Daily Update: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

09-22 - Hobbit Day and Yom Kippur

With no Saints to honor this date, we will note that in Middle Earth today is Hobbit Day, the joint birthday of Bilbo Baggins and of his nephew, Frodo Baggins, as related in J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Today is the birthday of Aimee, Richard’s niece, the middle daughter of his sister Nita in Georgia, who is not a Hobbit (I think) (1989). At sunset today begins Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.

As related in The Lord of the Rings (and its many appendixes), Bilbo Baggins was born on September 22 in the year of 2890 in the Third Age (1290 in Shire-Reckoning). Frodo Baggins was born on September 22 in the year of 2968 in the Third Age (1368 respectively in Shire-Reckoning) and was (or is) exactly 78 years younger than Bilbo, so that when Frodo came of age at the age of 33, his uncle (actually his first and second cousin once removed) was 111. It is suggested that one celebrate this day by giving parties and giving gifts, or by going barefoot. Today is the birthday of Richard’s niece Aimee, the middle daughter of his Sister in Georgia (1989). Turning to Yom Kippur, the central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days. Total abstention from food and drink usually begins 20 minutes before sundown (called tosefet Yom Kippur, lit. “Addition to Yom Kippur”), and ends after nightfall the following day. Although the fast is required of all healthy adults, it is waived in the case of certain medical conditions. Virtually all Jewish holidays involve a ritual feast, but since Yom Kippur involves fasting, Jewish law requires one to eat a large and festive meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur, after the Mincha (afternoon) prayer.

Upon waking up today I posted to Facebook that today was Hobbit Day. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the First Day of my Novena to Saint Thérère of the Child Jesus. Richard had a bad headache, and only I ate breakfast in ADR; I thought he might decide to have us sign the Early Out list, but he opted to not do so. He changed Blackjack cards, then was on Mississippi Stud; I was on Mini Baccarat, and did a no-hitter, with no guests for eight hours, although I did get to watch them set up the Roulette robot slot machine across the casino. (This game used to be at the end of the Dice pit, then was moved to the tent; now it is between the overflow blackjack pits 7 and 8.) On my breaks I continued reading H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O’Brian.

On our way home from work Richard stopped at Eunice Poultry and got three pounds of boudin. Once home I read the morning paper, then took a nap; at some point Richard joined me in bed. I woke up at 4:00 pm, watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm, then came to the computer to work on Advance Daily Update Drafts through Saturday. Richard then woke up and asked if I wanted to go out to eat; I asked him to wait for a few minutes, but then he realized that the new season of NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans starts tonight, and said he wanted to watch those, so he went out and got us pizza pizza from Little Caesars instead. After I finish my pizza pizza and this Daily Update, I will go do some reading before I go to bed.

Tomorrow is the first full day of Yom Kippur, the date of the Autumnal Equinox (which occurs tomorrow at 3:20 am CDT), the Optional Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Priest (died 1968), and the Anniversary of the Republic of West Florida (1810). And starting at sunset tomorrow begins the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. When I wake up I will start the Weekly Computer Maintenance and start my laundry, then I will head to Lafayette to do some comfy chair time in the Barnes and Noble.

On this Hobbit Day Evening our Parting Quote comes to us from Skip E. Lowe, American actor and television interviewer. Born as Sammy Labella in 1929 in Greenville, Mississippi, while his mother was visiting relatives, Lowe was raised in Rockford, Illinois. His mother sent him to New York to live with his aunt, and he sang and danced as “The Singing Newsboy” in Sammy’s Bowery Follies. He appeared in Best Foot Forward (1943) with Lucille Ball and June Allyson, Song of the Open Road (1944) with Jane Powell, in several Dead End Kids comedies at Monogram and in the musical series of films that starred youngsters Donald O’Connor, Peggy Ryan and Gloria Jean. He then worked as an emcee at such venues as the Bon Soir in Greenwich Village, where acts included Barbra Streisand, and he toured in USO shows overseas with Bob Hope and Martha Raye, who would become a lifelong friend. Skip E. Lowe Looks at Hollywood, which debuted in 1978, had the host and his interview subjects facing each other in chairs and chatting for a half-hour. The show, which went unedited and often employed extremely tight close-ups, was often shot in high schools or community-room studios with poor equipment and lighting, on videotapes that Lowe paid for himself. Despite the shoestring facilities, Lowe conducted thousands of interviews with such guests as Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Shelley Winters, Cesar Romero, Eartha Kitt, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, Patti Page, Mickey Rooney, Pat Boone and Lynn Redgrave. His first sit-down was with movie tough guy Aldo Ray. After his shows aired in Los Angeles, Lowe would ship tapes to cable companies in New York, Chicago and San Francisco that were looking to fill airtime. He was in the films Black Shampoo (1976), and The World’s Greatest Lover (1977), starring Gene Wilder. He published his memoir, The Boy With the Betty Grable Legs, in 2001. Hollywood Gomorrah: Sex Lives of the Hollywood Stars, in which Lowe described encounters with Marlon Brando, James Dean, Montgomery Clift and others, was published in 2014. Lowe had been suffering from emphysema and other respiratory ailments though he never smoked, and he blamed the illness on years of working as a comic and emcee in smoke-infested nightclubs. His last acting work was in The Final Song (2014), in which he played himself (died 2014): “Yes, I make mistakes. But my audiences like that I’m not so perfect. The thing is, I’m genuinely interested in what my guests are saying. I listen to their comments. I look into their eyes. Sometimes I touch them. People want to be listened to. I’m like a psychiatrist who sits there across the table.”

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