Daily Update: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

03-10 - French Foreign Legion

With no Saints for us to honor today, we recall (those of us old enough to remember) that on this date in 1831 the French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria, as foreigners were forbidden to serve in the French Army after the 1830 July Revolution.

The Legion was to remove disruptive elements from society and put them to use fighting the enemies of France. The recruits came from failed revolutionaries from the rest of Europe, soldiers from the disbanded foreign regiments, and troublemakers in general, both foreign and French. In late 1831 the first legionnaires landed in Algeria, the country that would be its homeland for 130 years and shape its character. The early years in Algeria were hard for the Legion because they were often sent to the worst postings, received the worst assignments, and were generally uninterested in the new colony of the French. The Legion’s first service in Algeria came to an end after only four years, since it was needed elsewhere. The Legion was primarily used to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it also fought in almost all French wars including the Franco-Prussian War and both World Wars. The Foreign Legion has remained an important part of the French Army, surviving three Republics, one empire, two World Wars, the rise and fall of mass conscript armies, the dismantling of the French colonial empire and the French loss of the legion’s homeland, Algeria. As of September 2010, new recruits may enlist under their real identities or under declared identities. Recruits who do enlist with declared identities may, after one year’s service, regularise their situations under their true identities. After serving in the Foreign Legion for three years, a legionnaire may apply for French citizenship. He must be serving under his real name, must no longer have problems with the authorities, and must have served with “honour and fidelity”. Furthermore, a soldier who becomes injured during a battle for France can immediately apply for French citizenship under a provision known as “Français par le sang versé” (“French by spilled blood”). About 24% of the current Legion (as of 2007) is made up of French citizens, and women were barred from service until 2000, when then-French Defence Minister Alain Richard stated that he wanted to take the level of female recruitment in the Legion to 20% by 2020. At this time no woman has been known to have joined the Legion. (So if my life falls apart, I may be the first.)

I neglected to mention in yesterday’s Daily Update that I purchased a Selfie Stick from Amazon. And the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Milwaukee Bucks by the score of 114 to 103.

We woke up half an hour early, and I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once at the casino we signed the Early Out list, then ate breakfast in ADR. When we clocked in, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and I was on the Sit-Down Blackjack table. We got out at 4:15 am, and headed home; when we got home, at about 5:15 am, I went back to bed.

I woke up again at 10:00 am, and started my laundry. I then read the morning paper; our LSU Baseball team is in the #1 spot in the rankings. (Geaux Tigers!) Our Basketball teams are mired down in the “also receiving votes” section, which at least means they should both garner invites to the NCAA Tournaments. I then got on the computer. I uploaded my February 2015 photos from my phone to the hard drive of the computer, transferred my data on my medical procedures (I keep a log of my operations) onto Excel (which I also have on my phone), and redid our Passwords Excel sheet (which I also have on my phone).

Richard and I left the house at 1:00 pm; we ate Chinese for lunch at Peking, then went to Wal-Mart for groceries. We got home at 2:15 pm, and I finished my laundry. At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy!, then at 5:00 pm I headed out in the rain to Lafayette to the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch. I returned Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur, found that I can borrow whole season DVDs of television shows from the library (specifically, Bones), then attended the Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club book discussion of The Arrivals by Melissa Marr, which we tore apart with great vim and vigor. I then returned The Arrivals by Melissa Marr to the library, and headed home, arriving at 8:45 pm. And our New Orleans Pelicans beat the Brooklyn Nets by the score of 111 to 91 (our Pelicans will next play the Denver Nuggets on March 15th). I had hoped to take a bath and to start reading The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell, but once I finish this Daily Update I will head towards bed.

Tomorrow is Wednesday; with no Saints to honor, we will recall that on this date in 1851 the first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi took place in Venice. I will iron my casino pants, apron, and shirts, and do the Weekly Computer Maintenance. Then, for the rest of the day, I will try to get caught up on some stuff around here. And tomorrow evening our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team will play a home game against McNeese State.

