Painting the Canvas

Life is a canvas and we should throw as much paint on it as possible. Experience is my paint and I strive to create a canvas full of vibrant color and rich in texture.

I make deliberate choices and as a result, my life is pretty much, how I designed it to be.  I am not afraid to make bold decisions and take full responsibility for my action.  Not everyone agrees with my choices or style, but I am perfectly fine with that.  I live my life, how I want to live.

These are my stories.  Please make yourself comfy, after 45 years, this could take a while.


Posts from Painting the Canvas

  • Putin in Dresden
    Putin’s Syrian Dance
    By tamara on October 27, 2015

    Russia’s bombing of Syria has much greater meaning than the context of Russia simply coming to aid of its greatest ally in the Middle-East.  This is a very serious event that will set the parameters of Putin’s next strategic action. A few weeks ago, I watched the Putin interview on 60 Minutes.  Amidst a barrage …

  • Winter on fire 5
    Winter on Fire
    By tamara on October 10, 2015

    Last night I thought I was going to the movies at the IFC theater in the West Village, but instead I went back to Kyiv and joined the protests that took place at Maidan Nezalezhnosti, in November 2013.  That is how vivid the depiction was by Director Evgeny Afineevsky in his newly released documentary “Winter …

  • Spring Lake 3
    End of Summer Blues
    By tamara on September 28, 2015

    Writers write. That being the case, I certainly haven’t been much of a writer lately… My summer was a hectic string of endless packing, un-packing and repacking.  In past years, when I lived at the shore, my plans were made with carefree whimsy, as my mood would dictate what I was going to do in …

  • Crooked Nation
    By tamara on May 10, 2015

    It seems that each day another story breaks about a crooked politician.  And although some are outraged by the news, the vast majority seems to accept it, as what is becoming the new normal.  We shrug our shoulders, roll out eyes and move on with our day without giving it another thought until the next …

  • Confessions from a Fabulous Life
    Confessions from a Fabulous Life
    By tamara on April 19, 2015

    Life can be hard.  It is a series of ups and downs that are not only driven by the challenges of daily life, but also by the biorhythms that control your overall emotional state.  Any wrong combination of these two elements can send you on a downward spiral and into a dark place – or …

  • East Village Ruble
    Ukie Village
    By tamara on March 30, 2015

      This morning I went to the East Village to visit the blast site where the three buildings burnt down to the ground. I knew this would be an emotional venture because these buildings were part of the background landscape of a neighborhood that is very close to my heart.  It is a neighborhood that …

  • Monica Lewinsky
    That Woman
    By tamara on March 23, 2015

    I usually spend Saturday mornings catching up on emails and news articles that I find of particular interest.  Yesterday, the one article that caught my attention was this week’s TED talk featuring Monica Lewinsky as the speaker. If you are my age or older Monica Lewinsky needs no introduction, but many from the younger generation …

  • Game over 2
    Game Over
    By tamara on March 15, 2015

    Last week, while at the gym near my office, I overheard two men talking, almost venting.  “It’s over” they said with constant repetition.  Normally, these words would have little meaning without the proper context, yet I knew exactly what they were talking about.   I too have been saying this for quite some time, and with …

  • Taos 2
    Toast of Taos
    By tamara on March 9, 2015

    What does the one of the largest hedge funds in New York City and a backwater ski resort in New Mexico have in common?  The answer in a moment. Taos Ski Valley, boasts some of the steepest, most challenging slopes in the Rockies.  Its crown jewel, Kachina Peak stands tall at 12,481’ high and spans …

  • Dead cupid 2
    Valentine’s Day Massacre
    By tamara on February 16, 2015

    Since I moved into Manhattan, my social life has exploded.  I am reconnecting with old friends and meeting dozens of new people.  Even the dating scene has been hotter than it’s ever been for me, including when I was single and in my twenties – mostly because back then, I had little experience and didn’t …

  • Like Me on Facebook
    By tamara on February 9, 2015

    Facebook is a wonderful tool that has not only brought people together but its power has led to seismic shifts in the global political landscape.  Without exaggeration, it has changed the world. But lately, as I look through Facebook, which I do on almost a daily basis, I have begun to discover posting patterns that …

  • inner voice
    Inner Voice
    By tamara on August 3, 2014

    A few weeks ago, I was watching a video of one my favorite spiritual teachers.  He was explaining the importance of practicing stillness, in an effort to hear your inner voice. I know that I do not meditate enough, so I used this opportunity to do so.  I closed my eyes and began to breath …

