Today is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is also the Optional Memorial of Saint Sixtus II, Pope and Martyr (died 258) and the Optional Memorial of Saint Cajetan, Priest (died 1547). This day also marks the approximate midpoint of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, assuming that the summer season begins at the Northern Solstice on June 21st (which it did this year). And today is also the start of the two-day Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday that happens each year on the first and second consecutive Friday and Saturday in August.
The First Friday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Turning to our first Saint, the future Saint Sixtus II was possibly born in Greece, and was a philosopher and an adult convert to Christianity. He became Pope in 257, and dealt with the controversy concerning baptism by heretics. He believed that anyone who was baptised with a desire to be a Christian, even if the baptism was performed by a heretic, was truly baptised into the faith, and that the validity of his faith was based on his own desire and actions, not the errors of the person who performed the sacrament. While celebrating Mass at the tomb of Saint Callistus in 258 he was arrested as part of the persecutions of Valerian. He was beheaded with six deacons (his seventh deacon, Saint Lawrence, died three days later), having been Pope for just under a year, and was buried in the same catacomb where he had been celebrating Mass when he was arrested; his name occurs in the prayer Communicantes in the Canon of the Mass. We also honor Saint Cajetan, Priest (died 1547). Born in 1480 in Vicenza, Italy as Gaetano dei Conti di Tiene, he was of the Venetian nobility. He studied law in Padua, and was offered governing posts, but turned them down for a religious vocation, and was ordained at age 36. In 1522 Cajetan founded a hospital in Venice, Italy for victims of incurable illness. He was aware of the need of reformation in the Church, and felt called to enter a religious community to serve the sick and poor. On May 3, 1524, with three others, including John Peter Caraffa (who later became Pope Paul IV), he formed the Congregation of Clerks Regular (Theatines) at Rome with the mission of fostering the Church’s mission and reviving the spirit and zeal of the clergy. He founded a bank to help the poor and to offer an alternative to usurers; it later became the Bank of Naples. He became known for a gentle game he played with parishioners where he would bet prayers, rosaries or devotional candles on whether he would perform some service for them; he always did, and they always had to “pay” by saying the prayers. He is the Patron Saint of job seekers and of the unemployed, and of the countries of Albania, Italy, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, and El Salvador. Today also marks the approximate midpoint of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, assuming that the summer season begins at the Northern Solstice on June 21st, which it did this year. (All I know is that it’s hot outside, day and night, in SouthWestCentral Louisiana.) Finally, Louisiana shoppers can make purchases free of the 4 percent state sales tax on most retail items during the 2015 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday, held on the first consecutive Friday and Saturday in August. The exemption applies to the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item.
Due to a combination of factors, including sitting in cars, shuttle buses, and airplanes, my lower back has been bothering me; as usual, it is on the lower right side, with involvement from my sciatic nerve. So last night I went ahead and unpacked all of my stuff, so that I would not be tempted to try to get out of bed once getting into it. And the Last Quarter Moon arrived last night at 9:06 pm.
I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, charged up my Bluetooth music speaker and my selfie stick, and fetched my Swiss Army Knife out of the console of the car (where I had put it on Monday, to prevent it being confiscated at the airport). Richard and I then headed to work, with me doing my Internet Devotional Reading and saying the Second Day of my Assumption Novena. I also requested The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott from the Lafayette Public Library; they have two copies, both currently checked out, but if the book is not on hold for me next Tuesday I can request it from Overdrive. At the casino Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow; he also broke Four Card Poker once before they closed it, and broke it again after it was reopened late in the shift. I was an Extra, assigned to a Blackjack table, which I closed; I then went to Four Card Poker, which I closed, and Four Card Poker, which I closed, before ending up on Three Card Poker for the rest of the day. (The huge Progressive Jackpot on Three Card Poker was won yesterday or day before; it was over $24,000.) I did not start reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North on my breaks.
