.

April 24, 2014


The coins clink on the table

A glass half empty

Or is it half full

A bourbon on the rocks

More of a rock than a roll

The dice bouncing on the green

A number

A bummer for one

Winner loses

Loser wins

The house’s rules making sure

That the balance balances out

Black and red twisted into queens and jokers

Grinning blindly

Blankly smeared with lipstick

Faces scrubbed

Wallets bent

Hopes distilled into the lubrication

Of the night

The acid of the pavement

Hot and shiny

From a neon sign


Elvis walks alone

Around that ring of fire

Filled with lions and tigers

And bears, oh my

A wedding chapel in the distance

With trees bowed over

Boughs bent

Twisted up inside

Will this one be the one

Will the card make the deck

Will the king live again

Long enough to

Twist all night long

Or will the Sahara crumble into dust

Eaten by the desert

Dust dry bones picked clean

Until the next plane lands.

April 25, 2014


Show me your shadow,

I will show you mine.

The darkness,

The sadness,

The mire.

I want to see inside,

To hold you,

To hide.

I want to have safety,

To trust.

Show me your anger,

Your madness,

Your mind.

And I’ll save a seat for you;

The red velvety pad.

The lily afloat on a sea of tears.

The presence

Of time.

Show me your monster,

I will show you mine.

April 26, 2014


He woke with a start

Eyes open


Ready to take on life

To learn

He crawled and spit

Gnawing at the leftovers

Turning over the ideas

In his mind

The things heard

Door slamming shut in the background

His old dog barking at the flies

A glass of lemonade

Too bitter to drink

As she cleaned the dishes

Painting the fence white

And white again

As the sun leached the colorless color

The dance that night was

All the rest of the shades

The bright and the sad or

The scary

He kissed her one final time before dropping her hand

It was too heavy to carry

When he made it to the porch

Once more

And looked at the fields all around him

The things planted and seeded and sown

The blooms booming beside him

He sighed and allowed the air to escape

And fell into slumber once more.

April 27, 2014


The man at the bus stop

Sitting waiting

A daffodil grows up ‘tween his toes

His bus in never coming (he sits still and wonders)

The woman at the counter

Hazy and old

Marlboros three bucks a pack

The store long ago has burned down

The boy jumping between puddles

A rock clutched in his hand

The water never shudders or ripples

His crutches lie unused in the dump

The girl picking roses or posies or prosies

All the while counting her hopes

He loves me…he… loves…me… not

Her black dress belying her wishes

The baby lies crying

His calls unattended

His wrinkles pre-sorted and fresh

Eyes of wonder and magic and living

The cradle sits still in the sun

The grave it is empty

It lies in its wait

The prey will come calling at once

The ghosts do not know it

Their souls have all left them

Their bodies will rot in a hump

Turn on the music

The sounds let them lick me

The lights all glisten and damp

The party is happening

All around us it happens

The itching the scratching the prance

Don’t stop the record

And don’t click that switch

It is time for you all at once

The wait is all over

Don’t make a move

Except to let loose

And pull off your jacket

Right now.

Spin around once more

And catch the mirror

A grin

That is right the timing this instant:

Come join the dance.

April 28, 2014

The pig nose, it whistles
The sound in the dark
The whiskers, the bristles
The dark yellow bark

The frogs with their croaking
The water so cold
I hope I wake up soon
For I’m getting old.

The train it rides by me
Full up to the brim
The laughter the howling
The noise and the din

I want to be human
To laugh and to play
I want to be unique
In my special way

How hopeful this feeling
How tempting the thoughts
How easy to join in
And drink up the sauce

But better to be one
Apart from the rest
The one with the secret
The one who knows best

I think I shall watch more
Outside in the snow
The window is buzzing
With places to go

How hard could the act be
Marionette-ing through life
A cap for the lady
A lute or a fife

Perhaps just a taste now
Pomegranate so plump
I might just bite into
This piggy’s soft rump.

But wait now my darling
This fish isn’t fried
How sad to be said
If only I’d tried.

