Not for nothing do I choose to be an anonymous blogger. When you start ranting about “praying”, you better watch your back…and the “you” I’m talking about here is “me”.
So, kind of like my antipathy for “sweet girl”, which was the catalyst for my post regarding that phrase (making the point that there’s nothing wrong with either being “sweet” or being a “girl”, but there’s a lot wrong with using the phrase “sweet girl” ad nauseum), there’s absolutely nothing WRONG with praying and everything RIGHT with praying, if you are a believer, which I am.
Here’s the problem as I see it, and it usually encompasses all the areas in the post title: poetry, praying, and posturing.
Someone has a real problem in their life, states the problem, and then requests prayers on Facebook (this could spin off into a whole nother rant-post for Mrs. Hate). Or maybe they do a “vague-post” and just say “requesting prayers”…which is certainly problematic for a reader like me (the somewhat suspiciously cynical, yet kindhearted, sort), because then I’m wondering “are they such a dimwit that they’ve dreamed up a horrible problem like “I just don’t know what flowers to plant in the side yard…maybe I better request prayers on Facebook”, or is it a “real” problem??”. Hmmmm…nevertheless, the person is requesting prayers.
Sometimes the poster (for clarity here, the one requesting the prayers) waxes poetic in their request for prayers, but here’s how it usually goes…those who comment on the post now have a wide-open field to either say “praying!!”, “praying now!!”, “prayers going up!!”…which always reminds me of a bunch of jack-in-the-boxes popping up…or they spin like whirling dervishes and go forward into a most poetic rendition of grandiloquent and bombastic sentences. I’m not EVEN going to string together a bunch of what I would consider “grandiloquent and bombastic sentences” because, in all seriousness, I would get dangerously close to taking the Lord’s name and the concept of prayer in almost a vain way, and that is NOT good.
And what if you know the person, they have a real problem, everybody is posting “praying!!” and you DON’T post along with the herd, even if it’s all very legitimate and very sad?? And you are praying great drops of blood and sweat for them anyway, but just don’t care to hop on the Facebook prayer train?? THEN (the dangers of small-town life) “people” might “think” you, the non-poster, are so cold and uncaring. AARGHHHH. BLAHHHH.
When I ask myself what IS it about requesting prayers, using Facebook as the vehicle, that bothers me, I guess it comes down to this…I don’t believe in drawing attention to myself, I don’t believe in putting all (shoot, ANY) of my stuff out there on Facebook, whether good or bad, and I don’t believe in trying to be posturing-poetic.
Then my spiritual mind started rambling, and a BIble verse came to mind: Matthew 6:6.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
I’m no BIblical scholar, and I know it’s easy to take a verse and twist it to suit your own needs, but to me, this verse stresses “don’t pray in a show-offy way”.
I did a little Internet searching on this verse and found comments containing these phrases:
- prayer in public that is motivated by a desire to show off
- prayer promoted by the spirit of ostentation
- a flowery, public prayer might be based in a desire for people to speak well of you and how kind you are instead of letting God reward you
Law, law…and I’m not talking about policemen here. I’m talking “lawzy me” over the disintegration of knowing how to act.
Sadly, Facebook and its narcissistic, stupefying influence has taken over many people’s lives, and sometimes I feel like I’m a voice crying in the wilderness, but, as always, my philosophy is to stay private, avoid fluff, and be your own person. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I’m getting too wore-out with how to write this post without coming off like a complete unfeeling, hardass atheist to think further.
To soothe my brain, I will re-read “Valhalla for the Inarticulate”, a column by Taki Theodoracopulos. Quotes from the column and links below; Taki T. states much more beautifully and incisively than I ever could my feelings about Facebook and modern culture.
“And don’t get me started on Facebook, whose concept has been explained to me by my son and daughter.”
“The urge to blab and spill one’s innermost secrets to strangers is more than weird; it’s sickening. It springs from a navel-gazing culture of narcissism that would have made even poor Narcissus blush.”
