Tara Tiger Brown

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just prowling around

Where is she?

I’ve been really really missing my best friend Candice lately.  I think of her everyday. She died tragically on November 10, 2006 and I still haven’t gotten over it. I never will.

I am reposting two things I wrote on November 19th and 20th, 2006 when I was on Windows Live Spaces:

I lost my best friend on November 10th.  It seems so strange to blog about it, but I want to get a couple of messages out there to the world so that her death isn’t meaningless.
First, Candice and her boyfriend Owen were killed by a drunk driver.  I don’t need to tell you that drinking and driving is bad, but to me, its real now. Someone very dear to me died because someone was drinking and driving and now its not just a bad idea its a horribly tragic and needless atrocity.  For the sake of your family and friends and anyone else that could be affected by you drinking and driving, please don’t do it. And don’t let your friends and family do it.  The driver that killed them had friends in the car that could have stopped him but they didn’t and now they are dead too.  5 people died because one person decided to drink and drive.  He knew the road well that he was travelling on when he killed them, but he crossed the center line and hit them straight on.  My point is that it doesn’t matter how familiar you are with the road, you just can’t think straight when mixing alcohol and getting behind the wheel.
Secondly, be good to your friends.  Candice loved her friends and showed kindness, respect, devotion, caring and love towards them.  She nurtured our relationship far more than I did. We have lived in different cities for the past 6 years and she was the one that worked the hardest to keep our friendship alive by visiting, emailing and calling me.  My birthday and Christmas are going to be tough this year b/c I always looked forward to hearing from her and exchanging gifts and cards.  She always put so much thought into her gifts and it wasn’t the fact she got me something it was that she cared about me enough to want to do something nice for me.  If you have a friend that you keep meaning to call or write to, just do it.  It’ll make you feel great and you will have no regrets.  They can be gone in a split second and you won’t ever get that chance to tell them how you feel, so do it today, do it right now.
Candice was on this planet for a reason and I think one of those reasons was to demonstrate what a true friend is and how easily you can lose them, so hold on tight, and look after them.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to say at Candice’s service and so I tried writing a poem.  I had it sitting in notepad on my computer and just now took another look at it and realized that it came out in the shape of a “C”.  It actually startled me when I discovered it.
waiting for your return
plans for a reunion
change in plans
unexpected
sadness
shock
dismay
anger
rage
loneliness
where did you go
when are you coming back
waiting to see you again

Filed under: annoyed, life, , , ,

iPhone Anonymously Returned

Here are the facts of the iPhone saga as I know them. I am trying very hard to give the facts only and not opinions or gossip. I would like to move on from this now. Thank you for your support, even criticisms because I have learned some very valuable lessons.

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

I hosted a party at my house

At the end of the party, I could not locate my iPhone

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I still could not locate my iPhone. My roommate, Jason and Sean all helped me look

I received an email from Nick Starr stating that he left his iPhone at my house

After many Facebook mails back and forth Nick suggested that the iPhones were stolen. He was the first to suggest this to me, not the other way around

Via Twitter and Facebook mail, Nick stated that his friend Ben could be a suspect

I tweeted that I was going to the police to report my iPhone as stolen

11:00PM someone in a dark hoody with the hood over his head came marching towards me and Sean right outside my house just as we were leaving the house

This individual was Nick. He said Melodi informed him that the iPhones were dropped off at my house

I looked in the mailbox just before we left the house (where I tweeted I wanted my iPhone delivered) and they were not there

Nick seemed shocked that the iPhones were not there

Sean and I went to the police station.  I reported my iPhone as stolen and mentioned that Nick also claimed his phone was missing

Saturday, Oct. 18th, 2008

I purchased a new iPhone because I thought I wouldn’t get mine back

Monday, Oct. 20th, 2008

A white plastic bag with my iPhone and a white iPhone showed up in my yard at the bottom of my stairs

My roommate said that she saw that same plastic bag in the corner of our yard near the fence Saturday morning but she thought it was garbage (a lot of garbage blows into our yard)

The downstairs neighbor said she did not place the bag at the bottom of my stairs

Conclusion is that someone threw the bag over my fence on Friday nite.  Then somoeone other than myself, my roommate or the neighbor moved the bag Sunday nite towards my door so I would see it

I went to the police and gave them all the evidence including my iPhone and the white iPhone

The police returned my iPhone to me and still have the white iPhone

The police would like for me to pass on to Nick Starr “we are very very interested in you.”

