Category Archives: humor

Dead Things, Part 5: Framing Dead People.

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Author: Kara Mae Adamo.

Okay. I’m coming out of retirement.

Here we go…Dead Things No. 5: Framing Dead People.

I have tattoos.

I love them. Contrary to everything every bigotted “how things are supposed to be” naysayer has said, I have never once regretted a single solitary drop of ink on my skin.

Now, I’m not covered head-to-toe. I will actually be getting my third and fourth tattoos at the end of this month and, with the exception of the sizable daisy dripping its way down my rib cage, none of them are very big. They are, however, very personal. They are small bits of art that allow me to exist as a walking canvas and that notion alone is poetic enough to make me eager to continue gathering them here and there.

Right now I have two: one of them is a small [used to be yellow] rose on the right side of my neck just under my ear. That tattoo is symbolic of my love for my mother. I was always a daddy’s girl and I was unfair about it when I was younger. I claimed my Sicilian heritage and sort of disregarded the other half of my ethnicity. By 19, I realized that I had become hurtful. The yellow rose was my mother’s father’s favorite flower and, after his death, it became the family’s flower. It shows up at weddings and funerals and holidays…and so that tattoo is for her. It’s my tip-of-the-hat to a wonderful person that, for the first nearly 20 years of my life, I was unfair to.

The second is that giant daisy. My mother, my sister, and I all have the same daisy. They put theirs on their foot but, since I have a sort of psychological block about people touching my feet, I put mine on my ribs. They are, with the exception of stem placement, identical.

My third will be a semicolon turned into a butterfly and my fourth will be a scripted phase reading, “Dance in the Chaos.”

All things I will always cherish.

But, as with my initial Dead Things posts so many years ago, I still must beg you all: please, for the love of all that is holy or sacred or whatever, Don’t keep my tattoos.

Burn them with me.

A question for those interested in this…er…practice: Do you keep your scabs?

Are you that guy? The one that took Goldmember’s habits to heart and thought, “yanno…I bet that makes a wicked collection”?

Because, if you are, please tell me…so I can delete you from my Facebook…or my twitter…or my phone…wherever we are connected.

I find it creepy enough when people collect butterflies and pin them behind a frame. Like…that thing used to fly around. It saw stuff and probably had little fluttering opinions about things…and now it matches your wallpaper.

For realzies: stop it.

Obviously, I am bringing this up for one reason and one reason always: people are already doing this.

Let me put this in perspective for you.

When I first got my rose tattoo, I lived at home with my parents.

As it was healing, it would scab over and them the scab would fall off. As you could imagine, since my skin was permanently dyed in that particular area, the scabs were colorful.

One day, to my sadistic delight, an entire green leaf scabbed over and came off intact. It was even in the shape of the leaf and had the line work and everything!!

My dad jumped about three feet when I showed him.

I giggled with glee.

Flaying a dead person and fitting their tattoo behind glass is exactly the same thing. You are torturing them after death and then preserving them. It’s worse than a wax museum.

Although, the notion does beg some questions.

Alternative Textiles

I am curious about the opacity.

Do you cut out a full layer so that the colors are vibrant, or do you only shave them off like the dermatologist does when he’s removing questionable moles? If that’s the case, does that mean that they are transparent and, as such, that light shines through? Could you turn them into little stained glass ornaments? I bet you could make a solid lampshade out of your loved ones after enough of them have passed.

Tiffany Lamps may have met their match.

The former PETA member in me is wondering if some crazy person is willing to make them into cool patches for a jacket or jeans. It’s sort of the same as wearing leather, right? It’s just pre-decorated.

But enough of that: let’s focus on the current trend: fitting them behind glass against a black background as if they are fine art.

Preservation

In order to preserve my tattoos (which, in case I needed to specify, are on my living skin), I generally use unscented lotion. Technically, when I go out into the sun, I am supposed to use baby suntan lotion because it offers extra protection and prevents the ink from fading out compared to the rest of my skin. If you are keeping the dead person’s skin, do you continue to, (pardon me, but I can’t help the reference) put the lotion on the skin? Do you use Aveeno? If you’re about to move and you’re transporting the skin during daylight hours, do you apply Coppertone? What SPF is recommended for dead skin? What if it shrivels up like the old people at the beach?

Which brings me to the next topic:

Appraisals

Recently, my parents came to visit me. While we ate dinner, they tuned into The Antique’s Road Show. Some of the stuff on there looks like complete garbage, but it’s worth a lot of money. A lot of different things go into such an appraisal. For one thing, if the piece is in good shape, it is worth a lot more. If the Scab Art is shriveled up, does that mean it’s worth less money, or does that mean it’s older and thus worth more? I assume that, provided said Scab Art is from a famous person, it would be worth more…but what if the tattoo was in bad shape at the time of death? Does that prove authenticity and then, converse to any original train of thought, raise the price? Do they run DNA tests?