“The slovenly emotionalism of Oprah has replaced privacy, good taste, reticence, and other such restraints people of my generation grew up with.”
You all are getting some lagniappe here, lagniappe meaning (in case there are some readers out there who haven’t heard that word) a bonus…the bonus being a good recipe, a word you might not hear very often, and a little family reminiscing. 🙂
Now, I would hazard that many people know about lagniappe, but how many are familiar with the word “foundered”?
My father used this word a LOT and we, the daughters, still use the word today when the situation calls for it. So, what does it mean?
The way Daddy used the word “foundered” is this way:
“I ate so much of that fried fish and those hushpuppies that I got foundered.” Or, “if you keep eating that watermelon you’re going to get foundered on it.”
The meaning of the word “foundered” can probably be gleaned by the context in the above sentences. Simply put, “foundered” means you ate so much (often of a rich food) that you just feel blah, uncomfortable, kind of queasy, blechhh. You usually don’t end up throwing up or anything, you just feel like “I sure wish I hadn’t made such a pig of myself and kept on eating like a hog at the trough”. Probably the best cure for foundering is a ginger ale, maybe a Coke. After being foundered, next time you ate something later on in the day, it would probably be just some saltines, or soda crackers, as Daddy usually called them.
Well, being the driven and inquisitive person that I am, I thought “hmmmm…this word is so familiar to me, but I wonder if it’s in the dictionary?” And, wonder of wonders, it is.
founder: to disable (an animal) especially by excessive feeding
Since Daddy was a farmer and farmed crops and had cows and pigs (cattle and hogs? I vacillate between the two), this might be the source for him of using this word in referring to human overeating.
Or maybe it was a word that was common anyway in this rural area back in the 1920s and 1930s when he was growing up. Whatever, if we’re sitting around stuffing toasted pecans or boiled peanuts in our mouths like somebody’s going to take them away from us, one of the sisters will usually look at the other and say “you better quit eating so much, you’re gone get foundered, and it’ll be your own fault.” No sympathy here!!
Well, why don’t we just mosey on to the sweet bread recipe referenced in the post title? And, because I’ve spent so much time explaining “foundered”, let’s just present the recipe without any more yip-yap, as I say. Just a warning, though…if you eat too much of it and get foundered, it’s your own fault. Man! I got some Mrs. Hate-ness going on there! 🙂
SWEET OLIVE OIL QUICK BREAD
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsulfured sultana raisins
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- unsalted butter for loaf pan
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, milk, and olive oil, and beat well.
Toss the raisins in a little flour to coat them lightly. Add the raisins and lemon zest to the flour and egg mixture and stir to distribute evenly.
Butter and flour a loaf pan. Transfer the batter into the pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the top with pine nuts. Bake for 55 mintues, or until a thin skewer inserted in the center comes out dry. Let cool for a few minutes. Unmold and cool on a rack.
(www.epicurious.com from Desserts and Sweet Snacks: Rustic, Italian Style by Viana La Place)
I mix this bread by hand using a whisk (don’t over beat, no need to use mixer, just mix lightly) and use Bertolli extra light tasting olive oil, not extra-virgin olive oil. I’ve also substituted currants or dried cherries for the raisins/skipped the pine nuts or used almonds, and it’s really good if you sprinkle the top of loaf generously with powdered sugar when it comes out of the oven.
Foundered…you’ve been warned.
IF FACEBOOK AMERICA GETS ANY FULLER OF “SWEET GIRLS”, WE’LL BE A NATION OF DIABETICS…FRIDAY RANT, PART 3Posted: May 16, 2014
“sweet girl” this
“sweet girl” that
“mean girl” thinks we need to chat
And I sincerely apologize if this title offends any diabetics, but there is such a strong association between sugar and diabetes that this title seems valid.
What’s wrong with being sweet? What’s wrong with being a girl? Absolutely nothing…both delightful states of being.
But “sweet girl”??
Now we’re entering into a cotton candy world full of fluffy pink clouds, vanilla ice cream cones, bakery birthday cupcakes, and cloying candle scents, a world where many of the female sex feel compelled to glorify other females with sugary, syrupy salutations.