My wanting and scratching
This placemat is weak
The frigid icecap
A puffin’s sharp beak.

Four eyed not a monster
A witness to all
The time it is coming
I have heard the call.

April 29, 2014


The warm snow

A hole in my heart

Yellow balloon rising

The tinkling of glass

Shiny and yet a barrier

The forest sleeps now

Floating in silence

Abreast on a dingy ship

Light dancing softly

I yell when I must

Outside the box of my mind

Wisdom of a cage

 ….AND because today is a day of bits and bobs (haikus that didn’t work and thus became a poem,  here is a bonus one I was playing with from a prompt and a crude attempt at an ode):


O’ group to rave if unanimously desire’d

This assembly could evacuate their associates in arrears

For the reason that their compatriots don’t Terpsichore- inspire

Then too, those friends don’t jazz with peers.

So then those people are not contacts of yours truly.

Perhaps our group can venture wherever we yearn,

That location someplace no one will unearth.

Assemblage behaving as if emerging from this humanity,

Vacate the true version in the afterburn.

Our party may cavort with mirth.

April 30, 2014


The words spill out

Splashing onto the page

Too many slippery fish

For my mind to hold onto

The sounds stringing themselves

Together on the wash-line

And hanging themselves out as a thought

Linking up and doing a dance

In my mouthmind

Shuffling noises and phrases together

The pairing of dress and the shoes

Putting the finishing touches on everything

Polishing off the plate with a smack

The tastiest treat I could think of

A meal to last you all day

My heart in my fingers

The words on the page

Is all I could think of to say.


I also posted this short one a couple of days ago to go with the picture I took:

Walk with me and I will show you the fun you can have. Put your play hat on and we will prowl the earth for laughter! #tinypoem

Thanks so much for reading them! I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did creating them :) Poem it up baby, cause life is your own special mishmash of wordsperiences!  Tara :)


Sleuthing Success

So Yuri and I have been devouring the BBC’s Sherlock whenever they put out new episodes yearly. It is a show that hits both of our themes while having a high quality of excellence! For me it is highly aesthetic mystery in this alternate reality where this brilliant genius with astounding logic and deductive reasoning skills can seemingly pull information from thin air. And for Yuri it is the chase, the crime, the relationship between Holmes and Watson. It scores a 10 for each of us and it is delightful to get to watch together. In fact, besides documentary television (food network, science shows - classic Cosmos and How It’s Made) there aren’t really very many TV shows that we agree on, so we are like kids on Christmas morning when the next three episodes are released and we can hunker down with a pot of tea and watch.

I have been a longtime fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detecting duo having read many of the stories growing up, and Yuri was equally passionate about the Sherlock legacy since there is such a great cat and mouse with the criminal element. But what made me so excited about this particular telling of these oft-revisited  tales, is the love and delight that goes into making the show. We watched the special features on the DVD last night for Season 3 and hearing Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (the creators of the show) talk about their process, watching the table read and behind the scenes; it made me adore this team of creatives even more. It really seems to be a perfect storm of passion and playfulness. Actors, designers, writers, filmmakers all who want to elevate the show to the highest possible point, while staying true to their own vision.

It made me so happy to watch them at play in their focus. It is exactly what I strive to create when we put our own productions together under our Monkey Kingdom Productions banner. I believe it is a testament to the drive and clarity that Moffat and Gatiss have that they were able to pull together such an amazing team to work with on every level. I love seeing talented creative people who are so passionate and driven create brilliance. It is one of the reasons that on my list of folks I hope to get to work alongside are creatives like Terry Gilliam, Steven Chow, Jean-Pierre Jeunet as well as Moffat and Gatniss.

The paring of Benedict Cumberbatch with Martin Freeman as Sherlock and Dr. Watson is such fun to watch. Freeman is such an open honest actor as he is our window into the show, while Cumberbatch stoically leads with a reserved intellect that leaves you agape at Sherlock’s brilliance. Plus the fact that Amanda Abbington (Mary) and Freeman (Watson) are actually a couple in real life made both Yuri and I squeal with delight! May we be blessed to have successful careers that are able to intersect and flow like theirs. I have to recommend the show if you aren’t already watching it, please do yourself a favor and check it out, you have 9 episodes to dive into and three more currently in production! I will be honest that some of the episodes shine more than others, but they are each delicious morsels of adventure for you to dive into!