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    Sink or Swim
    By tamara on July 11, 2014

    Last night I had a terrible night’s sleep; tossing and turning all night long. When my alarm went off at 5:30 AM, I was already awake, lying in bed reflecting on my tortured dreams – which foreshadowed the days events that lied ahead. Later this afternoon, my real estate agent scheduled the first Open House …

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    Remembering Dad
    By tamara on June 15, 2014

    It’s Father’s Day, a day that I’ve only paid a passing homage to, since my father died fifteen years ago.  I usually let the day fleet by with just a quick acknowledgment, a moment of tribute and then I move on so as not to dwell and sulk. But today, I’ve given it much greater …

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    The Multi-tasking Delusion
    By tamara on June 8, 2014

    One of the greatest advantages that we give ourselves, is to STOP multi-tasking. Scientist have long proven that the brain cannot concentration on two distinct thoughts at the same time. During this process the brain cannot fully focus and tasks take longer to complete and have a greater predisposition to errors. “People can’t multitask very …

  • fountain of youth
    The Fountain of Youth
    By tamara on June 1, 2014

    As I’ve grown older, I have become painfully aware of my age and where I am on the the time horizon of a life span. I can hear the clock ticking much more vividly today than when I was young and time seemed abundant and endless. But in April, I celebrated my 45th birthday and …

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    The Vote for Progress in Ukraine
    By tamara on May 25, 2014

    The elections are underway in Ukraine and voter turnout is strong in Kiev and the west. All over social media people have posted pictures of Ukrainian citizens that live abroad, lining up to vote at consulates around the world. I can feel the national pride and enthusiasm, as citizens come to vote wearing the traditional …

  • Ukraine 2014 374
    My Humanitarian Mission (Impossible)
    By tamara on May 7, 2014

    Just as most Ukrainians in the US are looking for ways to help Ukraine, I too have been brainstorming ideas. Because I work in finance and my sphere of influence and experience is in this sector, I believe it is in this arena, where I can add the most value. For the last several years, …

  • Ukraine 2014 505
    Olya, Oleh, Ihor & Oksana
    By tamara on May 6, 2014

    I arrived at Olya and Oleh’s house in Lutsk late on Saturday night. By now I have come to realize that Ukrainians don’t really live their lives by the clock. We ate dinner at 10 o’clock and then drank champagne until 1am – toasting our birthdays which occurred in a consecutive string of days last …

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    Visiting Family in Sambir
    By tamara on May 5, 2014

    Despite our late arrival to my family village of Sambir, we still ate and drank for several hours before going to bed. Needless to say I went down like a stone in a river and slept like the dead. Although I could have slept straight till tomorrow, I forced myself to get out of bed …

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    The Ride Through Poland
    By tamara on May 4, 2014

    I landed in Warsaw where I was met my uncle, or cousin – I’m actually not sure how we are related, but it’s clear by the way he drives that we are family. The road was long and we sat at the border for over two hours – this made me rethink the decisions of …

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    I Love Ukraine
    By tamara on May 2, 2014

    On Tuesday, my Aunt Irene called me to wish me a Happy Birthday. “I’m in London” I told her, but on Friday morning, I am heading out, to Ukraine. She asked me if I was scared for my safety because of the political unrest. I can’t say that I’m not at all concerned, but I …

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    Do You Believe in God?
    By tamara on April 28, 2014

    Sundays have become a day of ritual for me and as many people do on Sundays, I spend a part of it in spiritual reflection. In other words, I pray. Through the years, my faith has gone through a dramatic course. I was raised in a Catholic home and even attended Catholic school. But at …

  • Power of the Universe
    The Power of Me
    By tamara on April 14, 2014

    For the better part of a decade, I have hinged my beliefs on the idea that there is a master plan already laid out for each of us, and all we have to do, is simply live it. I also believed, that a spiritual force guides all that happens, and whether you call it God, …

  • Bank regulations
    The Banking Strangler
    By tamara on April 6, 2014

    In the wake of the financial crisis, the federal government has implemented a sprawling piece of legislation known as Dodd-Frank. This legislation consists of over 400 new rules that will change the framework of the entire banking industry and will ultimately hurt you – the consumer. Most people feel that the financial crisis was caused …