Filed under: annoyed, life, twitter, , , ,

Has anyone seen my iPhone?

Lots and lots of twittering about my iPhone debacle, so I wanted to give you all my side of the story.

I had a party for friends on Thursday nite because my friend Jason Defillippo was in town and is an excellent Rock Band guitar player.  I thought it would be fun to get a few people together to try out Rock Band II and smoke a little hookah.

I created the event on Facebook and invited friends and set the permissions to allowing guests to bring friends.  I tweeted about the party and asked people to direct message me or @ reply me for the address in case I wasn’t following them for some reason.

The party was going well; I knew everyone there or knew of them. There were one or two people that I didn’t know but many people vouched for them.  Then Nick Starr showed up at my house with a guy I didn’t recognize.  Right away my stomach became queasy and I expressed this to my friend Angela. I had recently met Nick at the Mimosa Factory event that he organized.  When he introduced himself, the first words out of his mouth were that he wanted to commit suicide off the Golden Gate bridge.  Me and my companions all looked at each other in complete shock and didn’t have any idea how to respond.  Interestingly enough, a few days later, there were a bunch of tweets that Nick Starr has publicly tweeted that he wanted to kill himself.  I was later to find out that he has done this a bunch of times and its either a cry for some serious help or a publicity stunt.

Back to the story. Nick showed up at my house and I just had a bad feeling.  I didn’t want to turn him away because someone said he was invited by Melodi (who I don’t know) and Melodi was invited by Kara.  I figured, OK, there is some vouching here and everyone at the party at least knew of Nick Starr if they didn’t call him a friend.

Party continues, I try to be a good hostess and introduce myself to Nick and his companion Ben.  We even played Rock Band together.

It gets to be around 11:30pm or midnite and most of the guests have left.  I was on the couch with Sean posting pictures to Flickr and then decided to get up and clean the kitchen.  I put my iPhone down on the table next to the couch and that is the last time I saw it.  BTW, its a Black 3G iPhone with a brown rubber cover with blue flowers. Here’s a pic.

Sean was on the couch and I saw Nick sitting with him. I thought it was odd because almost everyone except maybe one or two people had left.  I looked again and Nick was gone.

That night I looked for my phone because I knew it was low on battery and wanted to plug it in, but I couldn’t find it.  The next morning I looked again and Jason and Sean also looked for it. Couldn’t find it. I looked again and again.  I went to check my email, and received the following from Nick Starr:

Hey thanks for having us over last night. I think I left my iPhone on the coffee table. It is a white one with no case. Is there any way I can meet you somewhere and get it at some point?

Thanks again for the rocking party,

Nick Starr

I thought, hmm, that’s weird.  I replied:

Thanks for coming!

No, I don’t have your cellphone. But I lost mine. Its black with a brown cover. I really wish I could find it because my dog is really sick and I need to call a vet. 😦

-Tara

His reply:

Wait my phone isn’t there? someone took it? wtf….oh man. ugh

Then I started getting really suspicious. What made him think that it was stolen all of a sudden? And some people told me that he is always poor and complains about not having money.

At this point I was pissed off.  We exchanged a few more emails and then this is what sealed the deal for me was this email:

I was invited by Melodi who I’ve known for a while now…I’ve only known that guy for 3 days now…I will ask him.

And this tweet from Nick.  Seemed clear to me that he was trying to put the blame on this Ben guy because no one really knows him.  So in my mind I was thinking about 3 possible scenarious: 1)Ben took it and Nick knew about it. 2) Nick took it 3) Ben took it and Nick didn’t know.  Either way, Nick brought this guy into my house and I as far as I’m concerned, needs to get my phone back or pay to replace it.

A lot of other emails, IMs, tweets, etc. occurred throughout the day.  I spoke to my Dad who is a Private Investigator and he said that the first email that Nick sent me was very suspicious.  I went to the Mission Police Department to report this crime and they said the same thing.