This is a pic from our last trip to London, we stopped by and visited the museum at 221B Baker Street, and I got my own sleuthing on…

So do check it out if you aren’t already (I may be speaking to the choir) but I hope you get wrapped up in the joyful jaunt!

365… days in the year, things to love about ME!

I have decided to do a year-long project on self-love and self-respect which I am calling my 365 Project! I began on Valentine’s Day this year, as a way to hold the space for myself to be my own Valentine and shower myself with love.

Today I am at Day 12, and I am having a very interesting experience. First, just the joy and excitement of discovery of what I might be able to love about myself each day is a fun and often daunting task. But second to that, I have discovered a whole clan of friends and family that have decided in their own way to go along on this journey by participating in their own 365 Projects, and I am so utterly grateful and honored that they thought this crazy little idea of mine was with merit.

As part of the project I am using a tracing of my body on a giant piece of paper that I fill in each day with that day’s unique lovable quality. Then I film my progress along with clips of things that come to mind, my reactions, my thoughts, my feelings. And I post it weekly(ish) on my YT channel. Thus holding space for myself to be accountable and yet transparent with my experiences.

And as an offshoot of the project, I am taking more care with myself, I am making choices that reflect the love and respect I am working through, which is bringing me more joy in experiencing the world and hopefully bringing more love into my interactions.

I would love to share my progress with you, 365 Project and find out if you have ever done a project, plan, gift, course, as a way to hold yourself to a higher level of love and value.

In 365 experience,

Tara :)

Connections….they make you stop, and pa[]se

It has been a while since I’ve posted, cause I have just gotten so darn’d busy… all good things but juggling life’s demands, working, and putting energy into my own projects takes its toll on the hours I have to put up my ramblings…. that said I had an encounter this week that made me stop and look at my whirlwind of a life and pause.

Which is good for me. Pausing. I don’t do it nearly enough…. take the way I write, for example… long sentences, drawn out, extra commas and descriptors for emphasis to make sure you get what I mean… and ellipses, cause I’m not quite done yet and I have more to cram in… :) haha — As my good friend Stephanie Sheh said to me, to quote a famous phrase, how you do one thing is how you do everything. Oh, well, tis who I am I guess, cramming as much in as I can (fun, work, joy, play, adventure, life!).

So this moment, this pause came a few nights ago at the grocery. I had popped in to pick up some necessities as I nursed Yuri back to health (ugh, sick is suck!) and as I walked the aisle to grab some veggies, an old woman walked past with her husband, and I smiled, as I often do while passing strangers, at her. She mumbled something to him and they walked on. Then not a moment later she was by my side, grabbing me, holding my arms in her hands. I was caught off guard but not scared, just more startled (I get stopped and talked to a LOT). Then she said over and over, “You look like my friend.

At first, I will admit, I thought perhaps she had Alzheimer’s and mistook me but after a moment her eyes shone and she started to tell me all about her friend Fancy Free who I reminded her of. She told me of Fancy’s family, Irish slaves, white, but slaves who were freed upon their 18th birthday, and how her grandmother got the name Free… Then about Fancy. How she never had any money, how she was always poor. And then about her own very different life and family in Eastern Europe and how most of them sank on a ship losing millions.

We chatted for several minutes. Mostly her regaling me with wonderful stories and me watching in awe. I congratulated her on her recent 80th birthday and we talked about our husbands still laughing at our jokes: the secret to a good marriage is a sense of humor, clearly.

And then her husband was back with their cart and I wished her well, and thanked her for stopping to share that moment with me. I reflected on the fact that I often get stopped. People see something in me, my eyes, my smile, that welcomes them to pause; even when I am not pausing myself. And I am gifted with a moment, even when unprepared to have one. A connection, although fleeting. Brief and powerful. And for that I am grateful. And being able to share this moment with you is my way of gratefully passing the pause…. PAUSE.