Our Parting Quote on this Tuesday evening comes to us from Corey Haim, Canadian actor. Born in 1971 in Toronto, Ontario, his mother was an Israeli-born data processor, and he was raised Jewish; his parents divorced when he was eleven years old. He was enrolled in drama lessons in improv and mime by his mother to help him overcome his shyness, and accidentally fell into the film industry after accompanying his older sister to her auditions. Not particularly interested in acting, Haim participated in other activities, such as ice hockey (his skills on the ice led to him being scouted for the AA Thunderbirds hockey team), playing music on his keyboard and collecting comic books. Haim broke into acting at the age of ten, playing the role of Larry in the Canadian family-oriented comedy television series The Edison Twins, which ran from 1982 until 1986. He made his feature film debut in 1984′s thriller Firstborn, starring alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey, Jr. as a boy whose family comes under threat from his mother’s violent boyfriend, played by Peter Weller. Haim’s first day of shooting was with Weller, and he went up to compliment the older actor on his performance. Weller collared the boy, throwing him up against a wall to warn him not to speak to him after a take, and it took three assistants to separate them. Haim later admitted that he was terrified by the experience. In 1985 he appeared in minor roles in Secret Admirer and Murphy’s Romance, alongside Sally Field, of whom he was reportedly in awe. He went on that year to secure the leading role in Silver Bullet, Stephen King’s feature adaptation of his own lycanthropic novella. Haim began to gain industry recognition, earning his first Young Artist Award as an Exceptional Young Actor starring in a Television Special or Movie of the Week for the NBC movie A Time to Live (1985), in which he played Liza Minnelli’s dying son. Haim’s breakout role came in 1986 when he starred alongside Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, and Winona Ryder as the titular character in Lucas, a coming-of-age story about first love and teen angst. Haim turned fourteen on the set in Chicago, and fell in love with Green, who played his romantic interest in the film. He was nominated for an Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor in a Feature Film – Comedy or Drama at the Young Artist Awards for his performance as Lucas, and film critic Roger Ebert gave him a glowing review. Following Lucas Haim moved to Los Angeles and starred in the short-lived 1987 television series Roomies alongside Burt Young. In 1987 he had a featured role as Sam Emerson, the younger of two brothers, a comic-reading teen turned vampire hunter in Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys. Precluded from the nightly parties held by the older actors, Haim bonded with fellow actor Corey Feldman as they stayed in the hotel watching movies and visited the local arcade. The Lost Boys was well-received by most critics, made over $32 million at the U.S. box office, and was regarded as an 80s classic. The performance earned him another Young Artist Award nomination, as Best Young Male Superstar in a Motion Picture. In addition to making Haim a bona fide teen star, the film began his recurring on-screen partnership with Feldman, who became his best friend off-screen. “The Two Coreys” ascended to become the highest paid teen stars of the 80s. Haim visibly embraced the privileges of his new-found fame, becoming a regular at Alphy’s Soda Pop Club, a private nightclub for underage actors at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. His trademark lopsided smile and a blend of innocence and grittiness lay at the heart of Haim’s mainstream appeal, along with his penchant for playing underdogs and the good-at-heart. His next movie was License to Drive (1988), co-starring Feldman and Heather Graham. In the lead-up to the License To Drive premiere, Haim was receiving 2,000 fan letters a week, and spent his time trying to avoid the teenage girls besieging the house he had bought downstairs from his mother. The film won him his second Young Artist Award (tying Feldman for the Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy award), and went on to gross over $22 million domestically. Along about this time he became addicted to cocaine. Haim followed up by starring in the widely released horror film Watchers (1988), adapted from the Dean R. Koontz novel. Haim and Feldman next teamed in the metaphysical romantic comedy Dream a Little Dream (1989); four days before shooting commenced, Haim broke his leg, and his character was rewritten to accommodate his cast and resulting limp. The soundtrack spawned the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single “Rock On” for Michael Damian, with Haim and Feldman appearing in the song’s music video. By this stage, they had attained a level of pop culture fame and popularity amongst their peers which saw them become a commodity. Riding high, Haim became heavily involved in the 1980s young Hollywood party scene. On his return from a Hawaiian family vacation