Many tattoos are garbage artistically speaking. If the image was not a part of your loved one’s skin, would you still frame it? If the answer is no, then I need you to rethink your reasoning. What you are really doing is keeping their skin.

Look up the episode of Dexter called Finding Freebo. It’s from the third season…I think it’s like the second episode or something. You, skin collector, are Freebo. And you’re Goldmember. All of that.

But, then again, despite being a professional artist, I seldom have any grasp on current market trends. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s a prerequisite for the job. Perhaps there will be Dead People Tattoo exhibits soon…in which case a whole other topic comes into play:

Documentation

Do you offer a small index card off to the side detailing the artist, the skin’s former owner, and the date of death?

What if you don’t know the meaning behind the tattoo? Is it up to interpretation? Do you place a quote from the dead person?

There are so many genres. I could open a whole museum. Can you imagine curating the show?

Do tattoo screw-ups have their own category?

Will tramp stamps and arm bands of fake tribal crap and Koi fish on arms be less in-demand because they are so popular?

What about those terrible attempts at portraits? Will they be considered kitchy in that B-movie way and, thus, more sought-after? If you can provide the original photograph, will that up the price the way a signature does? Or is it like when I write a note in the books I sign…making the tattoo too personal and, thus, lowering the value?

Here I thought I would just have to live with my tattoos until I drop. Now I really am a walking canvas…fresh and ready for me to kick it so I can be hung on a wall.

Ooo! I know!! I’ll get realistic looking butterfly tattoos. Then, when my future children have them cut out of my arm or whatever, they can put them behind glass and can just tell people they collect butterflies. Now they won’t seem like such complete and utter creepers.

There. I fixed it.

As always, in case you guys think I’m full of it, here is the link:

https://savemyink.com/

Dead Things, Part 4.

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Author: Kara Adamo.

I thought it was over.

It had been years. I was sure we had moved past this. I was older…wiser.

I had written 3 Dead Things installments. I had done my part.

I even left…fled through the night and wound up landing 5,000 miles from home so I could recuperate. High up in the mountains, the Dead Things stories were but a memory…a faint shadow in the back of my mind.

So firm was my belief in these delusions that I managed to convince myself to float back down to my swamp and get on with life. I had a clear head. I could press forward with reckless abandon.

And then, just when I had brewed some tea and sunk myself down into my chair, I made a horrible, derailing mistake.

I went online.

Dearly Missed, Long-Lost Readers, it is my most unfortunate and regretful displeasure to present to you…

Dead Things, Part 4. 

When I was a toddler, my parents decided I was lonely.

I say it this way because I am fairly certain that all toddlers talk to themselves and that my parents were merely casting their desire for a second-born on to their unknowing daughter in a fervent attempt at rationalizing a possible replacement. Or maybe they just were in a phase where they liked babies.

Or they wanted a backup.

Either way, I ended up with a little sister I lovingly call Rickie.

Wonderful as this is, when Rickie was born some of the adults in my life realized how traumatic such an ordeal would be for a three year old. As such, I was given a gift. It was a stuffed lamb that I cleverly named Lamba.

Lamba was a boy—my male twin, to be exact—and he had his own voice in a weird accent nobody has ever heard before or since.

Lamba is the toy I clutched as I slept.

Rickie had a butterfly blanket.

I know many other children who had dolls or teddy bears that served very much the same purpose. They are inanimate best friends that comfort you as you slip off to that weird little dream land every night.

