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Pathetic Paparazzi!!!

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I experienced my first run in with the paparazzi–it was such a mixture of bad emotions!PPAPPARAZA

About a month ago, I experienced it from a close distance and felt this severe sense of intrusion.  I was jolted.

I was having lunch with a friend in a Brentwood restaurant when all of a sudden, 5 men with huge camera lenses were running into position outside the entrance clicking away.  It was loud and a huge disruption, it felt really bad to me.  It almost felt like they had big guns.paparazzi

I started thinking how awful it must be to not be able to go into a store and walk back to your car without some intruder in your face!

Today, while leading a hike for a drug & alcohol treatment center, I encountered direct experience with the paparazzi.IMG_0785

One of the clients there is a  major celebrity who has had so many run ins with paparazzi throughout her career  As we walked down onto a neighborhood street in Malibu to get to another trail entrance up about a block, we noticed a car that kept driving by and turning around.

The celebrity client immediately became stressed and anxious–she did not want to be photographed.  I could feel her energy and started feeling the same way!  This is when being empathic does not feel good!   It troubled me deeply.Papparazz

I went into protection mode–it’s just my default reaction to a threat, I don’t get weak and become submissive, I get strong and become assertive and protective.  In light of that, I remained quite calm.

I blocked her as we walked by him so that he couldn’t look at her directly.  He acted as if he was going to the beach with his beach towel, but we saw the huge camera  on the passenger seat.

The myriad of emotions that I felt was intense.   Here is a person who is working on being better and she can’t even go and just BE without some creep up in her business!   To think that activity is allowed and legal is just plain wrong!

Some of the other male residents were combative toward him while I just maintained this wall of strength.

As we walked up the trail entrance,  there was some verbal exchange between the camera ass and the celebrity, “awe, come on,  you owe me one, we’re friends”.  She replied, “I don’t owe you anything!”

While one of the other residents was wanting to fight with the guy, the camera ass said, “Yeah, we can take care of that when you get to the parking lot, I’ll meet you up there –I know where you’re going to end up.”

Well, what he didn’t know is that I know alternative ways out of that trail system!IMG_0795

We played a little trick on them and avoided any further interaction.  I sent the drivers of the trucks in the direction they were expecting, then I took the group to a section of the trail that is mounded in the corner that happens to be next to a street.  I found the trucks and waved them back to my  hiding spot.

It was so great to see them after I successfully got the clients shusshed away and on the road.  They were so perplexed–they just couldn’t figure out where we were. Hah!

Anyway…

Some people I’ve shared this topic with say, “well those celebrities signed up for it, they’re gonna have to live with it”.

 They didn’t sign up for that kind of intrusion! 

They signed up for the red carpet flashes and thrills but not to have annoying people follow them around  in their personal lives with a camera!

I am very empathic and I felt this deep deep pain that I’ve never felt before.  For the most part, their lives look luxurious and glamorous but, ultimately, they are prisoners in their own home.

I have no ties or connection to any celebrities so this isn’t a biased opinion, this is a pure “feeling” experience.  Going through that did not feel good, it was bizarre and unsettling.

How can we make this totally unacceptable and illegal?

Just this week, I heard about Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry’s support for the Senate bill 606 to make it illegal for paparazzi to take photos of children of hollywood stars.

http://www.newsmax.com/thewire/halle-berry-jennifer-garner-paparazzi-kids/2013/08/15/id/520527

I believe all paparazzi (un-invited photographers) should be illegal.

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Love IS– My Sister Valorie!

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It really does seem true–the people we’ve known and loved the longest seem to be taken for granted the most!

Well, let me tell you about my sister Valorie!

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Our bond started early, she spoke for me.

I’m not sure when I did start talking but my mom had to have a real serious talk with Valorie because whenever someone asked me a question, Valorie always answered it.  “What’s your name?”  “Her name is Tara”.  “How old are you Tara?”  “She’s 3” ….Mom had to sit her down, get her attention and explain how important it was to let me start talking for myself.

Thanks to Valorie, I speak up  for myself and I’m good at it!

Valorie was always there for me.  Even though she is only 2 years older than me, she was the closest thing to mom that I had. ValandTaraFerrisWheel

Until she wasn’t….

As I got a bit older, maybe from the age of 10 to 15, Valorie became a bit of a bully to me (I suppose I was a bit of a brat too).  Not all the time, but a lot of the time, she was really rough on me.

She once rubbed dog poop in my face and mouth and sat on my head and pulled my hair til it felt like it had all been pulled out.  

If you see her wrist, there’s a big scar on it–she went to punch me (after I kicked her)  and I shut the door as she punched–right through the glass window.  Oh I thought she would kill me after that one!  There was blood everywhere, we had to go get her some stitches.  Drama–but this is what growing up with a sibling looks like, it’s not always love and light !  This is life at it’s best, really!

 I survived.

As the years rolled by, we grew up.  Valorie became a girlfriend to a couple of different guys–I still know their names and can still see their faces vividly.  They weren’t good enough for Valorie and her intuition guided her out of those places.  Not  long after,  she found the love of her life and she’s  been married to Glen for 35 years.   They have two lovely daughters who are off in the world and living and enjoying life.ValandGlenBLUE

Even though the closeness Valorie and I  shared as children marched forward in years, we still feel the essence of that closeness in this present time.