in May 1989 he told the press that he had been clean for a month after going cold turkey without the help of a substance abuse program. In October 1989 he appeared live on stage at Knott’s Berry Farm with DJ “Hollywood” Hamilton as part of a teen anti-drugs campaign. The thousand-strong audience of girls would not stop screaming and rushing the stage, and fire marshals had to escort Haim from the building amid fears for his safety. He later said that he was terrified of going onstage afterward, and had resolved never to go on any stage ever again. In November 1989, fresh out of the first of fifteen stints in rehab, he released a self-promotional video documentary entitled Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I, which followed a day in his life. Heavily scripted, his monologues to camera were nevertheless unfocused and suggested that he was under the influence during filming, and it has been considered the “worst movie ever” by X-Entertainment. In a further attempt to regain his wholesome image, Haim set up a pre-recorded drug advice line for teens, 1–800 C-O-R-E-Y, and admitted on The Arsenio Hall Show that he was high while giving the advice. Fellow Lost Boys actor Brooke McCarter began managing him in an effort to keep him clean. In 1990 Haim co-starred with Patricia Arquette in the sci-fi actioner Prayer of the Rollerboys, performing many of his own stunts. However, as his problems with drugs continued, he began to lose his core audience. His performances suffered, and his film career in the 1990s declined into direct-to-video releases as his habit ruined his ability to work. In 1991 Haim starred in Dream Machine which received a direct-to-video release, as did Oh, What a Night (1992), The Double 0 Kid (1992) and the erotic thriller Blown Away (1992). As stories of his drug use continued to spread, he experienced a public fall from grace, unusual for the time in its intense press exposure. In December 1992 he partnered in a lease-option on a 1922 Hancock Park mansion with his business manager, a party promoter named Michael Bass who had served two years in jail after a conviction for fraud. Haim lived at the house with Bass and his mother. In February 1993 Bass reported to police that Haim had threatened him during an argument, and Haim was arrested. According to Haim’s publicist at the time, he was shooting BB guns at a target in his backyard while trying to fire Bass, who refused to accept that he was being let go. Initially investigated as a terrorist threat (a felony), The charge was downgraded to the misdemeanor of exhibiting a replica handgun in a threatening manner, and Feldman posted Haim’s $250 bail. Bass gave a statement affirming that Haim remained under contract to him for a further 18 months. In 1994 Haim visited Mannheim, Germany to sign a deal with the German record label Edel, and recorded an album there. However, the deal fell through and the album remained unreleased. Over the next two years he released sequels to two of his older films; 1994′s Fast Getaway II along with National Lampoon’s Last Resort, and 1995′s Life 101 and another sequel, Dream a Little Dream 2, alongside Feldman. In 1995 Haim also unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Robin in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever. In 1996 he starred in four more direct-to-video films: Snowboard AcademyDemolition HighFever Lake and Busted with Feldman, who also directed. Feldman was forced to fire Haim after he refused to curtail his drug use and was inconsistent on set, later saying that it was one of the hardest things he ever had to do. Haim then had a minor role in the television film Merlin: The Quest Begins. In 1997,he appeared in Never Too Late and the sequel to Demolition HighDemolition University (on which he was credited as an executive producer). Haim nearly went broke after he pulled out of the film Paradise Bar in 1996. He was sued by Lloyds of London for $375,000 for failing to disclose his drug addiction as a pre-existing medical condition on the insurance form. Haim filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 1997. According to the bankruptcy report, he owed $100,000 to the IRS, and had $100,000 in outstanding debts. His listed assets included $100 in cash, the red 1987 Alfa Romeo featured in Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I, $750 worth of clothing, a $31,000 pension fund, and royalty rights worth $7,500. At this point, the film roles evaporated. In 1999 he shot a troubled low-budget independent film called Universal Groove in Montreal, using then-emerging digital technology.  