As adults, we generally lose our necessity for these objects. They become cherished knickknacks on our shelves or are hidden away in trunks and attics.
We learn to clutch our pillows—or perhaps a pet. Eventually, we find other adults with which to co-sleep. Cuddling becomes the adult version of clutching a teddy bear.
If you are an adult who still clutches their teddy bear, please don’t tell me. It is better that I never know. I like my delusions, remember?
But even if you are—for arguments sake—one of those strange grown people that still requires that little bit of comfort to ward off the boogie man…my assumption is that this toy or blanket or whatever has, in some corner or other, a tag bearing a name brand.
Or it is something that your auntie sewed you…or at least it is full of plush and polyester.
My assumption, dear friends—and forgive me if I am assuming without cause—is that your object of choice is not full of the rotting, decomposing organs of your former husband.
In Belgium, there lives a woman whose choice was exactly that. For a year.
We do not know her name, but we do know his. Marcel H. was 79 years old when he died of what is thought to have been an asthma attack. His wife, stricken with grief, chose not to say anything to anybody.
Instead, she cuddled this slowly mummifying corpse until her rent was late enough times in a row for authorities to wonder what was going on.
Naturally, this poses a few questions for me.
1. Why Did Nobody Report the Smell?
I am no pathologist. I have delved into many different studies in my time, but that one never made the list. I am a big baby with a weak stomach and I could never psychologically handle the idea of dissecting frogs in biology.
But I do know that things smell when they start to rot. Despite the smell emitting from this flesh covered insect trap, neighbors never reported anything strange. I would like to know why.
Was their place already that bad? Could they have been possible contesters for the show Hoarders? Did he smell that bad before he died?
I imagine cracking a window would not have cut it. Perhaps she owns a thousand scented candles that she burns all at the same time. I know that those little wax cones work really well for my shoe closet. Maybe that did the trick.
2. Was He More Pleasant to Sleep Next to Post-Mortem?
People have strange sleeping habits. My sister used to kick like a jackrabbit in her sleep when we were kids. It was astounding. She would jolt her legs back and thump like a character in Bambi until the wee hours of the morning.
She may still do it. I refuse to find out. I am a bruiser.
Then there is my best friend, Kelli. Kelli is a terrifying sleepwalker. She lives an entire second life completely unconscious. You will wake up and she will just be staring at you from glossed over eyes, just murmuring to herself in her sleep. Stephen King should really look into making a character based on it. Frightening stuff.
I think I drool.
No—that’s incorrect. I know I drool. I am not a salivating Labrador or anything like that, but I definitely give most toddlers a run for their pacifiers.
Which is strange, given my thing about spit, but that is neither here nor there.
Perhaps Marcel was a wretched snorer like my grandfather or my great aunt. Maybe the neighbors never reported anything because they were so overwhelmed by the sudden quiet that they merely counted their lucky stars-er-sheep and called it a night.
Perhaps he was one of those people that talks in their sleep. Nothing is more terrifying, if you think about it. There you are, reading a book, and then suddenly the person next to you starts babbling about unicorns and spaghetti monsters. It does not matter if they have done it for years. It’s spooky every single time.
So maybe she simply relished in the fact that, finally, he had shut up.
But of all of the things people do when they sleep…kicking, sleep walking, drooling, talking, snoring, etc…one thing seems to be relatively consistent.
Usually, they are breathing.
3. Did You Ever Worry About Pissing Off His Ghost?
As an adamant nonbeliever, I am not necessarily suggesting that this could actually happen. But, as an adamant nonbeliever in any certainty beyond the lack of someone’s pulse meaning death, I am also not tossing the idea aside completely.
As we have already established, I clearly know nothing.
While there has been a separation of Church and State in Belgium since the drafting of their constitution in 1831, there is still a predominate sway toward a life of faith. 71.51% of the population considers themselves Christian. In fact, aside from a mere 22.31% that claims either atheism or agnosticism, everyone else seems to believe in some sort of after life.
It seems logical that this little 70-something year old woman probably falls in that category.
I never knew Marcel, but I know that if my significant other was clingy enough to clutch my stagnant, smelly, rigid corpse every night, I would have a few choice words for him.
Then again, I am not always a huge fan of extended cuddle time, anyway. At first, sure, but throughout the night I am likely to kick myself free. Eventually, I get claustrophobic.
Anyway,
Since this is my fourth issue of the Dead Things saga, I guess I now have to be on the alert. Evidently, I had not heard it all…and I probably still haven’t.
So I have decided that we, as a group, need to set a series of ground rules. For those of you who will not understand my references, I will be turning each of these rules into hyperlinks to the corresponding Dead Things story. We shall call this list The Dead People Rules.
  • Dead People Rule Number 1.
  • We do not eat dead people. We are not cannibals. If they are cremated it does not mean that they are well-done. Under no circumstances is another person, dead or alive, to be literally consumed by a loved one or stranger. You are not a vulture. Go to the supermarket.
  • Dead People Rule Number 2.
  • We do not ride around with dead people. They are dead. Let them rest. This is not a real-live remake of Weekend at Bernie’s. And leave their credit card alone. It is still stealing. Let the government take care of that. They hate competition, anyway.
  • Dead People Rule Number 3.
  • We do not wear dead people. This includes Buffalo Bill psychopaths as well as the unfathomably creepy people who pay money to turn their loved ones into jewelry. I do not care how well those earrings set off your eyes and your outfit. If it used to gasp, do not add a clasp.
  • Dead People Rule Number 4.
  • We do not sleep next to dead people. I am freaked out by seeing a corpse in a casket. I cannot imagine viewing one as a teddy bear.  Plus, as I hinted earlier, within a week it starts to mummify and bugs start crawling around inside. The only time that is ever cool is in the old 1990s cult classic, Beetlejuice. I do not care how many awesome pairs of striped tights you own; you will never be Lydia Deetz.
  • Dead People Rule Number 5.
  • Necrophilia. I will not blog about it. Just don’t do it.
So I hope that five is enough for now, but at this point I have learned my lesson. I realize now that having my guard down is a fool’s mistake.
So, dear ones, until next time…
Sweet dreams.