** side note, I went google image searching for pause, and so many [pause] button images came up, that while staring at my screen they actually started to look like tiny faces with big eyes…. so perhaps even the humble pause icon knows you have to take a moment, open your eyes, and breath! **

Science, Labels and Questions…

That seems to be the theme of my life lately…. SCIENCE which I revel in and get super excited about. Lables, which I wish I weren’t or wish I were…and questions. So many, about so many things, how we are all in process and figuring things out for better or worse, questioning, questioning and ever questioning….

Yuri and I recently visited Dubai, United Arab Emirates for a convention and I felt like all three collided in my face and brain…. At the same time as we were visiting the world’s tallest building, a science and engineering accomplishment of no small feat, I was observing people who had entirely different moral/ethical value label and a way of life, which left me questioning who’s right, who’s wrong, who cares….

It’s almost the Schrodinger’s Cat mixed with the age-old experiment adage that what is being observed inherently changes by nature of it’s being observed all mixed into one.  Can we all be right and wrong at the same time or is there really one way of being, and who is to say what that may or may not be. Can there really be only one way for humans to not want to hurt/oppress/rage/own/rule/rebel etc each other and instead for us to accept each of our differences as benefiting our individual efforts enough for us to all to just get along and kumbaya? (metaphorically speaking of course, since as an atheist I’ve never kumbaya’d myself…) :)

Which brings me back to labels….about a year ago my hubby Yuri and I embarked on a new food regime for health’s sake - his family history and research pointed to a possible good plan of the Esselstyn diet (basically a vegan diet but also no oil/nuts). We enthusiastically and quite successfully managed to follow the strict and specific plan, to some health benefit…BUT suddenly we were being LABELED as vegans… Not that I have anything against vegans, but I hate being thrown into a category that I may or may not fly the banner of myself (especially since I am doing this diet for MYSELF not as part of a group/cult/organization/agenda)… Suddenly if I chose to “cheat” on the strict meal options (cause I’m human and forever is a long time, and sometimes I want a piece of cake or even a juicy steak, even if 9.9 times out of 10 I naturally pick what would be considered a “vegan” choice), I was a hypocrite and *gasp* a liar… When I hadn’t ever claimed to be vegan in the first place — as true vegans are coming from an ethical/moral perspective as well as diet. So easy to stick a label on someone and then judge them for wavering from your idea of that label.

And that led me back to questions… Who knows what is really the best thing for us, clearly people can create observations (even scientific ones) that favor their opinions - quick lets make a study to “prove” what we want so we can be right and they can be wrong… But there are so many opposing beliefs, thoughts, proof, contracting evidence, who’s to say what the “right” thing is. And maybe what is really best for us is to live a wholehearted life where we make choices that are outside of labels, that are individual to us, that don’t force others to follow our way of thinking and that sometimes contradict our norm. 

Is there a science for that? Cause I would totally sign up! To the greater science of happiness :)! May we judge less, live more, and question often!

This is a RT of odditiesoflife’s post. But I had to say how much I appreciate the vision and artistry it takes to see the world and then be able to capture it - not only for what it is, but also for its higher artistic form. These images are just beautiful and I am thankful that there are people in this world who see fit to share this beauty with the rest of us. The proverbial Child’s Moon shots of things that are there but not often really looked at! ;)

The Art of the Perfect Wave

These amazing images of waves are the work of two different photographers. The first set is by David Orias. He relies on slow shutter speeds and the perfect light of sunrise or sunset to capture these waves off the coast of California.

The second set is by Pierre Carreau. He shoots waves with a variety of high speed cameras using various macro and wide angle lenses. These waves appear more like glass sculptures than liquid.

(via amandapalmer)

Rum-tum-tumble-y Tara….