We’re also entering the abhorrent world of lack of imagination, linguistic triteness, paucity of expression, and the “pigs rushing off the cliff in the Bible” scenario (also known as…if everybody else stuck their head in the oven does that mean you have to, too?).
Thus begins Part 3 of how Facebook encourages, advances, subliminally promotes, whatever you want to call it, paucity of expression.
If you take as a given that “sweet girl” could be improved upon, here are some alternate suggestions from Mrs. Hate for overwrought verbal sugar:
- You are so sweet
- You are some more sweet
- You are the sweetest thing
- You’re just too sweet for words
- If you got any sweeter you’d be a Baby Ruth bar
You may still be yapping on about how “sweet” this “girl” is, but at least it’s phrased in a little more original way.
And not EVEN going to get off on the tangent of…”her?? sweet?? everybody knows she’d stick a knife in you before the sun comes up!!” But NO…in the cotton candy world, every girl is sweet and floats around in some alternate universe of fluff.
Once again, with this “sweet girl” thing, I’m boggled—and masochistically fascinated—at how a phrase comes out of nowhere and enters the public domain. Phrases like:
- it is what it is
- reach out
- whatever floats your boat
get on my nerves in varying degrees of irritation (mainly a high degree), but there’s just something about phrases having to do with people that go beyond the pale for me. (See prior posts on “DH” (Part 1) and “strongest woman” (Part 2) )
It just seems like you’re not respecting the person’s individuality by referring to them with a phrase that you refer to…everrrrybody with.
Please, people…don’t you see that whatever sweetness a girl has is being diminished by repetition? That the phrase “sweet girl” is something that even the most witless person will eventually begin to stare at blank-eyed when scrolling through Facebook?
I don’t predict any monumental changes in folks’ thought processes and their subsequent written expressions, but this “mean girl” feels like, once again, she has a duty to call attention to and call out linguistic triteness.
Otherwise, two hundred years from now, Earth’s inhabitants will say “my gosh, was everybody that sweet except that foaming-at-the-mouth Mrs. Hate?”
if she were still alive, would she like being called
I’m guessing she would…
young-at-heart doesn’t even begin to describe her
she was another one of those repeat patients
maybe even a three-peat
frail in body, wild in spirit
that accent so rich and so exotic
to those of us with the country drawl
some moments with patients are almost
crystallized in time
her crystal moment was the time we both realized
that we knew some of the same people from her hometown
up the road
her wild spirit sensed it might be an interesting conversation
she drew those bony knees up to her bony chest and said
“oh goody, let’s talk!!”
we were both sitting on her bed facing each other
and as I looked into those pale little snapping blue eyes
and watched that mouth with its limited number of teeth
curl excitedly into a grin at the prospect of what she termed
I told her
“it’s just like a slumber party when you’re a teenager!!”
we forgot the thirty-year age difference
we forgot the hospital room…
we remembered how it was to pass the time
without a care in the world
This patient was WILD, and I say that in the most complimentary of ways. Slightly “dramatic” with her aches and pains (the daughter would sit in a chair and just smile and shake her head), but that was okay, because it was just part and parcel of her fun, intense, I’m-riding-this-galloping-horse-of-a-life-all-the-way-to-the-decrepit-end essence.
Drama also came when she talked about her family. I’d hear the this and the that, the good and the bad parts of her life, the patient would tear up and look all wistful and forlorn, but then…I’d see that snaggly grin and those inquisitive sparkly eyes and I’d wonder…is she enjoying my wonderment at her exploits?? Short answer…YES.
And a little gossip?? Lord yes!! “Girl talk” would be a euphemism for some good-old chatty small-town gossip. Nothing too spiteful or hateful on her part…and hey, I’m just sitting there letting her run on…but I’m thinking it took away the dreariness of being 84 and practically bedridden, so “judge not” on her propensity to swing the sword of alcoholism, affairs, cheating at Bridge, and all other things that make life so convoluted.