Jesus is Part of Romney’s 46%.

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Author: Kara Mae Adamo.

Helloooo, all. I know, I know. It’s been a while. I missed you, too.

I am angry, and I would like to take this time to pass that anger on to you, my readers, in the hopes that maybe something can be done about this once and for all.

I mean, really, what is a blog if not a digital soapbox from which to fervently ‘shout’ out my angst and annoyances—specifically if I think some good might come of it in some small way? Think of me as an opportunist.

I, as many of you know and some of you may have simply guessed, am an atheist.

Wait, hold on: I’m going to stop you right there.

I am not saying ‘there is nothing’ or ‘there is no god.’ Far be it for me to pretend I know anything beyond my own little life and, even then, the mysteries far out-weigh the certainties.

As a lover of words, I chose to take them for their actual definitions. An a-theist is exactly that: someone who lacks theology. I am not an agnostic because agnostics are searching for the answers. I know I will never find them and I do not care to look.

I am, however, evangelically anti-doctrin. Doctrin is pointless in this day and age. I understand its historical and cultural purpose, and I revere religion for all that it has given us in the past…but we have microscopes now. And telescopes and satellites and cognitive thinking and, damnit, fancy poetic guesswork is nothing more than wistful attempts at believing in slightly different versions of Santa and the Boogie Man (the Devil). I do not need to be scared into doing good things. I do good things—or don’t do them—as I myself feel fit.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with my rather offensive views on religion and the study/adherence thereof, one thing is absolutely inarguable: that our nation—the US, for my foreign readers—was founded predominantly by AGNOSTICS AND ATHEISTS (No, stop…research it; these are facts) and the separation between church and state was put in place for a  reason.

And so, I find it completely ridiculous and constitutionally incorrect to allow churches and other religious groups the right to skimp out on taxes when they are above all else glorified (ha) business institutions. Their product is a weird medley between faith and fear and their unprecedented ability to suck money out of people’s pockets is almost admirable if not incredibly profitable.

Churches have lobbyists and all other sorts working around the clock to ensure that they do in fact have a say in what our government does (take a look at the pledge before the 1970’s. It never said ‘under god’ until then). My argument is this: you have every right to sway people however you would like. I myself am exercising that right with this very blog.

But I pay taxes.

And you, fair churches, do not. And it is not just your actual steepled buildings that I am talking about. You are the titans of loopholes and I don’t think Jesus would approve of the hypocrisy. In fact, I believe he overturned tables at the temple for just this very type of thing.

A constantly infuriating example:

I live in Orlando, Florida: the tourist capitol of the world.

Here, we have Universal Studios, City Walk, Downtown Orlando, Restaurant Row on Sandlake, Park Avenue and Wet and Wild. And that doesn’t even skim the biggest portion of the town which, as everyone knows, is owned and run by that damned Fascist cartoon mouse. Within Orlando there is even an actual town literally owned by Disney. It is called Celebration and it is one of the creepiest places I have ever been in my life. Seriously. You pick a flower and somebody practically comes right up behind you and replaces it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have card-men painting the roses red. It’s in the middle of the Florida swamp and they actually have fake snow engineered for Christmas. Gross.

One thing that most people may not be familiar with, however, is an amusement park called The Holy Land Experience.

This is by far the most disturbing of all of Orlando’s various antics. First off, there is the name. I honestly don’t have enough time or energy to go on about why I find it offensive to multiple cultures the world-over.

But moving beyond that, the park’s main event (as with most parks) is its parade.

Would you like to know what happens during this joyous event?

Iiiiit’s the Crucifixion.

No—stop—really—I kid-you-not. It’s the freaking Crucifixion.

Even I am not sacrilegious enough to make that up. You can’t—it’s too perfect and awful to fit properly into a lighthearted joke. They actually have some homeless looking fool dress up like Jesus and fake-torture him through the streets to the delight and satisfaction of crying grown adults and small sure-to-be-traumatized children until they bring him to what, for the last 5 years, I have been lovingly referring to has the ‘Jeezitorium’: a gigantic collussium mock-up where they hang this guy on a cross like back in the good ole’ days.

Anyway, that horrifying process aside, what I am really upset about is this:

Thanks to IRS code section 501(c)(3), The Holy Land Experience, with its biblically based rides, full-staff, restaurants, creepy parade, special effects, and—yes–gift shops and all, has managed to be completely tax-exempt because it, technically, can consider itself a church.

