Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

Tag Archives: Life

In response to recent Twitter Events – The Fore River Story

Wow. So, basically I tweeted about a horrible experience at a restaurant with a anti-Islamic owner, and now I’ve gotten retweeted a bajillion times. I’m already seeing me being misquoted, so I wanted to go ahead and write down exactly what happen and share .

Background:  Just up the street there is a restaurant that my husband and I frequent. We’re on first name basis with most of the staff, and the owner. We’ve even got their loyalty card. The place is in walking distance and has beer, so we’re there pretty frequently.

It’d been a little bit crazy today (you know, the whole city on lock down thing) so we weren’t really in the mood to cook. We went to Fore River Grille in North Weymouth for dinner. We walked in, sat down, and placed a drink order.

The owner, Teresa, walked over smiling. No big deal, like we said, we were regulars. Then she just said to us. “I wanted to let you guys know this is a Muslim free zone! ” And just kept smiling.

Dumb founded, I just said, “Wow. Not all terrorists are Muslim. Timothy Mcveigh wasn’t, he was Christian. Want to hate others to?”

She replied, “Yeah, but that was 20 years ago. All the current terrorists are Muslims. It’s true. Name a terrorist attack more recent that wasn’t done Muslims.” She was completely serious.

I was completely floored. At this point I said, “I’m going to eat somewhere else,” grabbed my sweatshirt and left.

As I began to walk out, she started to say she was sorry. I kept walking.

My husband, who was with me at the restaurant, says that after I left Teresa said “I was just joking.”

Max said to her “I get you are joking, but it’s not funny. A Muslim woman has already been assaulted in Mass. today because of this, so it’s just not cool.”

Teresa kept saying she was sorry and didn’t mean to offend me. Max then also left.

The apology doesn’t mean much though, because I have a zero tolerance policy on people getting discriminated against for the race, sex, sexual orientation,  religion… pretty much whatever. And making jokes about that stuff, it’s not cool either.

I have strong moral convictions. I can’t give my money to a business that is owned by a woman who thinks it’s funny to say that she won’t let people of a particular religion at her establishment, or who legitimately meant that all terrorists are Muslims.

I’m now getting more mentions on twitter than I would ever have time to respond to, so I’m just posting this.

I want to thank everyone who is supporting me in my choice, and I’m glad I’m not alone in this fight. Your support means soooo much,


Thank you.



Mary Poppin’s Bag – The Prologue

by Tara

I don’t really intend to put too many personal blogs on this site, by I felt these were ones that I should share. For this particular series of blogs I’m giving a bit of a briefing, because I know there are some people who will have no idea what I’m talking about.

At the end of 2007 I had decided it was time for me to move out of my aunt’s house. Almost as the thought of looking for a place to live came to mind, a friend who I hadn’t spoken to in about a year posted a bulletin on Myspace that stated she was looking for a roommate. This friend was Kate(y), who I had met while dating Eric. Although we hadn’t spoken for a while, we had a lot of fun catching up and were getting along swimmingly. We talked about the details of the house we would be renting and I agreed to meet my other would-be roommates. I met all but one, and we all seemed to get along, so I agreed to move in. Little did I know that the one I didn’t meet would end up thinking that I was anti-Christ. From there things quickly went down hill and I began to write the following blogs.

Foot notes have been added to the blogs to clarify any other reference I made that people may not get.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to keep writing them, so there is only a few. Some of things of honorable mention that didn’t make it into my blogs are a fight over the dishwasher, my food choices, drinking, loud rap music, a light bulb fiasco and the day I had to take Kate to the hospital. It’s okay though. Kate and I eventually decided that we didn’t need such a need such a negative living environment and moved out. 🙂


The Mary Poppin’s Bag – or Do I Mean Candy Mountain?

by Tara

The following blogs are to be the chronicles of living in this house. This is the introduction to said blogs. I’m not sure how often they are going to be posted, just when ever I get the time or have an urge to write.

I originally dubbed my house the Mary Poppin’s bag. When seeing my home from the street, it looked small and quaint, almost adorable. Upon stepping inside though, the house seemed to defy the laws of physics. In all actuality, a previous home owner who saw himself as a handy man made several additions to the house, which could only be seen from the back. So, from the front the house looked like something cozy, but was, in truth, rather large, the Mary Poppin’s bag.

