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Ladies’ Night II

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Story time with Kara.

So, last night (after my event), I went out with my publisher and some of our friends.

This is how the night goes:

We drink wine.

At some point, the driver takes us to Rocco’s Taco’s.

Rita (one of our girlfriends) wants to talk to some guys that are sitting at one of the tables. These men (who are in their forties) are arm wrestling.

Rita drags me away from my happy place (my food) and makes me come with her.

The men are laughing. I once read in a Chuck Palahniuk that you should mimic people’s body language and actions when you don’t know what else to do or you are trying to size them up. For some reason (I’m assuming that reason was Chardonnay), I recall this.

I decide to smile and laugh with them.

It backfires. They think that we are friends now.

We are not friends yet.

One of the arm wrestlers puts his hand on my back. I decide that this is stupid. Before I can react, he wraps his arms around my waist into a giant intimate hug.

I–shocked–stare at him with eyes wider than the moon…my mouth ajar.

He LIFTS ME UP LIKE A BABY AND PUTS ME ON HIS LAP, ROCKING ME BACK AND FORTH.

I shriek.

I squirm out of his arms and run away.

I decide that I’m not done.

I return. He turns around, still smiling.

I scold him like a three year old in the middle of the bar. I explain that I am a grown woman and that he is not a 24 year old frat boy. He says he was joking. I say he doesn’t even know my name and is never EVER to touch a woman or put her on his lap like that. I inform him that I am an adult and don’t have to put up with strange stupid men touching me or picking me up just because I’m small and they think it’s funny.

I storm off. Other men at the bar stop me and inform me that I am right and that he’s an ass. They buy me a drink.

Triumphantly, I return to my girlfriends and clink glasses.

Because to hell with that guy.

The end.

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To the Eagles…

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I’m not a football fan.

It’s not that I’m against the game…my family just never watched sports when I was a kid and I found it hard to follow as an adult.

So, when I say this, please remember that it is in no way, shape or form, a slam against the sport, most of the fans, or even most of the players…it is simply about people treating people with dignity and respect.

When I grew up, we were taught to open doors for people, to say thank you, and that good sportsmanship is important. I was taught that being a sore winner is even worse than being a sore loser…and I was certainly taught that, if someone is injured, you see of they’re okay. You care about them and who they are as people.

Team affiliation has its merit…and cheering for your team is half the fun of watching a game. I don’t need to be a sports fan to get that.

What I don’t get…and what I refuse to condone as a citizen…is how a team like the Eagles can show such lack of compassion in the wake of what may be a career-ending injury for a man who worked is whole life to get to play on that field.

When he was writhing in pain on that stretcher, you should have taken a knee and tweeted good wishes for his health and recovery…not made fun of it, thrown yourselves a cyber party over it, and acted like classless fools.

You’re a disgrace to the profession and to the very nature of sportsmanship. And anyone (athlete or not) who conducts themselves that way should be utterly ashamed.

21 Terrible 90s Songs That Everyone Secretly Loves

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21 Terrible 90s Songs That Everyone Secretly Loves

Amazing.

Thought Catalog

1. ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ by The Backstreet Boys

I feel like it’s only fitting to start with this little ditty, as it was also the Boys’ first real single and they spent a great deal of time proclaiming they were “back.” From what? Back again from where? And while I have to admit bias because I am and always will be Team *N Sync, you kind of have to question the quality of a song in which Nick (because of course I can tell their voices apart, STILL, after all these years) asks his fellow boys if he’s sexual and they all agree without so much as missing a beat.

Props to the killer Halloween-inspired music video, though.

2. ‘Men In Black’ by Will Smith

Because when historians look back at the 90s, we are all going to have to explain why we made this song a hit — and…

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My Ridiculous Girl-Crush on Jennifer Lawrence

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ImageAuthor Kara Adamo.

I have just spent the better part of the last two hours e-stalking a celebrity.

I know that there are a million things I could be doing with that time–including 8 out of the 9 items on my to-do-list for the day–but I fell into a crazy zen-like trance akin to the one people go into when they find stuff on Reddit. It was out of my control.