“How the fuck?” You might ask? Well, once a year—one single, solitary, completely random-ass day out of the 365 they have to chose from—The Holy Land Experience allows free admission to everyone. They manage to pull this off by never releasing the day ahead of time. It’s just sort of a miracle for that day’s lucky patrons.

As a result of this blatantly sleazy loophole, this godforesaken monstrosity that I have the wonderful fortune of passing on my way to work each day manages to skimp out on more than $300,000 in city taxes—including the taxes to care for the roads that lead to its, literally, pearly gates.

I have been bitching about this for nearly half a decade, though…so obviously something must have set me off on this little rampage.

“What was it?” you ask?

You see, I currently work in the restaurant business. At present, I work at a fine-dining Brazilian Churrascuria. It is an all-you-can eat steakhouse. It is my job to feed others freshly charred decomposing flesh on skewers.

Let it be known that, while I am a strict vegetarian, as an atheist, I reserve the right to sell my proverbial soul for money.

Think of it as a cholesterol-filled stepping stone to other things.

So, anyway, since it is that festive time of year, we restaurant folk have been up to our noses in customers and such. Since my restaurant is virtually right next to the huge convention center on I-Drive, we get a lot of business from corporate events and such. Which means more shoes for me and less time attempting Portuguese on a daily :).

All was well-and-good until I started noticing a disturbing trend: churchy groups are coming in and, because they are all churchy, are weaseling their way into tax-free dining.

Tax-free dining at a fine-dining all-you-can-eat steakhouse. Just so you know, the flat-rate BEFORE DRINKS is $45.50 a person.

Two things: a.) how is your ability to stuff your fat mouth with all of the innocent animal flesh in the world helping spread the word of God/why the hell is this legal, and b.) (what is perhaps more enraging) you know that money came directly out of the offering plate. And I thought sending little brats to church camp was pushing the envelope on the definition of ‘charity work.’

For shame, churchy-people. For shame.

Here is my platform on why this is absolutely wrong:

For one, church tax exemptions violate the Establishment clause (precedent: William O. Douglas, LLB, US Supreme Court, Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York, 1970).

Second, by lifting this completely ridiculous exemption, as much as an annual $71 billion in revenue could be used to help create solutions to our present economic crisis (you know, the one so many conservative church-goers like to pin on Obama even though Dick Screw-the-Poor-Cheney is responsible for a significant chunk of it).

And third, charitable events are not exclusively managed by churches and, in fact, are effectively being managed by private businesses and government social services (social services that could definitely use a leg up visa-v the $71 billion we would receive annually if they paid their taxes like the rest of us).

Not to mention the fact that, since churches are really only supposed to be there for religious practices, they should really not be subsidized at all…especially since, as a former Wiccan, I can guarantee that my completely legitimate coven would have never qualified for the same treatment.

All of that or—for an easier option—I would like to file myself as the The Holy Church of Kara and therefore stop seeing massive chunks of my paycheck disappear before my eyes.

Pick one.

And for God’s sake stop using your stupid tax-exempt status on over-priced beef and chemical-filled soft drinks.

Hugs and Kisses,

Kara.

For those who are interested in being awesome, sign this petition to stop the madness once and for all.

Prom Night Dumpster…Dude?!

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too bad–he’s kinda cute.
(And this is why my friends now want me to consult them first the next time I go on a date.)

Author : Kara Mae Adamo.

So I’m driving down the road in the middle of Anchorage, casually flipping through the unfamiliar radio channels, when a phrase comes over the airwaves:

…and guess what, this one didn’t happen in Florida…” said the delighted, enthusiastic and genuinely surprised radio host.

My skin crawls with excitement. Since my first month living in Alaska, I have heard rumors of a delightful little radio show that broadcasts throughout Anchorage. The show focuses exclusively on crazy shit that happens in Florida.

That means Florida is so collectively insane that people 4,000 miles away in the effing tundra cannot fathom it. It is a source of daily entertainment to hear what the most southern state in the lower 48 is up to.

This particular event occurred in Portland and is so ridiculous that the hosts of this show thought it ranked up there with Floridian shenanigans.

They have my attention.

So, here it goes.

We’ve all been there. You’re out partying and have a bit too much to drink—perhaps even get a little sick—and suddenly it’s time to go home. It is at this point that you are either a) smart enough to catch a cab, b) your phone is charged and you have the number of someone who can pick you up, or c) you have friends with you that are sober and observant enough to notice you shouldn’t be driving and wind up taking you home.

If none of the above applies, there is always the ole failsafe: Denny’s until you sober up.

Now, I won’t lie to you—I have had my fair share of Dude, Where’s My Car mornings. Hell, during my freshman year in college it was part of the fun: like a hung-over detective game where you piece together the events of the night before. But never have I ever been drunk enough to consider the following possibility.