  • Paper Tiger
    Paper Tiger
    By tamara on March 31, 2014

    The current stand-off between Russia and the West, should serve as America’s wake-up call. As Mitt Romney’s statement that Russia is America’s greatest geopolitical foe becomes a vivid reality, Obama continues to warn Putin through a hollow drum of rhetoric. Moreover, Obama has made it abundantly clear that the US will not respond militarily. America …

  • American Dream
    The Shattered American Dream
    By tamara on March 16, 2014

    As most people know, I have had a long-standing career on Wall Street. I chose this industry because I was enamored by the idea of Wall Street and truth be told, I was driven by money. I grew up in a family that struggled financially and I knew early on that I did not want …

  • Organic 2
    Organic Empire
    By tamara on March 9, 2014

    The word “organic” has become one of the most powerful words in the food industry as it has changed the entire pricing paradigm on the most basic of human essentials – food. Morphed out of 1960s radicalism and stimulated by growing interest in health and nutrition, the organic movement was based on the idea that …

  • hammer and sickle
    The New Cold War
    By tamara on March 3, 2014

    Although the Cold War ended over two decades ago, I would argue that the events of the last several days are an indication that a new Cold War may be igniting.  The events which I am course referring to, is the Russian invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.  This invasion is much more endemic of a …

  • Ukrainian Flag with Tryzub
    Ukraine’s Long Road to Freedom
    By tamara on February 24, 2014

    A battle has been won for the opposition of Ukraine, but the proverbial war is far from over. I begin by stating how truly proud I am of the Ukrainian people as their determination, perseverance and resolve over the last several months, have brought them to this historic point. Ukraine one again finds itself in …

  • No Smoking 2
    Smoking – A Nasty Habit
    By tamara on February 16, 2014

    In response to my post A New Resolve for the Resolution, I received a number of emails requesting more information on how I quit smoking.  Cigarette smoking is one of the worst things that you can do to your body so if I can write a post that can help anyone quit, it is absolutely …

  • image of a broken down corridor in a building
    Once an Addict, Always an Addict
    By tamara on February 10, 2014

    The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was tragic.  Addiction is a disease which afflicts so many, yet so few truly understand.  Hoffman’s life may have seemed superficially great but addiction doesn’t discriminate and it supersedes circumstance. I grew up in an upper-middle class town that was nestled just under 20 miles from New York …

  • The Blind Eye
    A Blind Eye
    By tamara on February 2, 2014

    A week ago Thursday, my vision started to blur.  At first it was sporadic – intermittently seeing double with an inability to pull things into focus.  By Friday night, I had difficulty seeing the road when driving and by Saturday morning I couldn’t drive at all. In a week’s time, I have seen half a …

  • Parental Guidance Suggested
    Parental Guidance Suggested
    By tamara on January 26, 2014

    We don’t often realize just how influential our parents are to our lives, especially as we set out to make important decisions. Even as adults, we often consult our parents and ask for guidance; which is really permission, in disguise. Due to my parents passing, I haven’t had the benefit of parental guidance for most …

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    Divorce, ugh.
    By tamara on January 19, 2014

    About six months ago my ex-husband and his wife got divorced. The news of their divorce was particularly unsettling, because of how personal it was to me. As fucked up as its sounds, the three of us were very close. We were like family and just as divorce is disruptive to a family unit, this …

  • image of a marijuana leaf
    Legalize it?
    By tamara on January 12, 2014

    After a ban of more than 70 years, the State of Colorado became the first to legalize the sale and use of marijuana for recreational use. And the reaction has been gangbusters, as an unexpectedly high volume of consumers flocked to Colorado, selling out many of its dispensaries. Shares of the top six medical marijuana …

  • image of stickie notes "stick to resolution"
    A New Resolve for the Resolution
    By tamara on January 5, 2014

    Making New Year’s Resolutions is a ritual that we seem to forgo as we grow older. Most people realize that the exercise is futile as they break their resolution within the first week of the new year. In fact 25 percent of people, abandon their resolutions after just one week and 60 percent, abandon them …

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    Tesla – Driving Innovation
    By tamara on December 30, 2013

    If you think that Tesla Motors is an automobile manufacturer of high-performance electric cars you are only partially correct. Tesla is much, much more than that – it is a Revolution; a Game Changer – and it is systematically changing the entire landscape of the automobile industry. Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the advent of …