So the start to this year took a rather tumble-y sort of way to get going. First it began far north in the chilly cli—- (not sure if it is clims climes climbs and not sure where to find said reference… errrr) the chilly climate? climbs sounds better, anyway. … of Iceland. Where Yuri and I spent our post-Christmas/anniversary/New Year’s celebrating, eating, relaxing and generally enjoying the comfy fun of bundling up in our winter weather wear, watching bonfires and fireworks galore (Iceland is KNOWN for their New Year’s Eve celebration of bonfires and fireworks. Go. It is amazing) and trying to see the northern lights. Alas - the weather wasn’t agreeable for us so see said aurora borealis and we did not, so the below image is as much for you as me to look at and ~le sigh~. Let’s both of us pretend for a moment we are standing near a river in Iceland gazing up at the chilly clear sky and we see this:

That was amazing, but then we were immediately thrust back into the middle of life: post-production on season 4 of our web-series, finishing post on our feature and generally auditions/meetings/and back-to-work productivity-ness. And on top of that there was the side-trip to Vegas to speak at NMX and participate in the IAWTV Awards (where though nominated, we didn’t win, but Yuri was a presenter!) And back again to life and all its craziness. AND about that time, my body decided to say NO. NO silly Tara running about hither and yon, NO! Take a break (what? I was just vacationing?!) A real break - stay in bed and sleep break. And that was it: I was sick, down for the count.

I resisted as best I could, but I am no match for the tiny germs of malice. So what I did do instead, was catch up on READING! And documentaries! And movies… oh my.

I read 2 books (that I loved!) Our friend’s Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz' Colin Fischer - about an autistic detective in high-school. Fun, great character study, and I am always a sucker for a good mystery! And Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions, a serious pick-you-up-and-get-you-going-with-a-fire-under-your-bum motivational guide to creating your own success! I watched the films Butter (wonderful funny and touching) about butter carving and so much more, and Lars and the Real Girl (sweet, heartfelt and moving) about overcoming the pain of delusions. Both movies make for good rich movie-watching experiences and I hope you enjoy each of them as much as I did - very different, very good!

And the rest of the time while I was down for the count I watched Nova and National Geographic documentaries about national parks, stress and its link to health, Egypt (six part mini-series called Out Of Egypt by Egyptologist Kara Cooney, quite good if you like that sort of thing :) clearly I did as I watched all 6!) and space. All in all I had a wonderful time at BSU (being sick University) but I am quite done with my learning for this semester and eagerly await heading back out into the world so I can tumble my way thru this year, cause I have big plans for 2013, and sitting around isn’t on the list!

I hope you also have some fun things on your todo list, or goal board, or however it is you keep your dreams (and if catching up on books or movies are on there, I highly recommend the ones above)… somersaults away!

My favorite time of year…

As the holidays bear down on us full steam, I realize that I am filled with a sense of joy, anticipation, excitement, wonder and, to be honest, being totally overwhelmed.

I think with the traditional schedule of school growing up, we get so trained to “go back to school” in the fall: to be prepped to start projects, get a jump on things, and finish things up before the year ends. I know for me as soon as my scarves and sweaters come out, I feel the first-day-of-school fun jitters. Something is just around the corner, I can do anything, excitement is in the air, fun is to be had! I definitely start projects and have brainstorming hurricanes in the fall and fill up my to-do list like mad; but I love the fall for that: the feeling that I can get it all done, that I’m ready to tackle anything!

And to be honest the cute warm weather clothes, snuggly comforters on a slightly chilly morning, and spiced cider and pumpkin pie, does nothing to dull my love of the season. Throw in some apple picking or trick-or-treating, and I am one happy camper (or whatever it is I decide to dress up as for Halloween ;)!)

So, I am wishing each of you a wonderful fall. Take time to enjoy the crisp air, the foods of the season, the holiday prep, don’t get too bogged down by the stress of the season (and if you do, take a deep breath and go for a walk), and check off your to-do’s like mad as you race the year to its end. I am gonna sip on my tea, turn my space heater on, and give myself 10 more things to accomplish (cause that’s how I roll - and to be honest, I really like tasks, cause I LOVE checking them off as done!) Let’s do this! Fall, I am gonna rock you!