After what he swears was a several-year dry spell without a single solitary drink, 27-year-old Justin Gilpatrick decided to indulge. It was one of those tell-tale nights of shots, laughing probably a bit too loud, and stumbling out the door at closing time.

Now, before we go further, I will grant Justin this: at least he didn’t drive. He had the good sense to know that his level of inebriation was deadly behind a vehicle and chose to sleep it off instead…

…in a recycling dumpster.

I am all for recycling and going-green, but really?

 Here is the best part…he was so shit-canned that he managed to stay asleep despite the rattling sound of a Waste Management compactor truck pulling up to his little extended-stay hovel.  He was deeply engrossed in the rich, comatose labrynth that is booze-inflicted sleep that he didn’t catch on that said compactor truck had lifted his dumpster up high in the air—nor did he realize that he was airborne for about five seconds while it tossed him directly into the compactor.

He managed to go through this thing twice before being rescued by the panicked and frankly bewildered Waste Management team.

He then tried to walk away, as if to say that he was perfectly fine and that it was just another good ole Friday morning in the dump-heap.

Eventually, they were able to bring him to his senses and convinced him to seek medical attention.

Our friend Justin sustained only minor injuries and isn’t being charged…probably because there really isn’t anything they can do to someone who has slept the night away in the trash and then gone through a compactor twice. No hangover or misdemeanor incarceration holds a candle to that.

Justin’s response, you ask?

“I will never drink again.”

If I had a dollar for every time…

Anyway, thought I’d share.

My Newest Paranoia

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Author: Kara Mae Adamo.

At some point during the summer, I am going to run over a handicapped person.

It won’t be on purpose, but it is an inevitability. I am trying to accept this now so that, when it does finally happen, none of us will be in shock.

My reasoning for this stems from my initial waitressing paranoia: that, whilst carrying a larger-than-I-am tray, I will trample a small child.

I have been gearing myself up for this for years now. Parents allow their little hellions to run amuck and, though I try my damnedest to avoid them at all costs, some day they will trip me.

I will fall. Hot soup will burn them. And it will be my fault. I will be left defenseless as the wee thing cries…and some crazy toothless housewife will smack me with her slipper.

As it happens, I am currently living in Alaska. I have a better chance of tripping a bear than a small child: they are a rarity here.

But physically handicapped people—particularly old handicapped people—are everywhere. They have replaced children in my nightmarish prediction…and, again, it will be my fault. The only problem here is that I’ll legitimately feel bad. If it is a child running around, at least I can kind of share the blame in my own head…but a crippled person? No way around that one.

So I have gotten to the point where, out of blatant fear, I avoid these cane-bearing individuals and their handi-paraphernalia. It’s tougher than you’d think. Wheelchairs are like landmines around here; everywhere you look, they’re propped up against walls and wedged in between tables.

Like I need more inanimate objects to harm myself on.

Yesterday, whipped butter kicked my ass. It wasn’t on the floor, either. I was cleaning the dairy fridge towards the end of the night and reached up to grab the tub that houses said spread. My coworker Molly saw it and said “Don’t do it.”

I looked at her with a little smirk (usually the first sign I’m about to screw up) and said “I’ve got this.”

I lifted the tub, knocked myself off balance, and fell back right on my ass. The tub of butter remained upright.

Cholesterol Bin: 1; Kara: 0.

It is a losing battle. That butter didn’t even have limbs. It was stationary. Someone on crutches is armed and dangerous compared to that.

Then today I was carrying a coffee pot over to a table, looked the other way, and nearly ran head-first into a dude with a semi-permanent back brace looking thing…and that’s when I knew it: crippled people are next.

I’m not even entirely sure that the handicapped person will be the one getting hurt in this situation. Sometimes, in my little day-mare, the handicapped person wins. I weigh a buck-nothing. Given enough velocity, a grandmother with a walker could take me out.

She’ll just stare at me with her worried grandmotherly eyes, help me up with her free hand, and fish a peppermint and a tissue out of her purse to make me feel better.

That is a level of humiliation I am not yet ready to face.

What’s worse is that, given my personality, everyone who knows me is going to think I did it on purpose. I’m trying to avoid it, but as those of you who have met me in person (or have ever read my blogs) all know, I can scarcely walk in a straight line. When in crowds, I’m like a bull in a china closet.

So this installment is my official, publicized disclaimer: I am not aiming for children or handicapped people. Any harm done to members of one or both of these categories is purely the result of my inability to maneuver like a coordinated adult.

And possibly karma. I’m sure it’ll have its hand in this somehow.

But, then again, who knows? Maybe another inanimate object will jump out in front of me just in time. It’s all just a waiting game at this point. For now, I shall toe the ever-present line and continue to walk amongst the general public. I’ll say a prayer to the cosmic universe and keep my fingers crossed.