It almost seemed to good to be true, hardwood floors in decent shape, a wood and gas burning fireplace, tons of space, a good sized yard… and a deal that couldn’t be beat. Three hundred dollars a month covered rent, utilities, internet and cable. I knew that a deal this amazing only came once in a life time. So although I had only met one of the people who actually lived in the house, I went for it.

In all irony, the house has turned out to be more like Candy Mountain than anything. It looks like sweet sugary goodness, but in all honesty… I’m just waiting for my kidney to be stolen. (If you haven’t seen Charlie the Unicorn I know that that reference makes no sense to you… so feel free to watch it.) What is ironic about the Mary Poppin’s bag being more like Candy Mountain you ask? Well, Candy Mountain was the first cartoon ever watched in the home by Kate and me.

Actually, that night should have been the night that I realized that there was something wrong. After meeting all the housemates, Kate and I decided that we wanted to stay and clean some of the rooms in the house before moving in. The house had been vacant for some time, was filled with dust in addition to the creepy smell that seemed to be emanating from the basement. So, we traveled to The Dollar Store to pick up some supplies, then returned to the empty house to begin cleaning. No one volunteered to help clean any other rooms… and I doubt that they even had the notion of cleaning their rooms before they moved in… which they never did.

The beginning of the troubles really came with the cleanliness of the house. Kate, having lived with her mom who is a professional house cleaner, and I, having lived with my aunt who must have OCD, wanted a very clean home. If it got dirty (as we knew it would), we really only wanted to be sure that it would be picked back up before people came over… and thus the trouble began.

Error Productions is… well, in all honesty, I’m not completely sure. What I do know is that Nathan, a housemate, runs it and uses it organize house shows. Yes, the Mary Poppin’s bag is included in said house shows, but under the name “The Error House.” So, there was going to be a show on one Saturday night, here at the Error House a.k.a. Candy Mountain, and Kate and I wanted the house clean before people got here. That day I was actually just returning from my last trip to Btown*, and Kate was horribly sick… and the house looked like Hiroshima. Nathan had said he would cleaned but had yet to so. When anyone asked him what he had been doing all day he would say that he had been practicing for the show. What is truly interesting about that is Katey had been home all day and could verify that he had spent most of it on Myspace. So, Kate and I began to clean… and were livid.

There, the house drama began.

Mary Poppin’s Bag and the Electricity Bill

by Tara

I apologize since these blogs don’t seem to follow any logical order, but it is hard to make them flow chronologically since all of these events seem to happen in unison.

After living in the Mary Poppin’s bag for a month, our first electricity bill arrived. In the current living arrangement, utilities are included in the three hundred dollars paid per month unless the bills become to high and then the overage is split by those who live in the house. I think that our landlord set that limit too low and that we will be paying extra every month… not that I care. I can afford it and would rather pay the extra to be warm and have lights on and live like I’m not Amish. (Not that there is anything wrong with being Amish, it’s just not for me.) In any case, some of the roommates don’t feel the same way that I do.

Before I continue, I would like to describe the Mary Poppin’s bag in further detail. As I mentioned before, a previous owner found himself to be a handy man and made several additions to the house. The house originally had a two car garage, but our handy man saw bigger things than parking cars. The two car garage was transformed into a single car garage as the first addition was being born. His new living room extended into about half of the garage. The builder must have been feeling ambitious, because after building into the garage, he continued to extend the new living room into the yard behind the garage. Although, this home owner was rather crafty, even installing a gas burning fireplace, he was certainly no professional. The floor is uneven from the multiple foundations on which the room lies on and is the most poorly insulated room that I have ever set foot in.

No, I retract that last statement. Mr. Previous Homeowner also added a second story on to the house. The second story consists of two bedrooms and more attic space than any one home can ever need. These attics, combined with the paper thin walls, make the upper floor frigid. To correct myself, Kate’s room is the most poorly insulated room that I have ever set foot in, also the coldest in the house. The heating for the additions wasn’t clearly thought through, and because of such lack of planning, Katey might be warmer making an igloo in the back yard than her own bedroom.