Valorie has rooted for me and supported me in a myriad of ways.  Although they may have been unspoken, I have felt them.Sister

There is something about those early years that just imbeds itself  into my  cells and my memories.  Feelings and emotions are hard to encapsulate into words.   To me, though, the feelings and emotions that came from being loved by my sister Valorie have just held on–as if in an infinite embrace.  I am supported, I am loved.

I am held in an infinite embrace.

So, even though we don’t often speak our respect and appreciation frequently and freely, it will always be there in the depth of my being.  The space it holds feels so dear to me.  There is no questioning that space–no doubt about her love for me– it just remains and it just IS.TarAnd Valorie

To the people who know my sister Valorie, you will all agree, she is so much to so many people.

She is a friend and confidant to everyone she knows–they can all count on her ear to be there for the listening. 

Valorie is a loving mother,  a loving wife, a loving daughter and a loving daughter-in-law.  She is constantly giving of herself to everyone around her.  Her job is so perfect for her–she gets to help welcome newborn babies into the world since she is a labor and delivery nurse–that is the most powerful place on the planet–in the presence of those miracles– and she gets to be there all the time!

It is clear to me, she deserves to be in that miraculous place because she is such a gift to everyone she knows.  GlowingValorie

Out of all the people I’ve known throughout my lifetime, Valorie is the most open-minded and open-hearted person.    She can hear a story, feel the emotions and be the first to want to engage with someone who may have been emotionally detached for a lifetime.

She is just plain fair and sensible and loving and always expecting the best out of people.

Gosh, I hope she really gets who she is for everyone in her life–the words I use certainly cannot give her the praise she deserves.

Even though she knows in the depth of her being  how I feel about her, I wanted her to hear it again–at least once in sentiment and words.  Her spirit fills me up –all the way  up–all the time that I’m in her presence!  My love for Valorie lives in infinity!ValorieFritzyTara

STREET Smarts–Detroit Taught Me Well

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Today,  I am feeling very appreciative of my mom and the freedom she graced upon her kids.  She gave us so much space and exposed us to more than the average person, I’m sure of it now.

When I was a young girl, we would go and visit my Grandma and Grandpa in the Cass Corridor, Downtown Detroit area.   The Cass Corridor is where the riots broke out in the heart of Detroit in 1963.

It was a real raw city, indeed. 

My Grandpa would walk us to the park downtown where we would feed the pigeons.  He was in a very sick phase of his life, and there were many times that he would have to lay down on the side of the street and take a nap.

My sister, Valorie,  and I were about 8 and 10 years old.  We would just sort of linger there while grandpa napped.  We were harassed by all sorts of people.

We learned the subtle art of knowing when to speak and when not to pay any attention.  There is a huge difference. 

If you look someone in the eye that should not be looked in the eye, you learn quickly what you did wrong.  When you ignore someone that you should have spoken to, you learn quickly what you should have done.  Trust me, it’s a big deal.

Most of the people I know are afraid of going to areas that seem unsafe.  Quite frankly, most people just don’t go.  When I was  a teenager and driving, I would drive my friends to downtown Detroit.  There were some amazing ethnic festivals at The Hart Plaza down on the riverfront.   Talk about a place to party and meet people from all over the metropolitan area, this was it.

If my friend’s parents knew they were down there, they would have thrown a fit!

To me, being downtown was not a big deal and it was not dangerous.  My Mom worked downtown all of my young years, my Grandparents lived downtown, and it was part of my vibe.   

If you aren’t exposed to the diversity at a young age, when will you be?

That, I believe, is the problem with most people who are filled with fear about going to certain neighborhoods.  If they’ve never had any experience carrying themselves down a city street, you’d better believe they’re going to show it. 

Body language and posture is everything. 

If you have no confidence, it will show and you will be an easy victim if anyone were interested.

Just the other day, I was in an area in Los Angeles that I would not necessarily  choose to go to.  I had bought a Living Social deal and I wasn’t sure of the area it was in.  Sure enough, as I drove toward the address, things weren’t looking all that fabulous.

It was a run down neighborhood and the people were definitely diverse and,  in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

I had a voucher and it expired TODAY.  Since I was juice fasting, I was going to get my full supply for the day and take them to go–all juice.  As I handed the cashier my voucher to pay, he announced that it was dine in only.

Shoot, I had no choice so I decided to sit there and drink a couple hours away.  I needed my computer which was in my car.

I walked to my car, which incidently had my bicycle on top of it, and grabbed my laptop and walked back.

There were people of all sorts out there.  Some in their yard, some on the street, some lingering in the old garage business on the corner.

They were diverse and it did feel like I was on the streets of Detroit from my childhood. 

The beautiful thing, though, was that  they were not at all offended by my presence.  The tough chick walking by was one of those you just don’t engage.  The older woman, who seemed a bit out of sorts and maybe a little intoxicated,  was pleasant and a simple smile worked with her.

All I can say is, I am so appreciative of my upbringing and the example my mom set for me.

I appreciate her for exposing me to all the neighborhoods, not just the suburbs. 

Fear just wasn’t present in my body when I was out there.  All was well.

I guess if you are already an adult and you  weren’t prepared to navigate in such neighborhoods, you probably should stay out of bounds until you learn the art of posture.  Or, come with me and you’ll be fine.

All is well and it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood–wherever it is!