  • image of energy
    Mind your Energy
    By tamara on December 23, 2013

    A career coach once told me that I was a powerful force. What she meant was that my energy is so strong that it can change the mood of an entire room. I am not unique nor do I possess magical powers but we all have the ability to impact those around us with our …

  • image of Nelson-Mandela
    What Ukraine Can Learn from Mandela
    By tamara on December 9, 2013

    Throughout its modern history, Ukraine, like South Africa has struggled with oppression. And while South Africans were victims of racial tyranny, Ukraine’s oppressor was a politically motivated dictatorship. Despite their distinct differences, oppression held each country so tightly in its grips that nearly all the vitality was squeezed out of them.  But South Africa managed …

  • image of giving thanks
    Give Thanks
    By tamara on November 28, 2013

    In order to be happy you have to be grateful.  Most people think that you have to be happy first in order to be grateful, but in fact it is the other way around.  Grateful people, even those who have tremendous misfortunes are happier than those who feel entitled. [TED: David Steindl-Rast: Want to be …

  • JFK funeral
    Remembering JFK
    By tamara on November 24, 2013

    50 years have passed since John F. Kennedy was slain before the very eyes of the American people.  I hadn’t yet been born, but I have the same emotional attachment to the Kennedy Assassination, as I do with September 11th.  And although 9/11 is a chilling day in my memory, I am haunted by the …

  • image of bear and wall street
    The Bear of Losing Money
    By tamara on November 17, 2013

    Warren Buffet’s first rule of investing is: Don’t lose money. Warren’s second rule of investing is: Never forget the first rule. Well, as an avid equity investor, I can attest that Warren’s rules are not so easy to follow. This year through a number of losses, I have learned some remarkable lessons that helped me establish …

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    Big Brother
    By tamara on November 10, 2013

    My father was a passionate man with strong convictions who never feared to voice his opinions.  But some of his theories seemed extreme and without merit and so he came across as paranoid. His greatest claim, which became his mantra, was that the federal government is taking away our rights and invading our privacy.  He …

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    The New Black
    By tamara on October 23, 2013

    It has been reported today that Anna Wintour the iconic editor of Vogue Magazine is trying to persuade Lena Dunham to pose for its cover.  Dunham is a talented writer, actor and filmmaker but her physique does not fit the profile of what Vogue typically chooses for its covers.  The courtship of Dunham is Wintour’s …

  • 2 glasses of white and red wine
    Ladies, When in Doubt, Cote du Rhone
    By tamara on October 14, 2013

    When ordering wine, this is the advice once given to my good friend Eren by the father of one of her private school friends.  Well, last night Eren and I had dinner at Lafayette, a trendy, up and coming new restaurant, in the East Village.  In hindsight, this advice would have served us well, but …

  • image of a painting called the confession
    Confessions of an Adulteress
    By tamara on September 15, 2013

    I have a friend, whose aunt had an affair with a married man, for thirty years.  One day, he died, and she didn’t even know; he just stopped calling.  She was devastated and knew that something had to be dreadfully wrong.  She frantically checked hospitals and ultimately the obituaries.  And there it was.  Her lover …

  • image of a bad date
    Modern Dating
    By tamara on September 2, 2013

    As I sat down to write this morning, I became overwhelmed with frustration which quickly began to crescendo into anger.  What set me off was an email from It’s Just Lunch “IJL” the dating service that claims to connect successful, busy professionals with “career” as the common base for love. What angered me this morning …

  • photo of krakow at night
    By tamara on June 28, 2013

    I left Prague on Wednesday night and took a train to Krakow which was the most unpleasant part of my journey.  Up until this point, I had been traveling in style with the first class comfort of five star accommodations.  But as life has its clever way of reminding me to keep it real, all …

  • image of ornate clock in prague
    By tamara on June 21, 2013

    On Tuesday, I took a train ride back in time to the medieval city of Prague.  Because Prague is one of the few European cities that was spared from the destruction of Hitler’s Blitzkrieg, its architecture dates back several thousands of years. The world’s oldest working Astronomical clock, dating back to the 1400s adorns City …

  • image of berlin at night
    By tamara on June 17, 2013

    Berlin’s tumultuous history is pronounced by its architecture which is the remnants of three very distinct historic periods: its Prussian existence, its post-World War II Soviet era and the newly unified Germany, progressive and innovative. My hotel was located on Potsdamer Platz which once was the buzzing epicenter of the city until it was completely …

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    Creatures of Habit
    By tamara on June 4, 2013

