chocolate thursdays

The only combo I love more than a good PB&J is wine and music videos.  Does that make me cheap?  Probably.  But in my ideal world, every 9:00-10:00pm could be spent sipping wine and taking turns picking the next great song to listen to. For now, I’m just glad there are Thursdays.

My picks for tonight (to be fair, two aren’t reeeally vidyas, but are swell just the same):

And about the title…does anybody else remember the good old days at St. Pius, when we’d get chocolate milk on Thursdays? Times were good, y’all.

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chihuahuas que macarenarse

That was a long break, huh? I might be a commitmentphobe when it comes to this crazy little thing called blog. At any rate, the last time we were both here it was all the way back on October 28th– since then, in addition to dressing up as a conservative (in the cleavage sense, not the political one) witch for the Vaughan family Halloween party and eating an inordinate amount of turkey in a thankish way, I’ve been starting into a few musical side projects, writing a few songs, and booking/playing a bunch o’ gigs here in Omaha.

It feels good to be getting out there, making music with other people again– this girl-with-piano stuff starts to get lonely!– but already I’m getting a little anxious. How will I watch my requisite eight episodes of How I Met Your Mother each day with all these practices going on? Who will teach Small Dog how to macarena? In a lucky/unlucky twist, I don’t have a job at the six months post-graduation point (the manager dude at a restaurant down the street looked at my resume, sighed and told me I didn’t have enough experience to be a hostess. Sigh is right, Manager Dude). Although this means that I have exactly twenty-two cents in my savings account, it does give me the opportunity to go play my little heart out much more than I’ve gotten to in the past.

Maybe I’ll check back in next month (next YEAR!) and let you know that it wasn’t worth it– December would’ve been better spent learning the art of hostessing and saving a little money to finally leave M&D to their empty nesters’ reverie. But I guess you gotta get up to get down.

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new song download!

Still working on a fuller version of this, but in the name of Halloween, check out this creepy love song:   Till Death (Hint: You can download it to your computer by clicking the little arrow button.)

Pumpkin excrement for all!
Tara

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what it looked like

parrot teacher committee:

a pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookie- and google images-fueled photo time capsule by tara v.

stayed here 2.5 weeks and ne'er a mosquito did i see.

I ran out of money but had the good fortune to be in DC at the time, so I took advantage of all the free Smithsonian museums. Thought to myself, We're not in 'Braska anymore, Todo, and giggled like you do when you're alone in a museum.

the almost-view from my almost-new apartment. my almost-life.

Got to see the oldest, wisest Vaughan make Tech Sergeant - pictured here with the tiniest, stinkiest Vaughan, who pinned his dad along with the help of his hot mama.

homecoming. and it really was!

dirty jerz part 2: in which a small person learns to walk. and if you're wondering about the fabulous J.Lo-worthy chambray jumpsuit, that is definitely an aunt-present. he'll thank me later.

I stuck around the east coast long enough to welcome Lu back from Puerto Rico. I forgot my camera, but it sort of looked like this (mainly the contrasting hair colors part).

didn't have a camera this morning when i said g'bye to the vaughan boys, but i bet this is what that looked like.

And now to Omaha!

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quarter-life bucket list

After last week’s stressful realization that this current situation is too pressure-filled and uncertain for me to move to NYC right now, doors of other opportunities seem to be bursting open– well, actually just the theoretical opportunities in my head (and look how far those have gotten me…).  Do I take this time of being young, single, child- and pet-less to travel?  I could go back to Omaha, get a temp job, save up some more money to buy a cheap-but-sturdy car and take off, touring the states in a frenzy of loose food and fast women.  I could go to Argentina and teach English while learning about tango and romance from a soft-spoken, byronic local (not that I’ve thought about it…but he’s 6’3″, dark features and shoulders for miles).  I also have the urge to settle down somewhere, though.  I want the cozy apartment for dinner parties and decorating!  I want the pet and the 401K!  I want the child!  (HA!  Gotcha.)  It’s a really exciting thing, this semi-newfound freedom, but it’s also pretty daunting.  No thanks to Google streetview for making every locale look like a dollar-store inundated munchkin village.

Everybody I know has a different opinion on the best post-grad living choice for me; I should go here– because it’s closer to Omaha, because I’ll be able to pursue music, because it’s more affordable, because it IS Omaha, because I’ll be able to find a non-music job, because there are no jobs anywhere so I might as well learn to surf and stay on so-and-so’s couch while the economy weeps in a corner somewhere.  The thing that’s keeping me sort of grounded in and excited for the jobless, penny-pinching present (besides my loving and generous family and friends [some of whom are in frighteningly similar situations], obviously) is my ever-increasing life to-do list.  NOT to be confused with a bucket list, a list of things to see and do before the great and scary ending, this list is chalk-full of little joys and big challenges that I can focus on immediately.

My list is all up on that self-improvement ish: get in kick-butt shape and learn krav maga (for those dark alley kinda nights), learn to cook really delicious, clean & healthy food for myself and my family, design my ideal apartment and make it happen.  A lot of it is music-focused (take time to write each day, write a song each Thursday for practice even when I don’t feel like it, save up enough money to make new cd like, totally badass), and some of it is stuff I’ve always wanted to do but somehow never found opportunity to (learn to sail, take a comedy class).  This list is important to me, and I hope it will rub off and make my next few months important to me, whatever it is I end up doing.  I also know that wherever I land, as I cross items off the list, I’ll move toward bringing a better version of me to that place…or at least, a sailing version of me just brimming with shitty Thursday songs.

