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Point Break of the Speed Matrix

Keanu is my Mac. He helps me reach you, Interwebs.

Tag Archives: Childhood

Hilary Buckholtz has captured all of my childhood memories and put them into one fantastic tumblr blog.


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If you replaced “Justin Bieber” with “Eric Estrada” (although he was no singer, just the best actor ever and star of the best show in the history of television, “C.Hi.Ps”) you might see a glimpse of what an overtired 3 year old ham sandwich named Tara was like back in the day.  

4:09 – 4:15  people.  Thanks for forwarding, Greer!


Tara's 5th birthday

Sometimes I need to remind myself of how I used to operate.  When I was little, I was able to enjoy those brief moments in the sun and not let anything silly wipe the smile off my face.  We can’t please all of the people all of the time but we can enjoy personal successes without guilt or apologies.


If someone made these for me when I was little I would have exploded.

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Not one but FIVE of these guys.  F-I-V-E.

Not one but FIVE of these guys. F-I-V-E.

I don’t even know where to start.   Ok, I’ll just get to it.  I have this friend, I don’t want to reveal her name for fear that she will be embarassed by this post, so all I will say is that her name rhymes with Bathleen… Bathleen Bandy.  And although she had four siblings growing up and lots of friends in grammar school she still managed to have FIVE imaginary friends.  That’s FIVE.  F-I-V-E.  FIVE-O.  CINCO.  5.   This is highly amusing to me.  What’s better is that she just reminded me of their names and I nearlly had a coronary.  But we’ll get to that in a second.

I wasn’t there.  I don’t know what her house was like growing up.  I’m not really sure what she was fed.  I don’t even know if she got out much.  But I’ve been around her family long enough to realize that these friends were not born out of necessity or a lack of love.  They are just another bizarre manifestation of a mind that also created several other iconoclastic pretend games as a child.   I played “House” and sometimes “Store” with my neighbor friends.  Bathleen?  Bathleen played “Lady Office Manager” and “What If I Died Here”.

Thanks to the advances of technology and a well timed lunch break, I can now breathe life into these faceless characters once and for all.  Here is what I think Bathleen’s five imaginary friends look like in no particular order:

1. Gimokus (gih-moh-kuss)

2. Minko

3. Mickey Mouse (she may also be psychic)

4. Jose

5.  Superstar

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My reading textbook.  It was mostly stories about how not to turn to a life of crime just because you're poor and how cleaning public toilets is fun.

My reading textbook. It was mostly stories about how not to turn to a life of crime just because you're poor and how cleaning public toilets is fun.

My parochial school separated my first grade reading class into two sections; Action Pack and Blastoffs (A group and B group).  You see when a bunch of hard hittin’ Bronx nuns get together to handle the delicate psychological states of six year olds you get the  subtlety of a Judge Judy beer belch. 

Eventhough I had a vocabulary that was grades ahead of others due to having much older siblings and European parents that said things like, “Tara, you’re being disobedient”  or “Tara, take pride in your appearance by having finely pressed garments”, I was put in B group because I lacked focus.  Some notes I came across in old report cards recently: 

  • Tara is a day dreamer.
  • Tara looks out the window during class.  It’s as if she’s in another world.
  • Tara talks to everyone.

And once the Sorting Hat put you in your house of reading shame there was no chance of upward mobility.  You became a B group lifer until high school.  It wasn’t until around 4th grade that I realized that all the Blastoffs around me were not just the nose pickers and paste eaters but the majority were the first generation kids of immigrants like myself.  Moynihan, Slattery, Tucci, DeGregorio… Maher.  Depending on our ethnicity, we were the kids that didn’t say letters of the alphabet correctly; H was “haich” for the Micks and M “emma” for the Itals.  We were the kids that would spend a whole summer with relatives in Europe and come back with speech patterns that needed correcting. 

Tara: “Am I not meant to have this pudding snack?” 

Random A Group kid:  “You sound like an alien!”

When I was five my Italian neighborhood playmate went to Italy for the summer.  I remember when she returned her mother brought her over to my house and had a quick chat with my mom in the kitchen while I played on my swing set.  I just remember my mom opening the back door holding Maria’s hand leading her out to me and saying, “Tara, Maria doesn’t speak English anymore.  You  need to play with her everyday until she starts making sense.”

**Names have been changed to protect B groupers.