Bless you, my dead friend. You might enjoy knowing you’re in the spotlight today. xoxoxo
“I’m the strongest woman I know!!”
“No, I’M the strongest woman I know!!”
“The hell you say…y’all are weaklings…I’M the strongest woman I know because I just had a root canal…or changed a dirty diaper…or worked on Valentine’s Day in a flower shop…or chaperoned a class of first-graders on a field trip!!”
Get the ridiculousness of where this phrase could go???
So what’s up here??
This is what’s up with all this “strongest woman” stuff…you can’t read hardly one Facebook post without reading this phrase in the comments, or maybe in the post itself…”she’s the strongest woman I know”.
Oh, really?? REALLY????
I personally think I’m a strong enough person and have had some trying times that have strengthened my character, but I could throw a rock and hit any number of people that I know and say they are all strong. Is there a PARTICULAR “strongest woman I know”???
I definitively say NO, and for these reasons:
- You devalue all others and their strengths in the face of their trials by elevating one person to the status of “strongest woman I know”.
- And why is there never a reference to “the strongest MAN I know”??? Shouldn’t men be given the respect that they, too, might have awfully hard times that they persevere through??
- And not to mention this phrase is so overworked, so trite, so sappy, that it just shuts me down ASAP and puts me in a very Mrs. Hate mood over the inanity of many people’s communication skills and thought processes.
Did people go around saying “she’s the strongest woman I know” a hundred years ago, even fifty years ago??
I doubt it. The most one might have said would be “now that’s a strong woman” when she carried on after her husband was, say, electrocuted while working on the farm and she was left with five or six children and how was she going to feed and clothe them (this would be at a time when most women did not work “outside the home” and before the days of massive government assistance).
But flowering it up and gussying it up and hyperbole-ing it up with “the phrase I’m sick of hearing” would just not happen, in my opinion.
You took what life threw at you…it might not be fun, it might not seem fair, it might not be pretty, but you didn’t expect to be lauded and praised and made much of.
You got through your trials, or maybe your trials were never exactly over, but continued on, and you gritted your teeth and endured. You didn’t expect praise; all you might want is a little empathy now and then, or a home-cooked meal or an offer to do a chore, but that would be about it.
To repeat a statement from Part 1 in this rant series (see last Friday’s post): Our brains are in danger of turning into mush. Looks like it to me, anyway, from reading Facebook and blogs.
Coming up next Friday: Part 3, featuring “sweet girl”.
Now, how could Mrs. Hate find fault with calling a girl sweet????
Something very subliminal and insidious is happening.
And, instead of ranting and raving about a half-dozen or so examples of these “happenings”, I think I’ll just spread them out over several posts, thus “Part 1”.
Let’s start with “DH”.
- designated hitter?
- darling honey?
- dreadful harridan?
- delicious hunk?
- dumbass human?
Of course, being Mrs. Hate, my personal favorite is “dumbass human”. It cuts to the chase in a way nothing else can do.
But that’s not what’s happening here. What’s HAPPENING here is that you can skim through almost any blog, Facebook page, Twitter, or some such and see DH DH DH DH.
It took me a little while to figure out what DH meant. Then one day, the earth shook, the sky parted, and Eureka! it was as plain as the nose on your face!! DEAR HUSBAND!!!
Obviously, I’m all for anonymity, and I can understand why, if you’re writing about your family, you might not want to refer to them by their given names. Shoot, I may have five husbands and twenty children, but you’re never going to know it from anything I write, much less know their names.
But, “DH”??? That sounds like you’re addressing a letter…sort of. And you’re not calling your husband “Bob” or “Joe” or whatever, so…my goodness!! we must be in Victorian times when ladies were very circumspect in their forms of address, even with the person they cohabited with (with whom they cohabited?? whatever).
Once again, and I’ll beat this subject to death until the last word I write, “DH” over and over and over everybody saying it so quaintly and titteringly (word invention) is UNIMAGINATIVE, meaning TRITE!!!
