East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


Some Saturday Stuff: September 14th.

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This is a picture of a horse drawn by my friend and nurse Melissa. It's for her dad, who tells this joke like every time she sees him, and cracks up each time. Today's his birthday, so happy birthday Mr. Brady!

I'm in a mood today, I'm not going to lie. Augh.

 

I've had three rounds of plasmapheresis and I still feel no different. I actually feel worse when I take in account the discomfort of the permacth. I've pretty much accepted that while it worked wonderfully in 2011, this once a month a session is probably not going to do anything... except for having me rocking scarves like nobodies business for the rest of the year.

 

Zoe has continued to live out the phrase, "Terrible two's". Nothing much more to add there.

 

I also got defriended on Facebook again. It happened the day after I got unceremoniously dumped earlier this week. This time, I was so confused I couldn't conjure up any anger. I mean this friend is a real life friend. You know, a attend babyshowers, long teary phone calls having, kids play together- type friend. Like we were friends back when Tom was everyone's friend on MySpace. 

 

We wound up having a text convo that evening that didn't explain the why. I didn't want to know. I still don't. She did explain she wanted to maintain our non-FB friendship. That got me thinking about who it is my friends "know" on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or this blog. FB Alisha, despite being dumped twice this week, is actually quite popular. She got three more friends who happily stepped in their places. She has over 650 friends. Real life Li? Um, like a handful. FB Li gets invites to join groups and play games. Hundreds of people want to know her birthday and constantly like what she has to say. In real life, I can easily go a week without even getting a phone call. 

 

Who is this FB Alisha, a flat 2D, bespectacled smile in a box, currently posing next to her beautiful best friend? I honestly don't know. Sure, I can make out a lot about her, like her tastes in music, movies and TV. But I feel I don't know her really. And if I go by my real friend's rejection of her, maybe I don't want to.

 

I saw a skit on Portlandia that reminded me of this. Look, I promise not to reference the show again for a while. But bear with me:

 

 

 

"Everyone on the internet... they're not having as great of a time as you think they are."

 

"I guess people are just cropping out all the sadness."

 

Yup, pretty much. Although I do include photos of my medical treatments, I'd say FB Li enjoys them a whole lot more than I really do. Just like she seems to just "SMH" at her daughter's destruction of their home. Cause I know I want to scream at cleaning the same areas like 9 times a day.

 

On that discordant note, let's do some linking. First up, a brief history of Pentecostal snake handling from Christianity Today:

 

With today's [This article was published on September 10th.-ADF] debut of Snake Salvation, a new reality TV show focused on the condemned Pentecostal practice of handling poisonous snakes, here are six bite-sized facts about this fringe but growing Appalachian tradition:

 

1) The practice began in 1910 when an illiterate Tennessee preacher tried to literally apply Mark 16:18: "They will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them..." (ESV). However, scholars debate the authenticity of that passage.

 

2) Snake Salvation star Andrew Hamblin is a 22-year-old pastor leading a resurgence of snake handling among younger Pentecostals (photos and timeline). (Update: Veteran religion reporter Julia Duin is writing a book on this trend.)

 

3) The rattlesnake death of West Virginia pastor Randy "Mack" Wolford, thoroughly profiled by The Washington Post Magazine, happened to be photographed by the Post as well.

 

4) More than 100 venomous snakes were confiscated in a 2008 sting operation in Kentucky. Gregory James Coots, father of Snake Salvation star Jamie Coots, owned the majority.

 

5) In 1940s Georgia, snake handling was penalized by death.

 

More here. That last point seems really weird. Like, "You could've killed yourself. But since you didn't we'll take care of that." Keeping the creepy going, next up, the Victorian era practice of photographing the dead, from Mental_Floss:

 

 

Mourning is a strange thing, and different cultures deal with it in vastly different ways. But there's a reason people associate the Victorians above all with morbidity and death, and one of them is memento mori.

 

The fact is, postmortem photographs like this were taken more than any other kind of photograph in the Victorian era -- especially in the U.S. -- and in many cases these carefully arranged, meticulously staged pictures were the only ones ever taken of their subjects. From Stanley Burns' book Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America:

 

These photographs were a common aspect of American culture, a part of the mourning and memorialization process. Surviving families were proud of these images and hung them in their homes, sent copies to friends and relatives, wore them as lockets or carried them as pocket mirrors. Nineteenth-century Americans knew how to respond to these images. Today there is no culturally normative response to postmortem photographs.

 

So, given your lack of a "culturally normative response" to these pictures, dear reader, we advise the faint of heart among you to click elsewhere.

 

 

"Child in Coffin at the Death Room"


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From PBS.com: "This portrait appears to have been taken in the formal parlor of a family home. The parlor, or "death room," was an important part of funerary rituals for most of the 19th century, the place where deceased family members were laid out for final respects. This image dates to c. 1890-1905, a time when many funerals were still taking place at home. Soon, however, death would begin to leave the home and by end of World War I most Americans will receive their health care in doctor's offices and hospitals and most funerals will take place in funeral homes. As the funeral "parlor" came into vogue, the home parlor was rechristened a "living room." A 1910 issue of Ladies Home Journal declared the "death room" to be a term of the past."

 

Also, did you notice the strange silhouette on the right side of the picture? That's the photographer's assistant, holding the casket lid open for the shot.

 

 
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For me, though, more intriguing than the dead are the living who pose with them -- usually stoic and reserved, it's the little bit of emotion their faces betray that make these portraits so compelling ... and heartbreaking. (Above and below: siblings with their brothers.)
 