After describing the Marry Poppin’s bag, I’m sure that you can understand having a high electricity bill during the winter. Despite all of this, some of the roommates are sure that it has to do with not turning off lights, instead of having an old, poorly insulated home or the house shows made possible by Error Productions.

In the Marry Poppin’s Bag (or should I saw Candy Mountain?) there is wood burning fireplace in the original living room, conveniently located in the middle of the house and the fore mentioned gas burning fireplace, un-conveniently located on the far side of the poorly insulated second living room. Now when concerned about heating and money, there seems to be only one logical choice.

If you thought that the wood burning fireplace would be appropriate because it is in the middle of the home (and in the properly insulate portion of the house), it radiates more heat than the gas burning fireplace,the chimney runs between the two upstairs bedrooms and stands a chance of warming those rooms, there is already wood in the back yard, or even because smores are fun to make… you’re wrong. The fact of the matter is that wood burning fireplaces are dangerous, or so my roommates told me.

Mary Poppin’s Bag and the Start of the War

by Tara

So, there is a war beginning in the Mary Poppin’s bag.

It all began when I cooked catfish on the stove. It wasn’t that I cooked catfish*, but rather I left the oil in the pan, and left the pan on the stove. Now, if you are thinking “But Tara, you have cats. You just can’t leave oil sitting out on the stove,” I say to you… it’s call a lid… which I had.

That night, on the white board that Kate and I had bought to doodle on, there had been left a note. “Do all your dishes before bed! This includes pots!” I didn’t really take much heed to the
note, I was saving that oil. I planned on using it again in the near future.

On the following day, my dear Katey and I decided that we were going to have a big dinner. We had noodles with mushroom gravy. It was my turn to do the dishes that night. Kate and I rotate our portion of the chores, you see. We understand that having days off are quite enjoyable. That night my blood sugar was a little low**, so although I put most of our plates away, I left all the pots out. It doesn’t really make a difference if I did it now or when I first got up.

I was wrong. Another note appeared on the white board.

Now, the next day I decided that I wanted to cook some fries, that being the reason that I kept the oil. As I being to golden my shoe strings, I was making some beautiful cheese sauce to serve them with.

Now, once again I left my pan of oil, in addition to my cheese sauce, covered and on the stove.

“Come on guys, do your dishes. They should be done everyday. This is getting gross.”

My response you ask? I too am capable of leaving notes on the white board.

“Kate and I take turns doing dishes. It was my turn and some of the pots weren’t washed because I was having a hypoglycemic attack and thought it would be better to go to bed. Next time I will a make a note to do them anyway and just pass out. Also, this white board was bought for Kate and myself to doodle on. If you wish to keep leaving your passive aggressive notes on the fridge buy some God damn paper. Thanks.”

This is where everything gets truly fun. Some of the roommates decided that since Kate and I aren’t capable of doing dishes that we shouldn’t use any of theirs and relocated them to their private cabinets so that were out of reach.

As many people know, I can be a bit vindictive and never go down with out a fight. And if for some reason I do take the plunge, everyone goes with me.

Kate and I decided that if we can’t use our stuff, they why should they use ours? We took everything in the kitchen that was ours and put it in our own private cabinets. Most of it doesn’t matter… such as the cups or plates. Some of things they are going to miss though…

…like the spatulas, the large serving spoons, the ONLY can opener, our silverware. With the things Kate and I own removed, they have a grand total of four forks. I hope they have fun with that.

Next time I get mad I’m moving my microwave into my room.

*Two of the roommates are vegan, so cooking catfish could have offended them for some reason.
** I was adjusting to being hypoglycemic at the time and would sometimes feel very tired if my sugar wasn’t managed correctly.

Mary Poppin’s Bag Dweller’s – As Viewed by Brian

by Tara

Me: “I hate them.”

Brian: “Hey guess what, everybody hates them. That’s why they have to live together. Scenester, straight-edge vegans are the most annoying thing on earth. They’re fascist, anti-fun Nazis.

Seriously,they uphold a lot of Nazi like principles… a sense of superiority over those unlike them… group gatherings in an effort to ridicule others not like them. They’re black holes for fun.”