    We are all creatures of habit.  But have you ever stopped and thought just how attached we really are to our daily routines and rituals?  Even the slightest deviation or disruption is enough to throw us entirely off kilter.  Just think about it for a moment, oversleeping by a few minutes or missing our usual …

  • photo of me with my mother
    My Mother
    By tamara on May 13, 2013

    I won my first essay contest when I was in the second grade.  The title of the winning essay was “My Mother.”  It was the easiest essay for me to write because I just wrote from the heart and because my mom was so great, it was an easy contest to win. Everyone thinks that …

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    The Profile
    By tamara on April 29, 2013

    It’s 6:25 Sunday evening and my driver isn’t here yet.  That’s quite unusual because they usually arrive at least 15 minutes before the pick-up time, which is five minutes from now.  I don’t mind however, because I have some type of neurosis which makes me anxious when I know people are waiting for me. Oh, he’s finally …

  • image of wanted poster for boston marathon bomber
    Suspect #2
    By tamara on April 21, 2013

    Just as the entire nation did, I too watched the final moments leading up to the capture of Boston Bombing Suspect #2, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, glued to a television screen.  At the time, I happen to be eating dinner at a crowded New Jersey restaurant, where a television hung over the bar but was visible from …

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    Learning by Painting the Canvas
    By tamara on March 24, 2013

    When I set out to launch my blog, I really just wanted a forum on which I could practice writing.  I wanted a place to share my life stories which many of you seemed to find amusing, whenever I told them.  But instead of entertaining an audience, what I discovered was a course that set …

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    Financial Freedom
    By tamara on March 18, 2013

    Money is a major part of modern life.  But through the years I have come to believe that our relationship with money is probably the most dysfunctional relationship in our lives.  And what has further surprised me, is that in a country with as much abundance as the United States, the cultural undercurrent is actually …

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    An Old Friend for Dinner
    By tamara on February 24, 2013

    If in life you fortunate enough meet a person with whom you have a deep spiritual connection, consider yourself both lucky and blessed.  I had friend who I once knew and although I hadn’t spoken to her in twenty years, I have never stopped thinking about her.  Recently, through Facebook, I reconnected with this friend – my …

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    How I Made Money in the Stock Market [without really knowing diddly squat]
    By tamara on February 10, 2013

    When I left Merrill Lynch three years ago, I lost the perk of having a Merrill broker assigned to help me manage my retirement account.  At my new firm, I was given a list of designated brokers among which were E-Trade, a self-directed electronic trading platform.  But choosing E-Trade would mean that I would be …

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    Silver Linings Playbook
    By tamara on February 3, 2013

    I own an investment property which my older brother persuaded me to buy.  I didn’t really know much about real estate and even less about property management.  Through the years, the property brought many challenges most of which were created by the low caliber tenants. One of my tenants is a single mother of three and recipient …

  • image of a soup kitchen
    No good deed
    By tamara on January 6, 2013

    As Christmas is a time of giving, I decided to give back to my community this holiday season.  So during my year-end break, I volunteered at a local soup kitchen for a few hours each day. When I arrived on the first day, I was asked to help with operations.  This meant stocking shelves in …

  • times square new year's eve ball
    A Look Back
    By tamara on December 30, 2012

    As I reflect on the year that has passed, I feel really good about it.  And when I look forward to 2013, I am inspired and energized about what is to come.  I once heard someone say that during the course of ones life there are really only a handful of events that are truly …

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    Negotiating your worth
    By tamara on December 17, 2012

    Somewhere within our career goals we all strive to be valued and appropriately compensated.  Rewards come in many forms and so does gratification so we must first try to understand what we are seeking.  That what motivates us becomes the goal which we then work towards. For me, money was never the sole motivator, but …

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    Return to Auschwitz
    By tamara on December 11, 2012

    I usually spend my Sundays writing.  Sometimes however, I allow myself to become distracted if only by an activity that is constructive or inspirational, but never idle. Yesterday, I watched Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday wherein she interviewed Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor.  Immediately following the interview, Oprah’s network aired a segment in which …

  • Dress for success
    By tamara on December 2, 2012

    During my stint at Merrill Lynch, I ran one of the most important projects of my career.  In order to launch the initiative, I scheduled a meeting to gather all the key stakeholders from around the globe.  Those expected to attend were senior managing directors and I was going to co-lead the meeting with the …

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    The Perfect Storm
    By tamara on November 26, 2012