On our way home from work we got lunch via the drive through at the McDonald’s in Kinder, and stopped at Verizon when we got into town, because Richard was wanting to ask about a new promotion they have been advertising on TV in the hopes of lowering our bill. Also, on Thursday morning (when I woke up at Nedra’s near Nashville) I had notices that I had gone over our 6gb limit for the current billing period (which ends on Sunday), so I changed our plan to 10gb (and got a confirmation letter from Verizon), and planned to change it back to 6gb for the new cycle. This morning at work I noticed that my widget on my phone was telling me that I have used 6.691gb out of 15gb, so I tried going to My Verizon and changing that to 10 gb. At Verizon we were told that we should be getting a discount, but they could not tell because the account had pending stuff (i.e., my change from 15gb to 10gb. We told the manager (we’ve learned that he’s the guy to talk to) that we only want 6gb each month; the only reason I went over was because I was not on Wifi at Nedra’s place in Nashville. We were also asked if we are getting the discount through the casino; so, when we go talk to the manager again on Monday or Tuesday, I will have gone to Human Resources to get what Verizon needs for the employee discount (a copy of my latest check stub, with the casino’s name and address on it).
Once home from work I read the morning paper, then Richard and I both took naps. I woke up at 4:30 pm and watched Jeopardy! (they are into reruns). Richard then went to Little Caesars and got pizza pizza, which we ate for dinner. It’s easier to say what I did not do today than what I did do: I did not start reading my book for my Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club, I did not go to Wal-Mart to get my salad supplies, I did not do my First Friday devotions, and I did not go down to Richard for the Rosary and the Annual Mass of Petition for Charlene Richard. And my lower back protests every time I get up or walk.
Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest (died 1221) and the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Religious (died 1909), and the birthday of Richard’s good friend Stephen in Mississippi (1957). Tomorrow is also the anniversary of my graduation from LSU in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. And tomorrow is the second day of the two-day August Louisiana Tax Holiday. and Richard’s Casino Badge expires in ninety days. I will start reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North on my breaks. In the afternoon I will go to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. And they are calling for a Heat Advisory for tomorrow.
On this First Friday Afternoon our Parting Quote comes to us from Judith Crist, American film critic and academic. Born as Judith Klein in 1922 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, her family moved to Montreal, Quebec when she was an infant, and she did not move back to New York until she was twelve years old. She might have made Phi Beta Kappa at Hunter College in Manhattan had she not cut class so many times to go to the movies. She went on to do graduate work in 18th-century English literature at Columbia, teach at Washington State University, become a civilian English instructor for the Air Force, and attend the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia, finishing her degree in 1945. After graduating from Columbia in 1945 she was employed by The New York Herald Tribune as assistant to the women’s editor. She saw her first pornographic movie as the only woman covering Senate hearings on pornography in New York in 1945. She married William Crist in 1947; they had one son, Steve, who grew up to be publisher of the Daily Racing Form, a newspaper that publishes information on thoroughbred racing. After becoming a general-assignment reporter, Crist won a George Polk Award in 1951 for her education coverage. She began writing theater reviews in 1957 while continuing to cover news. Starting in 1958 she was an adjunct professor at Columbia’s School of Journalism. During a newspaper strike in 1963 she reviewed theater and movies for WABC TV. She was the Today show’s first regular movie critic, a morning fixture on NBC from 1963 to 1973. A Harris Poll of moviegoers in the 1960s cited her as their favorite critic. She wrote the article “Tribute to a Partnership”, a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein, in 1965 for a booklet that accompanied RCA Victor’s original LP release of the soundtrack album of The Sound of Music. After the Tribune ceased publication in 1966, she was named the first film critic at New York magazine; most Americans became familiar with her movie reviews via TV Guide, which began that same year. In 1968 Crist wrote The Private Eye, The Cowboy, and The Very Naked Girl. She conducted the Judith Crist Film Weekends at Tarrytown House, in Tarrytown, New York, from 1971 to 2006. She was a longtime member of the Executive Committee of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Association and served three terms as President of the Alumni Association during the 1960s. She wrote Judith Crist’s TV Guide to the Movies in 1974. When TV Guide decided to dismiss her in 1983 to replace her column with a computerized movie summary, executives told her that they might let her return in six months. The magazine was deluged with letters and asked her back three weeks later; she was given a raise and stayed until 1988, when she left TV Guide on her own. In 1991 she was the author of Take 22: Moviemakers on Moviemaking. On April 5th, 2008, the Columbia School of Journalism presented her with its Founder’s Award on her completion of 50 years as a faculty member (died 2012): “Amid all the easily loved darlings of Charlie Brown’s circle, obstreperous Lucy holds a special place in my heart. She fusses and fumes and she carps and complains. That’s because Lucy cares. And it’s the caring that counts.”