What about you, dear reader, do you have a list?  If so, what’s on it?

Posted in badass womenfolk, why chocolate milk is so tasty | 1 Comment

death (of, by) autotune

On Monday, I got to spend a little time with one of my favorite Bostonians, John Clark, who is basically the Pied Piper of college a cappella groups.  He’s produced all of sQ!‘s cds since I’ve been around and is one entertaining dude.  My goodness, I’m gonna miss those days in the attic…  Anyway, I needed to record a couple things for our new cd (coming this spring!), so I got to hang with him for a little bit.

In addition to being funny (I think), bat shit goofy, and hug-ready at all times, the members of sQ! are incredibly supportive of each other.  They’ve been there for my very best and verrry worst, but the relevant example right now is neither– this past year, I really wanted to write a song for the group and perform it.  This could’ve turned out terribly, but they agreed to do it and were really encouraging.  The song took me a long time to write; I guess when you’re working on something that you’re making 13 people take part in, the stakes feel a little higher.  What I ended up with is sort of a coming-of-age song about realizing the need to be able to make mistakes to learn and live up to your own expectations, rather than anyone else’s (seems to be a theme…).  I finished the song on my 22nd birthday and named it ’22.’

sQ!’s recording process usually consists of taking a day or two at the end of each semester where we record 2-4 songs to represent that semester on the cd.  During those days, two people record their parts at a time, starting with the basses, moving up through the sopranos, then finishing with vocal percussion and soloist.  After all the initial groundwork is laid, John (Pied Piper) picks the tracks apart, cutting, snipping, and tuning things down to make everything smooth and sounding cd-worthy.

Right now 22 and all the other songs on the upcoming album are still in the beginning stages of recording, so John’s production work is all just beginning.  I posted a clip of 22 here– just the bare, rough recording of the song, pre-production.  I can’t wait to hear it and the other songs transform as the production process gets underway!

I also got some time in on my own cd during this trip, but more on that next time!

A buncha internet love,
Tara

Posted in clips, college a cappella, pied piper | 2 Comments

true grounds

Sitting in one of my favorite little cafe/restaurants in Ball Square across the table from one of my favorite little sandy/blondes on the planet, letting the Pepto Bismol and caffeine sink in (and praying dearly that they become friends-not-foes in their stomachy meeting place), I am reallllly glad I have this blog.  Self-absorbed, self-important, and whiny though it (though I) may be, when inclinations change as fast as my most recent ones have, it’s nice to have some record of where my head’s been in the last couple months.  I am also very happy to have had this weekend in Boston with crisp, sunny fall weather, tasty and dangerous Tufts food, and friends who border on family.

Thursday afternoon, back in New Jersey, I passed a golf course while driving with Harper and thought to myself, Holy shitzkies.  I will never, ever be able to golf in New York City. (Keep in mind that I am the worst golfer in the world.  The only time I went, I only made it to the first hole, where I couldn’t hit the ball off the tee after three tries, then sat in the golf cart and pouted while my dad and Evan did the other 17.)  Just this realization, though– that space is a commodity in New York; that beautiful, glorious, carpet or hardwood or manicured grass SPACE is something I will not have until my most recent EP, Afterglow, goes quadruple-platinum or, alternately, I finally give in and use these C cups to snag a C level**, did me in.

So it seems fitting that the next day, on the bus ride into Boston, I got butterflies as soon as I saw that giant CITGO sign in the sky and immediately latched on to the idea of moving back– Of course!  It’s you Boston, it’s always been you, you handsome little (well, moderate-sized) town of a city.  You are full of beautiful buildings that even girls on budgets like me can afford to live in and around!  You very rarely smell like pee (in contrast to some other cities along the eastern seaboard)!  Just sauntering down your tree-lined streets in my payless flats makes me feel like a young Jackie O.

Then it got cold, and I remembered what Boston is like during the 360 days of the year when the weather SUCKS.

So I guess the point of all of this (although to you, dear reader, it probably doesn’t seem like the point at all– that’s because, like my high school journalism teacher Mrs. K told me once, I have a hard time sticking to points and tend to use too many sidethoughts and parentheticals.  Huh.) is that I have been living my life relative to other peoples’ lives, instead of relative to my own ideals.

In the end, this spontaneous month and a half long trip has just ended where every crappy romantic comedy movie heroine ends up right before the final scene, where the guy comes back and is all ‘aw, shucks, take me back.’  This journey of questions and answers, then more questions and mind changes, and friends and some friends who aren’t as friendly as I thought they were, has just gotten me to the same realization Kate Hudson gets to every time:  You can’t live your life based on other people.  Even if they are really great people, everyone else has their own plans, and at some point growing up means recognizing MY ideal life, and not the ideal life that best fits in with Lucy’s ideal life, or Adam and Harper’s ideal lives, or even with my parents’ ideal lives.

So I made a list of all the things I want in life and changed accordingly.  But that’s another blog post for another time.  For now, it’s off to make some music (you thought I forgot, didn’t you?)

Thanks for reading,
Tara

** If you don’t know me and just happened to stumble upon this blog, please know that I’m joking.

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