And I’ll stay as far away from wheelchairs and canes as I possibly can.

Ladies’ Night

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Yeah. If only.

Author: Kara Mae Adamo.

Despite my stealthy efforts at slinking under her radar, Kira convinced me to come out to Ladies’ Night at Blue Martini. She pulled what we’ve come to term as the “Malia Card,” which is a pretty cheap move if you ask me. The Malia Card is a failsafe: a Trump Card, of sorts. It is the secret weapon that also acts as a poker tell because it shows that the argument is otherwise weak. She pulled the Malia Card because she knew that it would work and that she had nothing else. It was that or fold…and she wasn’t about to let me win so easily.

The reasoning to my aversion is a simple and quite justified one: Ladies’ Night should be renamed Creepy-Middle-Aged-Man-Night. We get in without a cover and drink half-off martinis…and they skulk about the perimeters. I’ve actually sat out on the patio during Ladies’ Night and witnessed not two but three forty-something-year-olds hop the mother f*ing wall to get in.

For reasons that baffle scholars and scientists alike, I am always the one in our group that attracts the old guy. I have no idea how it happens. It just does. I’ve had this problem since I was a young’un and now that I’m older, it’s only gotten worse.

My friend Adam says I’m the unwilling Pokemon Master of old guys…I unfortunately catch them all. 

One time, on a completely separate occasion, a forty-something-year-old offered to serenade me at a karaoke bar. My girlfriends thought it was sooo cute. Yeah. He dedicated the song to me and crooned to ‘Dead or Alive’ by Bon Jovi. Great song…but a creepy one to dedicate to a girl half your age. I left mid-chorus.

Another time, a middle-aged-guy slobbered all over my neck, effectively leaving a slug trail down my collar bone.

We were not kissing…and I have a thing about spit.

And yet, Kira felt the necessity to pull the Malia Card, selfishly putting my sanity and the lives of others in danger.

It was only with the idle promise that they would hide me under a chair at the first sign of danger that I agreed to come. As I pulled into the parking lot, my nerves were on-end. If I were a cat, I would have a bottle-brush tail.

So I met up with Kira and our posse. They’d already gotten a table and were a couple of rounds ahead of me by the time I sat down.

We had a good time. We took photos of each other, inspected them and giggled as we vetoed some and approved of others.

We toasted to the demise of those we hated and Malia shared funny stories about her son. Whitney and I chuckled incessantly in the traditional spiteful female way and Caroline even managed to twirl my not-so-graceful-ass onto the dance floor.

Everything was kosher.

It was in my vodka haze that I began to realize that we were one of the only clusters of women out on the patio. It was like our table was a watering hole and the 40-60 year olds were the giraffes, elephants, what-have-you. I began to humor myself with the visual of adding spots or trunks or manes to them, depending (of course) on the animal they most matched.

One of the animals (a gazelle, of sorts) managed to sneak his way into one of our photos and we went on a mini scavenger hunt to figure out who it was.

We sat back down, the perpetrator having been high-fived for his stealth and wit. True to form, a forty-something-year-old plops himself down next to me and starts talking about his sixteen year old daughter and about the ab contest he’s planning on entering with all of the “younger guys.”

At some point, I decide I’ve had enough and wander off into the Great Blue (ha) Yonder to head to the restroom. This usually means a collective field trip, but I’d already sat out on one or two of the excursions, so I went on my own.

This trip should have only taken like five minutes, but I was sidetracked on the way back. Somehow, I got pulled onto the dance floor by two different bald guys wearing startling amount of cologne and Tommy Bahama shirts.

Somehow, I made my escape.

It was brief, though. Kira had invited another girl out.

Here is my disclaimer before we move on: the name(s) of certain characters in this story have been altered to protect the stupid.

We’ll call her…Wendy. I doubt I’ll ever know a Wendy, so it’s probably a safe enough bet.

So Wendy and I turn straight around and head out toward the restroom. She holds my hand on the way there (like girls do) and seems sweet enough (I think I met her one other time but the encounter was short).

I feel my other hand being held. Huh, I think to myself, which girlfriend decided to come along…and I need to tell her to wear more moisturizer.

I turn to look. It is not a girlfriend. It is a grinning fortyish guy who has decided—in what I can only hope is a drunken stupor—that he wants to join our little friendship train through the club.

*sigh*

I twisted my hand out of his just before he went to kiss it.

Gross.

Moving on.

Wendy and I made our return. I don’t know what happened in our absence, but Caroline, Whitney and Malia had left by the time we got back. Kira was left to text on her phone as the forty-something-year-olds closed in.

So Kira, angered by whatever the hell happened and further frustrated with the animals at the watering hole, tells me she is going to leave and go meet up with her boyfriend (a wise decision).