And, ALSO once again, where are the men writing blogs and such?? Are they referring to their wives as “DW”??
- damn witch?
- disgusting woman?
- dazzling wench?
- demanding whiner?
- delightful wild thing (a little extra here)?
I’m just not sure if I’ve ever read a blog written by a male referring to his sig/other as “DW”. Again, as I’ve stated in a previous post, I’m not getting into a gender-based discussion here…and I wouldn’t want to be a man for anything in the world…but ladies—HAVE SOME UNIQUENESS OR ORIGINALITY ABOUT YOU!!!
So what’s insidious about all this?? I would repeat the title here and say “I just can’t quite put my finger on it”, but actually, my finger points to and lands on a dumbing-down of thought, a lack of curiosity or energy, a fear of thinking for oneself.
Our brains are in danger of turning into mush. Looks like it to me, anyway, from reading Facebook and blogs.
Coming up next Friday: Part 2, featuring “She’s the strongest woman I know.”
Mrs. Hate can’t wait!!
“I’m passionate about anything chocolate.”
“She is passionate about her children.”
“If there’s one show I’m passionate about, it’s “New Girl”.
“I have a passion for knitting.”
“I believe that my passion for working with the homeless qualifies me for this job.”
“Your passion for learning is impressive.”
Can anybody tell where Mrs. Hate is going with this???
TRITE, TRITE, and MORE TRITE.
Oh-my-gosh…don’t people realize how tired and overworked the words “passion” or “passionate” have become? Look at the following scenario:
Maybe you’re interviewing for a job. Maybe you have a little anxiety bubbling up in your breast (although there are some people who loooove to insist that “no, I’m so great and self-assured that there’s no way I could be anxious”). BUSTED. Here’s what psychologist Tamar Chansky has to say about nerves before a job interview:
“When we perceive that we are in a high stakes situation, the brain doesn’t distinguish the high stakes of a job interview–where it would help to be calm, cool and collected–from the high stakes of being under threat from attack (say, from a tiger),” says Dr. Tamar Chansky, author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. “The body responds the same way–gearing up to run or fight for our lives. We experience a myriad of highly inconvenient and uncomfortable reactions which would make complete sense if there really were a tiger there.”
But I digress. Back to the words in question.
What if you’re in the interview, a little anxious or nervous, and the interviewer says something along the lines of “why are you interested in this position?” or “what do you feel your qualifications are for this position?”.
Well, Mrs. Hate feels this way…the words “passion” or “passionate” are thrown around so much these days that people don’t have the originality God gave a goat and continue using those words like pigs rushing over the cliff in the Bible. Next thing you know, the interviewee starts yammering on about how “passionate” they are about exceeding their sales goals or what “passion” they have for coming in early to work or the “passionate” feeling of satisfaction they have when a client compliments their work.
Surely the interviewer’s eyes are glazing over at this point. Maybe he or she starts scribbling a little in the corner of a notepad. And what might be the words being scribbled? “Do not hire this person…they are boring me to death with their stupid “passion” words, and I’m afraid that every day I will be subjected to how $%^&*!!! passionate they are about one thing or another…including swatting that fly that just won’t go away.”
Meanwhile, the interviewee might be thinking “Wow!! I’m nailing this!! Bet the interviewer is scribbling down all sorts of nice things about me on that notepad!! I’m feeling passionate about my chances of getting this job!!”
How about saying “it’s very important to me to exceed my sales goals” or “honestly, I get so excited about my work that I might come in early some days” or “I love being complimented by clients”. If you feel you just HAVE to gild the lily, how about using the words “fervent” or “zealous”?? The interviewer may still think you’re a little full of yourself, you passionate thing you, but at least you’re mixing it up a little and stepping out of that trite zone by using a comparable synonym.
Mrs. Hate has gotten so passionately tired with all this passionate thinking and passionate writing that she will wrap up this little post by saying…
Read the Lake Superior State University 2013 List of Banished Words…I do believe you will find “passion/passionate” made the list.