Daily Update: Monday, June 29th, 2015

Peter and Paul by El Greco

Today is the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles (both died 64).

Saint Peter was born in Bethsaida, Galilee, as Simon, and was a professional fisherman. He was the brother of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the man who led him to Christ. Becoming an Apostle himself, he was renamed “Peter” (rock) by Jesus to indicate that Peter would be the rock-like foundation on which the Church would be built. After seven years as the first Bishop of Antioch (near present-day Antakya, Turkey), he went to Rome, and became the Bishop of Rome (and thus the first Pope), a position he held for some twenty-five years. He was martyred by crucifixion, but with his head downward, as he averred that he was not worthy to die in the same way as his Lord, Jesus. He is the Patron Saint of fishermen, locksmiths, and shipwrights, of the Papacy, and his aid is invoked for foot problems and fever. Saint Paul was born about the third year of the common age in Tarsus, Cilicia (modern Turkey) as Saul, and was raised as as a Jewish Talmudic student of the Pharisees. He hated and persecuted Christians as heretical, even assisting at the stoning of Saint Stephen the Martyr. On his way to Damascus, Syria, to arrest another group of the faithful, he was knocked to the ground, struck blind by a heavenly light, and given the message that in persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Christ. The experience had a profound spiritual effect on him, causing his conversion to Christianity. He was baptized, changed his name to Paul to reflect his new persona, and began traveling, preaching and teaching. His letters to the churches he help found form a large percentage of the New Testament. He was martyred by beheading, as he was a Roman citizen by birth, and he is the Patron Saint of theologians, converts, and missions. This is a very old Feast, and is one of six Feasts that has its own Vigil readings on the eve of the feast. It is also the day of the liturgical year on which newly created metropolitan archbishops receive the primary symbol of their office, the pallium, from the Pope. In recent decades, this feast, along with that of Saint Andrew, has been of importance to the modern ecumenical movement as an occasion on which the pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople have officiated at services designed to bring their two churches closer to intercommunion. This was especially the case during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, as reflected in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint.

One of the first things I did today was take the polish off of my toenails (which I do every four weeks, more or less). I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and while I did gather up our trash we decided that we did not have enough trash to warrant wheeling the trash bin out to the curb. (When you have only two adults living in a house, as we do, you don’t have two trash bags to put out every trash day like we did when our children (and their friends) were at the house on a continual basis.) On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading, then called the Pharmacy and requested my three prescriptions. When we clocked in Richard was on Let It Ride until they finally closed his table (some two hours later than they should have done so), then was on the Shoe Blackjack game in our High Stakes area. (At one time we had only one Roulette game, two Blackjack games, and one Pitch Blackjack game open in my pit, and only the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack game had players. In fact, Richard was going to go to that game, but the dealer on the Shoe Blackjack game in our High Stakes area begged to have the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack game, as she wanted to have players to keep her awake today.) I spent the day on the Sit-Down Blackjack game. I did find out that while Friday and Saturday are Heavy Business Days at the casino (which I knew already), the days when we can wear patriotic-themed shirts in lieu of our dealer shirts are Saturday and Sunday. On my breaks I did attempt to draft my Book Review for Forty Whacks: New Evidence in the Life and Legend of Lizzie Borden by David Kent, but could not get properly motivated to do so (and I was hampered by having left the book at the house, so I could not refer to it).

After work we went over to the Pharmacy, and I picked up my three prescriptions and the OTC medication that I needed. On our way home Richard got gas, then stopped at the Auto Parts store for a quart of oil, then checked in the Hardware store to see what kind of prices they had on gas and electric weedwackers. When we got home I read the morning paper, then took a nap. I woke up at about 5:00 pm, and first did my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for Forty Whacks: New Evidence in the Life and Legend of Lizzie Borden by David Kent. I then did my Daily Update for yesterday, Sunday, June 28th, 2015, then did today’s Daily Update. And now, having done today’s Daily Update, I will get ready to go back to bed.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of the First Martyrs of Rome, and also the day on which one’s Louisiana hunting and/or fishing license expires. Richard and I will wake up half an hour early, and sign the Early Out list at the casino. Assuming we get out early (always a chancy assumption), we will go home and nap, then head to Lafayette, where we will eat lunch, I will leave off books and pick up books at the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch, we will put in some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble (I got coupons in today’s Snail Mail), and Richard will look at weedwackers at Home Depot. In the evening I will do a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for my Weblog to keep nicely ahead. (It is handy to have the Advance Daily Update Drafts done, especially on days when I zone out and do not do my Daily Updates until the next day on my breaks at work.)