To be clear, I usually do not bother all that much with people like Snookie, the Kardashian Wenches or the talented but sadly-still-a-train-wreck Miley Cyrus. They take up very little of my mental focus throughout the year, and unless somebody brings them up, I generally create a happy little bubble for myself where they hold little sway over anything.

It isn’t that I am immune to the addicting practice of star-gazing. I’m human; it’s what we do. But, true to my rather particular nature, I am choosy in which celebrities I care to pay attention to.

In recent months, Jennifer Lawrence made that short list.

I will be perfectly honest. This was an entirely bandwagon-based process. I had no idea who the girl was until a couple of months ago. I did see the Hunger Games last year, but I never really cared about who was playing Katniss. I just loved the books and enjoyed the film. I did, however, know who she was when I watched the second movie that just came out. I found her talented and beautiful and appropriately casted…

…none of which mattered to me at all.

It wasn’t until later that week, when I was watching the Daily Show, that I paid any attention to who her whatsoever.

And I am enamored.

Contrary to the popular trend of becoming famous and instantly losing all sense of personal identity, she comes off utterly genuine. She has a charmingly self-deprecating sense of humor that makes you want to be her best friend and her intelligent, bubbly mannerisms make her wildly entertaining in interviews.

Plus, the girl is wicked-talented. Her character in Silver Linings Playbook was complex and layered. It may be one of my all-time-favorite performances by a young female actress.

This is all wonderful, but it really has nothing to do with why I would like her enough to write a blog about it.

I am writing a blog about her because I respect her.

We are in the wake of a revolution and it is rooted in social media. There are videos that show the process involved in digitally altering already beautiful women and these videos are going viral. Finally, at long-last, my gender is waking up. We are realizing that even famous women do not actually look like famous women. The first-world-problems intellectual war on women is starting to lose some footing. We are realizing that we not only can be as beautiful as the women we see in magazines…but that we are. 

This ties into Jennifer Lawrence because, standing dead-center in the middle of her rise to incredible fame, she is championing this cause. She stands among the few stunning but very healthy, very real female celebrities who eats. She exudes a confidence in herself that makes her a wonderful role model to little girls and that will hopefully bring some balance to the damage done by the opposition.

Best of all, she is outspoken. This is a girl who recognizes the platform she has been given and, instead of twerking on live television, uses it to instill a message that a healthy body-image is far more important than slinky, swanky glamour. In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, she chastises open-criticism over other people’s body weight issues, deliberately pointing out that young girls are learning to talk and be cool by watching these shows.

It is a shame that she stands in the minority in Hollywood, but it is refreshing. I like that intelligence and actual talent is being encouraged.

Here is the link to the Barbara Walters Interview. 

A Letter to the Jane Benning Fans

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For those who were previously following the story The Playroom written under my alias, Jane Benning, I am writing to inform you that,  a.) yes, I will be revisiting the tales and more chapters will in fact be published, and b.) they will be posted under a new WordPress blog dedicated to exactly that. This way, if you subscribe, you will not be bothered by my other posts of different natures. The new blog will be dedicated specifically to those chapters and stories.   My apologies for the break from writing. I have been swamped this summer with going back to school and a number of other things. The semester ends this week, though, and so I hope to return to the tales of Madelyn and Mary Isler and the mysterious train conductor, Captain Ben O’Maley.

 

Here is a link to the new blog site:

The Twisted Tales of Jane Benning

 

I thank you for your interest and hope you enjoy what is to come.

Jane Benning

Frescos at the Villa of Mysteries: Panel 4.

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My final paper for my humanities class this semester

Author: Kara Adamo.

 August 24, 79 AD.

 Cradled against the enchanting shade of Mt. Versuvius, the city of Pompeii woke to the stretch of warm sunrays sparkling against the Sarnus River. They swept across the city and touched on the impressive villas; they glowed against the temples and amphitheaters, and gleaned against shop fronts.

 

The city began to wake up. The streets began to fill with the chattering sounds of Greek, Germanic, Latin and Hebrew (Freeman). The ships that bobbed along the river were loaded up with jugs of wine for export.