At this point my phone has not been returned.  It cost me $500 and now I have to pay another $500 to replace it.  More than the money which completely sucks, I am so sad that a fun party with my friends has turned into something really sad. I hate that someone came into my house and stole from me after hanging out with me.  I hate that I am so angry right now while I am planning my wedding.  I am trying to get past this.  Really really trying.

Here are my lessons learned:

1) Events on Facebook need to be private if they include your house address.  Can’t trust anyone to keep that information private even if you invite them as a friend.

2) Trust your instincts. If you have a queasy feeling about someone, ask them to leave.

3) During a house party, only allow new people that you don’t know into your house if they have at least one other person there that you trust and will vouch for them

4) Keep all documentation of any crime and take it all to the police with you. There is an online crime reporting site, but going in person means you can provide print outs.

5) Get house or renters insurance that includes a rider for electronics

6) Know who your friends are.

Thanks everyone for your help and support in trying to get to the bottom of this.

Filed under: annoyed, life, twitter, , , , , ,

That’s Not How You Say That

Ever since I moved to the USA, I have been annoyed with people who don’t pronounce certain words correctly.  Here is my running list. Feel free to add.  Here’s some more:  http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/mispronounced_words.html

“I would like a shot of X-Presso, please.” — It’s actually Espresso.  See, no X.

“Mommy, would you pwease make me a pweenutbutter Sammich?” — This is not even close to Sandwich. And I don’t care if it’s some Southern slang, I could not find it in the Oxford dictionary.

“I’m playing Badmitten because tennis balls scare me.”  — Dang that mitten is a bad one. Umm, no. Its Badminton.

“I need to Axe you a question.” — Ask!!!  If I had an axe for every time someone confuses a word made of 3 whole letters…

“In Canadia, people live in igloos.”  — There is no ‘i’ in Canada. Ask me how I am pretty darn sure about this fact.

“It’s none of your damn bidness, man!” — Business. We aren’t bidding here.

Dubya is a dumb ass.” — ‘W’ is actually pronounced ‘double U’. Shocking, I know.

I will admit something…I didn’t know that Klu Klux Klan is actually Ku Klux Klan. I’ll be sure to evangelize that one around.

Filed under: annoyed, life, , , , ,

Stop complaining then things start working?

Based on some negativity I was projecting (aka bitching) my Life Coach asked me or rather ordered me to read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.  She said that it had a good summary on encouraging good thoughts.  I was a bit skeptical to even purchase it because the cover reminded of the video game Myst and so I thought it was going to be some fantastical, cryptic read.  I happened to see it at Costco and picked it up because what’s $14 when you are spending a few hundred on other things you really don’t need.

I tweeted my friends asking if they had read it and I got a flurry of responses, most were highly opinionated from the usual suspects:

  • If you waste your time reading more than 5 pages of that we’re going to have an intervention. Avoid.
  • The only secret in “The Secret” is how such a crappy book made so much bank. Seriously, if you want it, make it happen. Done. 
  • everyone is screwed, that’s why the book is a hunk of crap.
  • You’re way past the “The Secret”. It’s basically a dumbed-down voodoo version of “Flow”.
  • The Secret is that you may accidentally be supporting an out-of-work comedian. 😉
  • clifnotes: If you sit around thinking you dont deserve anything you won’t get it. If you know you deserve it, you make it happen.

Based on my own principles, I opted to read the book and form my own opinion.   I’m about half way through and the gist of what I’m reading is that you need to be in a good state of mind because you project your feelings out into the universe and then they get reflected back at you – so if you are in a bad mood, bad energy will flow back and the opposite is true too (which is what we’re going for).  Additionally, you need to Ask, Believe, and Receive:  Ask the universe for what you want (but only once), believe deep in your soul that it will happen (no timelines here), and be open to receiving it when it does – as if you were expecting it to happen all along.  The book also discusses how you need to put yourself in the right frame of mind before asking for anything:  If you want a house then go look at houses, if you want a car go sit in the one you want.  Also, size or price of the item has no bearing on the ask…$1 is no different than a million dollars.

So far it is a really easy read and hasn’t said anything that I didn’t already think about in one way or another because I’ve been reading the book Flow and I have also taken an Art of Living course (not promoting here…just took it for the breathing exercises…maybe I’ll post something on that experience later) which is about being in the present and focusing on what you want.