    I am not only referring to Sandy, but there have been a number of seismic events that together have warranted this title.  It’s been about a month or so since I last posted, so I thought I would summarize these events in one blog post. Let’s begin with Hurricane Sandy which has been the talk …

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    In god’s hands
    By tamara on October 28, 2012

    By Saturday afternoon the good people of Monmouth County had already begun preparations for Hurricane Sandy. My day however progressed as any normal Saturday and I went about my errands in complete oblivion to the magnitude of what was coming our way.  My awareness was piqued only when I tried to drive down my street …

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    The Reunion
    By tamara on October 21, 2012

    Last night my family celebrated the eightieth birthday of my Aunt Natalie.  Her son and daughter threw her a lovely party that gathered family from all corners of the tri-state area as well as greater distances from across the country.  My aunt, is a lovely woman with kindness and compassion running through her veins and …

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    Your Right, Your Vote
    By tamara on October 14, 2012

    Although the election of our next president always commands our focus, this year’s election will bring us to a fork in the road offering two very different directions for our Nation.  On one side we have Barack Obama who won the last election on the promise of Change and Hope.  No one can argue that …

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    A message to the Wall Street Occupiers: Do Your Jobs!
    By tamara on September 18, 2012

    They first caught our attention when we were inconveniently forced to divert our normal commuting route in order to avoid the police partitions.  But the movement quickly gained momentum and soon Occupy Wall Street was dominating the nightly news. They protested corporate greed and economic injustice and although their base camp was Zucotti Park in …

  • The Essay Contest
    By tamara on September 16, 2012

    Last week I entered Real Simple Magazine’s Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest.  Below is the essay which I submitted. If you could change one decision that you made in the past, what would it be? I wouldn’t change a thing.  People are the product of their experiences and I have become the person that I …

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    The Dentist
    By tamara on September 9, 2012

    Today my younger brother had oral surgery.  Years of neglect of his teeth had finally caught up to him and his tooth has abscessed so badly that the entire right side of his face had swelled.  Earlier this week he had gone to the dentist and they immediately sent him to an oral surgeon.  That …

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    The Break-Up
    By tamara on September 3, 2012

    How do you know its time to walk away from a relationship?  Whether it is a marriage or a friendship there may be a time when the relationship has deteriorated to a point where the only thing left is the memory of good times once had. Recently a friend of mine asked me the question …

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    Ukie Week 2012
    By tamara on August 28, 2012

    When writing a travel blog one doesn’t usually think that a destination to be written about would be Wildwood, New Jersey.  But this past weekend, I ventured down to this somewhat squalid Jersey-shore town, to join the hundreds of Ukrainians in what has become known as “Ukie Week.”  And just as I remember, it ROCKED! …

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    Olympic Hope
    By tamara on August 13, 2012

    This year’s Summer Olympics have been the most watched Olympic Games in viewer history.  I for one have watched these Games, much more than other Olympic Games, in any years past.  Furthermore, I have been the most emotional that I’ve ever been – while watching the American flag as it is raised above the podium …

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    I ♥ Cartagena
    By tamara on July 22, 2012

    I thought it be a day without promise, but it turned into one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. It all began when we boarded a boat to the private island of Rosario, named after the beaded necklace which guides so many Catholics in solemn prayer. Upon arrival we were given a brief …

  • hate note
    By tamara on July 17, 2012

    The other day, three of my oldest and dearest friends got together, as we normally do each year, usually to celebrate someone’s birthday.  I however was not invited.  I can’t say that I am surprised as my friendship with one of the girls has vanished over the last year while another friendship has been flat-lining …

  • no-fireworks-logo
    By tamara on July 6, 2012

    To celebrate American Independence Day, the town Red Bank has been host to New Jersey’s largest and most spectacular fireworks display for over 50 years. This year however, due to costs, the town had cancelled the celebration. I understand that times are economically tough, but to forgo the fireworks display is quite frankly, un-American.  The …

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    Thank You
    By tamara on July 2, 2012

    In the Introduction of my blog I briefly mention gratitude and entitlement.  I say that we are entitled to nothing, but deserving of everything.  Well, how does one become deserving of everything?  I truly believe that it begins with attitude. A negative outlook will attract negative energy – everyone knows that.  But go one step deeper and we will …

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    Oh Brother
    By tamara on June 25, 2012