 

 

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Even more morbidity awaits here. Now back to the current day, this story that advises good Catholic girls to skip higher education. I didn't make a mistake, this story IS current. From Fix the Family:

She will attract the wrong types of men.  I share the common concern addressed to us, again mainly by angry women, that there are so many lazy men in our society.  But what mystifies me is why girls continue to marry them and then live to complain about them, along with their parents.  So what normally happens with this setup is that those lazy men who are looking for a mother-figure in a wife are very attracted to this responsible, organized, smart woman who has it all together along with a steady paying job with benefits.  So if he wants to go to work he can, but if not he can always fall back on her income.  Or if he “doesn’t want to have to answer to anyone” he can start his own business, and it doesn’t matter if it fails or succeeds or makes enough income because again she’s there to help. The bottom line, HE is only supplementing HER income, but he’s supposed to be the provider. These are very strong stresses on families that I have observed to consistently repeat themselves over and over.  What she did that was looked upon to be the “responsible thing ‘just in case’” ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy because of the type of man she married.
  • She will be in a near occasion of sin.  Just think of the environment that college-age students live in.  You have a heavy concentration of young people all living together without the supervision of parents at the most sexually charged state of life they will experience.  How can one expect that anyone would be able to avoid these temptations, even on a Catholic college campus much less a secular one?  So if it is unnecessary for one to be in a near occasion of sin, is it prudent to willingly put oneself there?  This is no small matter we’re dealing with here.  Is a degree worth the loss of your daughter’s purity, dignity, and soul?  Catholic OB-GYN Dr. Kim Hardey notes that a woman is naturally very observant of a man’s faults as long as she is in a platonic relationship with him.  Once she becomes sexually active with him, she releases hormones that mask his faults, and she remains in a dreamy state about him.  We can see why God would arrange things in such a way so that when in a proper state of holy matrimony, she would be less sensitive to his faults and thereby less tempted to be critical of him.  But before marriage she should be very sensitive to the complete reality of the man she will enter into a lifetime commitment with.  It is one thing to advise our daughter of this reality in ordinary situations, but placing her into an environment that will tempt her to lose this barrier is unfair to her.
  • She will not learn to be a wife and mother.  Nothing that is taught in a college curriculum is geared toward domestic homemaking.  On the contrary, it is training in a very masculine role of a professional career.  So there becomes a severe inner conflict in a woman when she starts trying to be a homemaker and juggle a career alongside it.  Often when a career woman discerns the possibility of giving up her career, she faces the reality that she has had no training in homemaking and often has the thought “What would I do at home all day.”  Stay-at-home mothers are actually very busy industrious women and do absolutely beautiful marvelous things.  Surely the business world severely undervalues those things they do, but the value to a family is beyond monetary compensation.  These abilities cannot be learned in any college.
  • I don't have the energy, folks. But do feel free to have at it in the combox. Oh, and there are three more reasons for all the girl children to not bother their pretty heads AND some opening points about what the writer doesn't mean by saying the fairer half shouldn't matriculate. If you're up to it, click here.

     

  • And finally, who among us hasn't seen a great tip on Pinterest and thought, "I'm going to try THAT!". Well, here's a site dedicated to highlighting all the mishaps that occur when folks try to replicate the easy-to-do steps. Check out this post from Pinterest Fails:
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    What I Did: After buying a muffin pan from Bed Bath and Beyond, I was fully prepared to enjoy nature’s little miracle: the egg, perfectly hard boiled! I pre-set my oven to 325 degrees. I placed the eggs in each muffin compartment as carefully as a robin lays her eggs in a nest. When the oven reached the proper temperature, I positioned the eggs in their little nests dead center in the oven and set the timer for 27 minutes, midway between the recommended 25-30 minutes. The time flew by and before I knew it the oven timer was “a-beepin.” Only one egg was slightly cracked so naturally I thought this was a very good sign. As I removed the eggs to the counter for a brief cooling period, I eagerly anticipated biting into the perfect egg! But- no such luck! The moment I cracked opened egg #1, I sensed trouble. The shell was impossible to remove since the egg was stuck so tightly to the shell that the it crumbled into pieces in my hand. OK. “Try again,” I said to myself. The 2nd egg split open quite easily. In fact, my finger went right through it as disgusting raw egg shot forth all over the countertop and all over me! Damn! Is the “best way” to make hard boiled eggs? The 3rd egg was equally undercooked with the yolk runny and disgusting— anything but perfect! OK, take a Zanax, I said to myself. I swallowed one— a Zanax, that is and put the eggs back in the oven for another 4 minutes. While cursing the sister who sent me this “perfect cooking method,” I cleaned up pieces of shell, yolk and albumin from the sink, counter top, floor and my once spotless blouse. The timer beeped again. One look told me that the eggs had now… EXPLODED with the tops popping off like corks on a champagne bottle. OK, calm down, I scream! Maybe the darn eggs actually taste good… although I was frankly in no mood for eggs now. So, I cracked open #4… way too dry; #5…still grossly runny; #6…… ugly brown yolk: #7…shell stuck to egg. This is a cruel hoax. I picked up the muffin pan with the remaining eggs, open the door, walked to the edge of our property and heaved the eggs into the woods as far as I could manage to heave. Next I’ll give away the muffin pan since I don’t make muffins and I sure as heck will never again hard boil eggs

    in a muffin pan.

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  • Her result:
  • pinterestfail0021-640x426
  •  Yes, total fail. For more fabulous fails, go here.

And let's close this out with Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox's amazing take on Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop". Really, it's amazing. It's FB Li and real Li approved. Have a great Saturday.

 

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