 

At noon, a rumbling shook the walls; the beautiful women painted on tapestries and frescos danced with the movement.

 

A pillowing cloud of gray sprang from the top of Mt. Versuvius (Sigurdsson). The city streets became peppered with ash and pumice at a rate of six inches per hour.

 

This continued through the night until finally, the next morning, a surge of gasses, rock and lapillus shot towards the city (Sigurdsson).

 

And in an instant, it was gone.

 

For years, it was hidden.

 

Swept beneath a carpet of earth and pumice, the city of Pompeii lay dormant beneath the surface (Nappo). Its inhabitants and the city they knew remained encased: frozen in time beneath a world that had long forgotten them. The streets down which they walked, the temples where they said their prayers and the tables at which they took their meals were forever isolated…preserved and intact…beneath the lava that engulfed them and swallowed them whole.

 

In 1755, a preliminary excavation took route with the intention of uncovering Pompeii and the neighboring cities that were lost in the eruption. The attempt was futile, however, but a second excavation in 1814 at least managed to uncover the south wall of the amphitheater (Jashemski).

 

By 1909, however, techniques and tools had much improved. Successful excavations led archeologists and scholars to reconstruct, figuratively, what life would have been like in Pompeii before its end nearly 2,000 years ago (Seaford).

 

A fascination with the Villa of Mysteries began to take route when Amedeo Maiuri (Nappo) uncovered what is now referred to as The Initiation Chamber (Jackson). Perfectly preserved despite the trauma of the eruption and the two thousand years that followed, this room remains brilliantly painted with many thematic frescoes. The meaning behind these wonders taunts scholars the world over—forever shrouded in visual conceit, the actual intention may forever remain a mystery.

 

The currant thesis, however, views these frescoes as a chronological representation of a marriage ritual to the god, Dionysus. (McDonald).

 

For the purposes of this paper, we will look to one of the many scenes throughout the room: the fourth panel.

 

Here, the Silenus looks disapprovingly at the initiate in the third panel. He holds a silver bowl. Behind him, a young satyr gazes into it. It is speculated that he is staring at a reflection of himself in the future after he has died: symbolizing the act of coming to terms with one’s own death (Jackason). Given the supposed context of the panel, one could imagine that, in this case, it is the death of childhood and innocence. This is a rite of passage within the Cult of Dionysus: a form of divination during the course of growing up (Seaford).

 

It is also assumed that the bowl contains Kykeon, a drink used during participation in Orphic-Dionysian mysteries (Jackson).

 

That the utilization of Dionysian images was so prominent comes as no surprise. The Villa itself was situated beside—and possibly attached to—a vineyard and the prominent export in Pompeii was wine (Freeman). What does come as a small surprise is the unabashed, shameless adherence to a cult that deviated from the state religion of the time.

 

And so, these magnificent frescoes and their heretical tribute to a cult long-lost but fully encased in the rich cultural influences of their time, remain a mystery to us. They remain, perhaps, the most direct of connections to our past and the intrinsic qualities that have stood the test of time (Nappo): the qualities that make us human and define who we are during the course of our lives.

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Sigurdsson, H. et al.   “The Eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.”  National Geographic Research. 1, 3.  1985, pp.  332-387.

 

Freeman, Charles. “Egypt Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean.” Oxford University Press. 1996.

 

Nappo, Dr Salvatore Ciro. “Pompeii: Its Discovery and Preservation.” www.bbc.co.uk. 2011: n. page. Web. 28 Jul. 2013.

 

Jashemski, Wilhelmina.  “Excavations in the Foro Boario at Pompeii: A Preliminary Report.”  American Journal of Archaeology.  72, 1 (Jan. 1968), 69-73.

 

Seaford, R.A.S. “The Mysteries of Dionysos at Pompeii.” Pegasus: Classical Essays from the University of Exeter. 1981: 52-67. Print.

 

MacDonald, Elaine Rosemary. “The Frescoes in the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii.” Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg (2010).

 

Jackson, James W.. “Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii.” http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/. Old Stones. Web. 28 Jul 2013.