    What is it about sibling rivalry that we don’t ever seem to outgrow?  Last week I went to California to visit my older brother, his wife and two children.  They moved to California from New Jersey just about eighteen months ago and this was my first visit with them.  He has been inviting me to …

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    Commencement Speech to this Year’s College Grads
    By tamara on June 19, 2012

    I remember graduating college twenty one years ago.  The difference is that I never actually sat in your seats because I chose not to attend my college graduation and opted to receive my diploma in the mail. I graduated during the midst of a recession – the year was in 1991.  I was angry and frustrated and …

  • image of ukraine visa in passport
    The conclusion of my pilgrimage to the motherland
    By tamara on June 10, 2012

    It was my last night in Lutsk with my friends.  I arrived very late – sometime after midnight.  Olya had gotten a bottle of champagne – which she and I have been drinking non-stop since the day we met on Hayman Island in Australia. The night consisted of me packing and then sitting for a few minutes and toasting …

  • lviv ukraine
    My pilgrimage to the motherland – Part 3
    By tamara on June 4, 2012

    Lviv So we arrived in Lviv at the apartment of my father’s cousin Maria.  Her building was a post-communist remnant that looked like it belonged in New Jack City.  Unlike Oleh’s and Olya’s apartment, this apartment did not undergo a lush remodel nor did it have any modern-day amenities.  In fact the conditions were a bit …

  • image of tamara in an old soviet uniform
    My pilgrimage to the motherland – Part 2
    By tamara on May 29, 2012

    Day 4, April 13 Life in Lutsk I spent the day in Lutsk and watched how everyday life unfolds.  I am trying to get a sense of what it would be like to live here.  I came to Ukraine with a notion that was built on a post-World War II framework and my ideas of what …

  • image of kiev
    My pilgrimage to the motherland – Part 1
    By tamara on May 28, 2012

    Traveling to Ukraine was the most important trip of my entire life; it was my pilgrimage to my mother country.  Being of Ukrainian descent, I always knew that it was my destiny to travel to Ukraine, but when I met people from Ukraine while traveling in Australia, I knew my destiny was now here. Day …

  • facebook-logo
    Grow up Facebook
    By tamara on May 20, 2012

    With all the ‘friends’ that Facebook has, its IPO was still lackluster.  The stock which opened at $42.05 closed at $38.23, up just $.23 from its IPO price.  Despite record volumes that traded more than 500 million shares throughout the trading day, Facebook’s share price remained impotent. Facebook is beloved by over 900 million users …

  • dimon jp morgan
    A Failure Too Big
    By tamara on May 13, 2012

    Last week JPMorgan announced trading loss of 2 billion dollars.  This news knocked the wind out of Wall Street and unnerved its investors.  The market punished JPM with almost a 10% decrease in its stock price and a downgrade of its credit rating by Fitch.  Others rating agencies will undoubtedly follow and although it was …

  • birthday cake
    Single White Female
    By tamara on May 6, 2012

    Last Sunday my sister-in-law called me to wish me a Happy Birthday.  After she did, she proceeded to spend the next 25 minutes lecturing me about being single.  This is not first time we’ve had this conversation – although it is usually one sided – with her doing all the talking and me clenching every …

  • birthday cake
    Happy Birthday to Me
    By tamara on April 29, 2012

    I turned 43 years old today, on this day April 29.  This birthday marks a significant milestone that has become quite important to me and my psychological state of mind.  I have been anxiously awaiting and secretly fearing its arrival for 24 years. When I was 18, my mother died of a heart attack.  She …

  • image of a juggling woman
    A Message to Career Women – Choose your Husband Carefully
    By tamara on April 24, 2012

    The key for a woman to successfully balance a career and family depends upon her spouse.  Although our fight for women’s lib has granted us the potential to access the C suite, it still hasn’t exonerated us from the responsibility of running the household; even if you happen to be a woman that has been granted a …

  • image of man in a hallway
    Where are all the MEN?
    By tamara on April 23, 2012

    When I was growing up it seemed that men were portrayed to be strong and brave – their character was solid.  Women adored them, and younger men aspired to one day become them. So now I ask – Where are all these men today?  It seems to me, that finding men with such strong character, …

  • kid looking through binoculars
    All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
    By tamara on April 18, 2012

    When life moves too quickly and I start to feel overwhelmed, I stop, take a deep breath and simplify. Below is a classic which we all should revisit from time to time in order to remind ourselves that our lives can be simplified.  I don’t know about you all, but I sure would like to …

  • image of couple kissing
    Rio é para amantes
    By tamara on

    I was inspired by this display of affection and so I couldn’t resist taking this photo.  To me, there is nothing more romantic than such an overt expression of love.  I took this picture while walking along Ipanema Beach and it’s why I truly feel, that “Rio is for lovers.”