So now I’m left with Wendy.

I still have two martini’s to finish…one of which was purchased for me without my consent. So I figure, eh, Wendy just got here…she seems nice enough…we’ll chat.

The minutes drag on. I have no idea what we talked about. I was too busy noticing a shift. The fifty-year-old guys must have all realized, as one, that they forgot to TiVo Matlock. They left, making way for these young Arabic guys.

They are friendly and having fun and kinda tipsy. They engage us in conversation. I’m pretty much over the night, though…and I’ve had just enough vodka to make me borderline mean (I know…it’s a stretch.)

So I begin to zone out, wondering when it will be acceptable for me to leave, when suddenly Wendy starts tapping me with great haste.

Kara: What! What!

Wendy: Oh my god!

Kara: Jesus fucking…what?

Wendy: I think these guys are terrorists!

*a pause*

Kara: …you what?

Wendy: They’re terrorists! What do we do??

Kara: They’re not terrorists.

Wendy: Yes they are!! Look at them!

Kara: Dude. They’re from Dubai.

Wendy: But they said they were students! What does that mean?

Kara: I’m gonna take a guess and say that I think it means that they’re students.

Wendy: But they didn’t say what kind of students. They just said they were students.

Kara: You can’t just casually label somebody a terrorist because they’re from the Middle East.

Wendy: But what if they are?

Kara: They’re from Dubai.

Wendy: But…but they’re terrorists!

Kara: Dude. Where are you getting your intel?

It is at this point that I begin to question it myself—and that’s mostly because of the alcohol. I realized that, not only was the notion absurd, but even if it were true, I am not equipped with the proper know-how or even sober blood count to deal with that kind of situation.

And so I left…and now I have a vodka/stupid people headache.

Damned Malia Card.

Staying Fit During My Quarter-Life Crisis

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Author: Kara Mae Adamo. 

I’ve spent a great deal of time at the bar over the last couple of months–and eating au gratin potatoes at work (I’m a vegetarian working in a fine dining steak house…they feed us…but most of it previously had a face…you see how my options are a bit limited)

I have, however, been maintaining an active lifestyle. I’ve been switching it up a bit: I have gone rock climbing recently (my friends go a lot, so I really have no excuse outside of my insane schedule not to go), and I’ve started hitting the gym more, too.

I also bought myself some roller blades. I can’t decide if this last one has anything to do with my sudden mid-twenties freak-out, but I have also been looking into buying a ninja 250. It suffices to say that I may or may not be experiencing a quarter-life crisis…but either way I bought the blades. I also went skateboarding for the first time in my life. Granted, I was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette at 4 o’clock in the morning when I was on said skateboard, but it actually didn’t go too bad…aside from when I ended up on someone’s driveway while on my friend Alex’s long-board. As it turns out, going down-hill is completely different than going straight or up-hill. The board shot out from under me and I fell right on my tailbone.

It was still fun.

And, honestly, why shouldn’t I go skateboarding or rollerblading? Why? Because I’m a grown woman? Meh. I’m the size of a ten year old, and I feel that somehow earns me the right to play like one. I’m not hurting anyone but myself most of the time, anyway.

Perhaps it will keep me young. I’ve sworn off plastic surgery and face-lifts. Perhaps if I keep that youthful glow that comes from climbing trees and making mud-pies, I will never have to consider these things. (Just kidding on the mud-pies…sort of).
I actually am developing a school of thought surrounding this. So what if I want to do all of these things? I didn’t do them that much as a teenager and, well, I’m a grown-ass adult. I pay my bills and work 60+ hours a week. I do my own taxes, clean my own house and own my own car. So if I want to get grass stains all over my jeans by falling down because I haven’t figured out how to stop on my new roller blades then who’s to stop me?!

No one; that’s who.

I’ve also taken to buying more food from the grocery store. I feel as though this is key. I tend to eat healthier when I’m, well, not at the bar. Tonight, for instance, I sauteed some asparagus with some carrots and a touch of soy sauce. I also let a vegan grilled “chicken breast” simmer in some ginger dressing and a little claret. I topped both of these with a bit of caprino cheese and had a small side salad of mixed greens, radishes (an excellent blood purifier, btw) and ginger dressing. In lieu of a beer, I had a glass of juice (a combo of two of my favorite V8 fruit blends).

Honestly, I feel better already.

I’m trying to get myself in shape so that, when I take off over seas a year and a half from now, I’ll be in tip-top condition for the training regimen.

This has helped get my mind off of a few upsetting things and, honestly, it’s how I usually live. I’ve been in a rut for a while and I feel like I’m finally climbing out of it. This makes for a happy Kara–and it also gives me an excuse to shop for cute clothes this spring 🙂