Going back to the title of this post – if I were less negative about things that annoy me, would the annoyances stop occurring and everything just work?  My first inclination is to refute that hypothesis because there is no way that me alone can project my positive thoughts onto every new social networking website or gadget that I come across and want to use.  I think that my experience in working through issues could be vastly improved, but everyone involved would have to be practicing “The Secret” in order for it to truly work holistically across all experiences.

Ultimately, the answer to my question is “no” however I think there is a level in which I can discuss the things that I find difficult in a way that is positive towards the receivers that they are afforded the opportunity to work on a response and a solution in a positive way as well.

We’ll see how this works out – I will try the sandwich way of writing: start out with a positive, details and criticisms in between, then end on a positive note.

Filed under: annoyed, , , , , , , ,

Two days of fail

I have a big long list of crappiness that I experienced yesterday and today.  No intro needed, let’s just dive right in shall we…

  • I made a bunch of folders on my phone for my fave text messages and then my Smartphone crashed and when it recovered it burped out all my text messages into oblivion.  I have a very bad memory and I require documentation to even remember what movies I’ve seen.  This was a huge bummer.
  • I Brightkited a bunch at Emerald City ComiCon and then when I got to the best part – meeting Wil Wheaton (@wilw) I didn’t get my frickin’ pic with him. Dammit! I guess that means it never happened.
  • The actor who plays Peter Patrelli on Heroes didn’t show at ComiCon. Fail!
  • My knees have been bothering me while I jog and someone suggested that I get some new shoes so I went to Niketown.  I decided to get some Nike+ compatible shoes (of course) and asked for the watch+sensor because I don’t have an iPod Nano.  The salesman took 10 minutes to go through all the nuts and bolts of the system and then at the end of the pitch I exclaimed “sold!” and he said “sorry, we are all out”.  WTF? Why would you bother even trying to sell something you don’t have in stock. Thanks for nothing.
  • Twitter is ticking me off a bit…first, on a couple of occassions the web version will indicate I have entered 140 characters into the update well and then I press enter and it tells me I was >140 chars. Wtf?  Second, sometimes when I send a direct message and then refresh the page, it appear to post the message again because the confirmation message will appear over and over again. I’m always worried that I’m spamming the same message over and over.
  • I forgot to get my Mum a Mother’s Day card. I fail. 😦
  • I have to reboot my smartphone everyday because the browser will stop rendering webpages.
  • A Seattle weather report is texted to me at 8am everyday. And everyday it reports rain.
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall was a terrible movie, with horrid editing and the walk home made it even worse because the cold wind was ripping into me like a hard slap.
  • My real estate agent told my ex today that she thought the house was priced too high.  It has been on the market for 7 weeks and she decided to tell us this now? Are you kidding me?
  • I have to keep my house clean everyday because it is for sale and this has become quite the onerous routine every time I want to leave the house.  I never used to make my bed or put every single dish into the dishwasher after use. I feel like I am living in a museum not a house.  I hope it sells soon but then I have other decisions to make so its a bit of a catch 22…
  • Today I had plans for a bike ride with friends but I couldn’t find my bike pump and neither could they.  Then it started raining and we gave up.
  • Lastly, I would love to be tapping away on my keyboard from the comfort of my bed, but my wireless router is broken and I am tethered to the modem. Meh

Filed under: annoyed, , , ,

Sunny in Seattle but I’m Still Complainin’

Until recently I didn’t realize how often I get annoyed by things…We aren’t talking just once or twice per day, we are talking upwards of at least 10 times.  I started counting the number of times when my Life Coach (aka shrink for people that want to think outside the box) requested that I start journaling my day.  I would leave her office after an hour still rambling on (to myself at that point) and in her absence she wanted me to have an outlet.  She handed me a notepad and pen and said “write down every thought as it comes to you.”  I looked at her with my usual ‘wtf’ raised eyebrow and explained that I got hand cramps after about 30 seconds of using those old fashioned writing utensils and if I wrote down every thought I would surely develop tennis elbow.  We agreed or rather I *told* her that I would journal on my laptop while riding to and from work on the Microsoft Connector bus which is a total of about 30 minutes.  After she figured out that the Internet can “travel” with you, she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of me spending more time on my laptop because she thinks I spend too much time online already, but conceded to the idea that I would use some of my brain energy “constructively” and for my own well-being.