  • image of bull getting slayed
    Slaying of the Bull
    By tamara on April 16, 2012

    There were several factors that led to Merrill’s demise and although culture wasnt the main one, it played an instumental part in the fall of Merrill. The culture at Merrill was deeply rooted to it brokerage firm origins – which translated into:  salesmen, selling less sophisticated, cash products.  Despite Merrill’s focus to build out the more complex derivative businesses, …

  • on the floor book cover
    By tamara on April 13, 2012

    Thought this looked like a fun read!

  • Virgin’s Branson talks about painting the canvas…
    By tamara on April 7, 2012

    I came across this interview that a group of entrepreneurs conducted with Richard Branson.  I found this interview to be above all, inspiring.  Aside from being a brilliant businessman and a true innovator he seems to be very down to earth with a handle on what is truly important in life – family. I found …

  • Me, my Ex and his Wife
    By tamara on April 2, 2012

    Life is complicated and no one provides you with a manual or instructions on how to live it.  You can only follow your instincts and do what feels right. I married Andrew in 1996, after having lived with him since my junior year in college.  When we met we were two broken souls, but together we seemed to have all that …

  • image of occupy wall street
    Occupy Wall Street
    By tamara on March 29, 2012

    One day last fall, I ventured over to Zuccotti Park where protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement had set up their base camp.  As someone who has spent their entire career on Wall Street and by definition falls into the class divide of the one percent, I am a part of the very establishment protested by this movement. Although I felt …

  • The Value of a Bonus
    By tamara on March 19, 2012

    A Wall Street compensation package consists of an annual base salary plus a bonus of cash and company stock.  This bonus however, is more than just a monetary reward – it is also a message from your employer – a statement of your value to your company. The bonus message is fairly simple to decipher, but it can become convoluted in delivery by mixed messages.  But the message is usually quite …

  • The trip of a decade
    By tamara on February 26, 2012

    When I turned 40, I decided that the next ten years of my life should be filled with excitement and adventure.  I wasn’t exactly sure of how to do this, but I knew that a good starting point would be – to get the hell outta New Jersey.  So, I set out a resolution for myself:  over the next ten years, I …

  • How many Ukrainians does it take to get to Ukraine?
    By tamara on February 25, 2012

    Well, in my case it took 3, plus one Australian-Ukrainian. Being of Ukrainian decent, I always knew that I would one day travel there, but through the years the timing never seemed right and the offers at hand, never seemed compelling enough.  But a few years ago, I decided to take trip; one that would be substantial.  So I chose Australia. The …

  • Mistakes people make when networking
    By tamara on February 20, 2012

    The biggest mistake that most people make when it comes to networking is that they start to network when they need something.   When you find yourself in a position of need or desperation, it’s a bit too late to start networking. Networking is best done when you don’t need anything from anyone.  In fact the most effective …

  • Why I am writing this blog
    By tamara on February 19, 2012

    This is a far easier question for me to answer, than why I am actually still working on Wall Street [which is a question I ask myself daily]. I have worked on The Street for almost twenty years, in a variety of roles and at a number of bulge bracket firms.  Some say that I have an amazing ability to …

  • Surviving in this Economy
    By tamara on February 12, 2012

    The basic aspects of survival are keen instincts and the ability to adapt to the environment.  Instincts are more of a gift than skill AND not all people have good instincts.  If you are such a person then don’t go with your gut, use your head instead. Surviving in this economy is all about using …

  • And here my journey begins
    By tamara on November 12, 2011

    Awareness is a gift.  But it isn’t free and it often comes at a price.  For me the price was paid with heartache and sorrow.  The road to awarness usually begins with a jolt from some seismic event that sends you into a free fall and lands you at the cross roads.  The decision of which road to take is then yours. When …

  • The Quest for Contentment
    By tamara on

    Many people search for happiness, but I’m not even sure what happiness really is.  My quest in life is for contentment, which to me is the inner peace and calmness of the soul. I believe that our soul is a reflection of our emotional state – our pains, our sorrows, our joys and most of …

Category Archives: Painting the Canvas