Haim’s return to his native Canada was newsworthy, with the shoot garnering local press interest and reporters from People visiting the set. However the film experienced fatal post-production problems, and stolen footage was leaked on the Internet. Over eight years later, the filmmakers finally self-released a reconstructed version of the film online. Haim attempted to return to the industry in 2000 with the direct-to-video thriller Without Malice with Jennifer Beals and Craig Sheffer. He hoped that playing the role of an ex-addict who conceals a murder with his sister’s fiancée would offer him a transition from teen fare. He spent time in rehab, where he was put on prescription medication, which he began to abuse. On August 10, 2001, Haim’s mother found him unconscious at his Los Angeles bungalow after an overdose. He was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center where doctors managed to stabilize him, but a few hours later, he slipped into a coma from which he did not emerge for the night. Two weeks earlier, from July 23, 2001, Haim had spent some time in Sherman Oaks Hospital. He did not have health insurance, and was left gaunt and debilitated. Forced to foot the medical bills, he attempted to support himself by selling batches of his hair and an extracted molar on eBay. The tooth reached $150 before being pulled from the listings in line with eBay’s restrictions on the sale of body parts. In 2001 Haim was the subject of an E! True Hollywood Story. Airing on October 17, it showed him living in a spartan apartment above a garage in Santa Monica with his mother. Haim was disoriented and unintelligible for some of his interviews. Aged 29, he spent four days at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch with Feldman. In 2002 he guest-starred as himself in an episode of the Canadian television series Big Wolf on Campus. He was the subject of a 2004 song by Irish band The Thrills called “Whatever Happened to Corey Haim?”. Haim later spoke further on Larry King Live about his period out of the spotlight, stating that he did not leave his apartment for three and a half years, and ballooned to 302 pounds. By 2004 Haim appeared to have overcome his drug habit after his mother persuaded him to return to Toronto with her and resettle there. In 2006 he was ranked #8 on VH1′s Greatest Teen Stars. In December 2006 Haim began taping a reality show titled The Two Coreys which reunited him with Feldman. Both were credited as executive producers and had a measure of creative input. The show premiered on the A&E Network on July 29, 2007. The show’s premise revolved around Haim living in Feldman’s house with him and his wife while trying to get his career back on track. Footage showed the ravages of Haim’s habit on his body, and his appearance was unrecognizable from his younger self. Although acknowledged as partially scripted, the show eventually took on a darker life of its own after Haim relapsed and his prescription drug abuse became apparent. The disintegrating relationship between the former best friends prompted a six-month hiatus before the second season began on June 22, 2008. In the first episode of the second season of The Two Coreys Haim confronted Feldman, saying he had been sexually abused at the age of 14 by one of Feldman’s acquaintances. Declining to identify his molester, a 42-year-old man, Haim claimed that a rape situation had continued for two years with Feldman’s knowledge. The unexpected confession led to a further rift between Haim and Feldman, and the now unscripted show continued to expose the darker side of their lives as teen stars. On February 7, 2008, Haim ran a paid ad in the Hollywood trade publication Variety alongside a full-page photo, stating: “This is not a stunt. I’m back. I’m ready to work. I’m ready to make amends.” Feldman avowed that he would no longer speak to Haim until he got clean. Haim then had a car accident while under the influence during filming of the second season of The Two Coreys and walked out for good on the show’s psychiatrist, prompting A&E to cancel the show. In July 2008 Haim completed filming on the gambling comedy Shark City in Toronto with Vivica A. Fox, Carlo Rota and David Phillips. By late July he had become destitute and homeless in Los Angeles. In 2009 the actioner Crank: High Voltage was released, which saw Haim sporting a blond mullet in a cameo alongside Jason Statham, Amy Smart and Dwight Yoakam. He completed two films scheduled for a 2010 release: the thriller American Sunset, in which he played a man who is abducted in the search for his missing wife, and Decisions, shot in December 2009, in which his character is a cop working with troubled kids. In his final days Haim was working on The Dead Sea (2011), a film in which mercenaries on a naval ship are trapped by zombies. He also had reconciled with Feldman off-camera. After his death it emerged that Haim had used aliases to procure 553 prescription pills in the 32 days prior to his death, “doctor-shopping” seven different doctors and using seven pharmacies to obtain the supply, which included 195 Valium, 149 Vicodin, 194 Soma and 15 Xanax. On May 4, 2010, the L.A. County Coroner’s office autopsy report revealed that Haim died a natural death of diffuse alveolar damage and pneumonia, together with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and coronary arteriosclerosis. As to speculation about whether drugs were involved, the Coroner stated: “the toxicology report revealed no significant contributing factor” (died 2010): “I’m a chronic relapser. I guess I always will be.”

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