I started listing things in my wiki throughout the day that annoyed me (I give credit or curses to Tantek who told me to use a wiki as my instrument of thought).  Interestingly enough all my thoughts were really complaints as opposed to just ideas, and I didn’t list everything because I thought that the trivial things didn’t really matter, or if it wasn’t technology related then it was bunk.  But, then I got to thinking that I would really love to get an actual count of the things that tick me off so I know how much of my day is spent being in a negative state of mind.  Not that it would change anything, but just an interesting statistic. Also, I thought that for my own mental health I might also want to list out the things that make me happy or “happified” as I like to say.  I was a little worried at first that I would have nothing to report on this front, but in fact there have been a few instances of good karma coming my way and so my life isn’t just all spit and vinegar.  I report on that now in my Tiger Love blog.

Alright, enough jibber jabber, time to get to my list of annoyances:

  • I have this dumb idea that if I weigh myself every morning I won’t gain a lot of weight because I can catch myself before gaining too much.  Well, I just realized that the stupid display on the scale has been frozen to my weight from 2 months ago and in fact, I have gained more than a few pounds. So I’m annoyed at my fancy scale, SXSW for starting me on my partying rampage, and alcohol in general.
  • I got on the bus this morning and flipped open my laptop lid.  I hadn’t shut down Windows Vista the night before (stupid me!) and so waited the 10 minutes (literally) for it to wake up and figure out where it was (I’ve had a few of those mornings so I had some empathy).  It finally started ticking a bit but everything was so slow then I decided to reboot.  Waited another 10 minutes for this cycle.  By the time is was humming an elevator tune I was half way to work and realized I had better type super fast.  I finally got online (wifi..not annoying) and started writing in my blog.  About 5 minutes later my screen froze.  We are talking no ctrl-alt-del, no right clicking task manager, nothing.  Oh, and I hadn’t saved yet either.  This totally freaking annoyed me and I hadn’t even gotten to work yet.
  • On the bus I was sitting on the back bench sandwiched between two somewhat large guys.  The song playing on the radio was “I feel like making love” by Bad Company.  Needless to say, this was ironic and uncomfortable all sandwiched together.
  • Got to work and had a 9:00am meeting with three other people (oh and 9:00am meetings really annoy me).  One person was giving guidance on something and writing a chart out on a piece of paper (we already know how I feel about paper…). The other two people started copying his chart on their pieces of paper.  I just couldn’t handle this redundant behavior.  Is that really necessary?  And it was a chart with 4 boxes in it..come on.
  • As I have mentioned, I now take the MIcrosoft Connector bus…originally I decided to use it on M-W-F but then decided to try 5 days/week because I have a frickin’ huge SUV that sucks gas like me drinking Kahlua and milk.  I navigated to the Connector website to change my recurring appointment to add Tuesday and Thursday.  I clicked on edit but the checkboxes to add those dates were grayed out.  So I decided to create a new recurring appointment for those two days and it told me that I had already booked those days. Well I hadn’t of course because I checked my schedule just in case I had some sort of memory fart. Nope, hadn’t. At 4:30pm I called the number to talk to a support person (available 10:00am-7:00pm) and it went to voicemail that said they were gone for the day.  A friend is coming into town and will be borrowing my car and I was worried that I wouldn’t get the days and times I needed so I promptly programmed single trips, one by one, morning and evening for one month.  If you can’t do the math that’s 16 operations times 8 clicks each which is 128 mouse clicks.  Needless to say, that annoyed me.
  • I have had my work laptop for long enough that I am permitted to get another one.  I asked if I could get a Mac and run Windows on it (I mean come on, I’m like the only one at conferences without the kewl kids laptop).  I was told to give a business justification because otherwise everyone in my workgroup would want a Mac.  What kind of freaking answer is that?  I don’t really care what others want, if a Mac is going to make me happy after 8 years of servitude at the ‘Soft, then I should be given one wrapped in a red bow.

I know I had a lot more grievances, but those ones are burned into my head still.  Maybe I will do a better job of jotting my “issues” down on my Smartphone…oh boy, don’t even get me started on that.

Filed under: annoyed, , , , , , , , , , ,

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