Our Monday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Joel Siegel, American film critic. Born in 1943 in Los Angeles, California, to a Jewish family, he graduated cum laude from UCLA. During college he worked to register black voters in Georgia, and he spoke frequently of having met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also worked as a joke writer for Senator Robert F. Kennedy and was at the Ambassador Hotel the night the senator was assassinated. In the late ’60s, before moving to New York, he worked as an advertising agency copywriter and producer. While working in advertising for Carson/Roberts Advertising, he invented and named several ice cream flavors for Baskin-Robbins, including German Chocolate Cake, Peaches & Cream, Pralines & Cream, Blueberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Green Cheesecake, Red, White and Blueberry, and Chilly Burgers. He began working in radio as a disc jockey and newscaster, while continuing to freelance in advertising. Through his freelance work, he was offered the book review position with the Los Angeles Times. His essays in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine were spotted by a CBS executive, and Siegel was hired as a feature correspondent for WCBS-TV in New York. He created signature work teamed with a producer who later became an executive at WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News. When his producer moved, he offered Siegel a featured on-air position. Siegel proposed to Eyewitness News management that he become a film and theater critic. He suggested that he would innovate the form by using brief clips from the movie or show being reviewed as drop-ins into his reviews, working them into his scripts as gags to create a new, witty form of review. He also, during his years at WCBS-TV, created features for WCBS-AM Newsradio 88 called Joel Siegel’s New York. In 1981 he joined Good Morning America as a film critic. While Siegel worked at his reviewing, he wrote the book for The First, a Broadway musical based on the story of Jackie Robinson, for which he received a Tony Award nomination in 1982. This marks him as the only drama critic to receive this nomination. His second wife died of a brain tumor that same year. In 1991 he joined with the actor Gene Wilder to found Gilda’s Club, a nonprofit organization that provided social support for cancer patients and their families. The organization was named for Wilder’s wife, Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. In 1997, at age 53, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. One week after being diagnosed, Siegel found out he would be a father for the first time. He wrote the book Lessons for Dylan: On Life, Love, the Movies, and Me(2003), which shares the ups and downs of his life with his young son, as he realized he might not live long enough to relate those stories in person. Siegel underwent surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, and welcomed his newborn son home on the same day he completed his chemotherapy treatments. Two years later, a CAT scan revealed a lesion on Siegel’s left lung. After a pulmonary lobectomy and additional chemotherapy, he continued to work on Good Morning America. He was outspoken on the subject of colon cancer and, in 2005, spoke at a meeting of C-Change, a group of cancer experts from government, business, and non-profit sectors, chaired by former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush. He testified before the Senate during Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, March 2005. In June 2005 Siegel published a letter in the peer-reviewed cancer medicine journal, The Oncologist, entitled, “One at a Time”. It shares his cancer diagnosis and experiences to that date. His final top ten list for movies had been in 2006 when he chose Borat, Charlotte’s Web, Dreamgirls, The Departed, Little Miss Sunshine, Letters From Iwo Jima, Pan’s Labyrinth, United 93, Volver, and The Queen; even though he didn’t declare which film was the best picture of the year, he considered Letters from Iwo Jima to be a perfect film. On May 10, 2007, less than two months before his death, he spoke before the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, an association of corporate executives that was formed when former President George H. W. Bush asked corporate America to do something “bold and venturesome” about cancer. Bush and his wife Barbara were in the audience when Siegel spoke at the Essex House in New York City. His family has said the last movie he saw before his death was Ratatouille (2007) with his son (died 2007): “Follow your passion.”

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