Daily Update: Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Islamic New Year 2 and Callistus I

Last night at sunset the Islamic New Year 1437 AH began. And today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Callistus I, Pope and Martyr (died c. 222). Early voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th.

Today is the first full day of Muharram, the month that starts the Islamic lunar calendar year. Muharram is so called because it is unlawful to fight during this month: the word is derived from the word haraam, meaning “sinful”. It is held to be the most sacred of all the months, excluding Ramadan. There are various schema for calculating the tabular Islamic calendar (i.e. not based on observation), which results in differences of typically one or even two days between countries using such schema and those that use lunar sightings. For example, the Umm al-Qura Calendar used in Saudi Arabia was reformed several times in recent years. The current scheme has been introduced in AH 1423 (March 15, 2002). 1 Muharram 1432 was defined to correspond to December 7th or 8th, 2010 in official calendars (depending on the country). For an observation-based calendar, a sighting of the New Moon at sunset of December 6th would mean that 1 Muharram lasted from the moment of sunset of  December 6th to the moment of sunset of December 7th, while in places where the New Moon was not sighted on December 6th, 1 Muharram would last from the moment of sunset of December 7th to the moment of sunset of December 8th. Islamic theologians differ on whether one should use astronomical calculations or observation of the New Moon to set the beginning of any given month. I am currently using the information from the Fiqh Council of North America for my calendar, so if I am one day off in wishing a Happy New Year, cut me some slack, please. Turning to the Catholic Calendar, Callistus was born a slave; his master, a Christian in the household of Caesar, entrusted a large sum to Callistus to open a bank, which took in several deposits, made several loans to people who refused to pay them back, and went broke. Knowing he would be personally blamed and punished, Callistus fled, but was caught and returned to his owner. Several depositors begged for his life, believing he had not lost the money, but had stolen and hid it. He was sentenced to work the tin mines; by a quirk of Roman law, the ownership of Callistus was transferred from his master to the state, and when he was later ransomed out of his sentence with a number of other Christians, he became a free man. Pope Saint Zephyrinus put Callistus in charge of the Roman public burial grounds, today still called the Cemetery of Saint Callistus. He became the Sixteenth Pope about 218. Most of what we know about him has come down to us from his critics, including an anti-Pope of the day. He was on more than one occasion accused of heresy for such actions as permitting a return to Communion for sinners who had repented and done penance, or for proclaiming that differences in economic class were no barrier to marriage. This last put him in conflict with Roman civil law, but he stated that in matters concerning the Church and the sacraments, Church law trumped civil law. In both cases he taught what the Church has taught for centuries, including today, and though a whole host of schismatics wrote against him, his crime seems to have been to practice orthodox Christianity. The 4th-century basilica of Ss Callixti et Iuliani was rebuilt in the 12th century by Pope Innocent II and rededicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The 8th-century Chiesa di San Callisto is close by, with its beginnings apparently as a shrine on the site of his martyrdom, which is attested in the 4th-century Depositio martyrum and so is likely to be historical. It is possible that Callistus was martyred around 222, perhaps during a popular uprising, but the legend that he was thrown down a well has no historical foundation, though the church does contain an ancient well. He is the Patron Saint of cemetery directors and workers. And early voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th.

I was up today at 7:30 am, started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, started my laundry, did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, did my Internet Devotional Reading, finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance, and started the Weekly Virus Scan. Richard brought in the flag for me, and I ate my breakfast toast and read the morning paper. We then watched CSI: Cyber “Heart Me” via On Demand. I then did my Daily Update for yesterday, Tuesday, October 13th, 2015, finished my laundry, and ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts. Richard and I then planned out our route and the high points on our agenda for our vacation.

We left the house at 12:45 pm; our first stop was the ATM, as I needed some cash. At the Hit-n-Run I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for the next ten drawings, from October 14th through November 14th. At Wal-Mart I purchased a box of 12-hour pseudoephedrine for Liz Ellen. We then ate a light lunch at D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse. At the post office I stocked up on If It Fits It Ships boxes, and at the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center unit of Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve I purchased the 2015 stickers for my National Parks Explorer Edition Passport Book.

Richard and I got home at 2:00 pm, and I did some Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog. I then put my 2015 stickers in my National Parks Explorer Edition Passport Book for the parks I have been to thus far, and went through my National Parks bag to see if I needed any supplies before our trip. I then started setting up my medications for our vacation, and made a list of the prescriptions I needed to renew and the Over the Counter medications I need. I then called the Pharmacy and renewed three prescriptions. At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy! (Matt Jackson ended his streak of thirteen Jeopardy! victories Wednesday with $411,612 in total winnings), then I cleaned out the inside of the car and the car trunk. I then did another Advance Daily Update Draft for this weblog, so now I have Advance Daily Update Drafts through Saturday, November 14th, 2015.

We left the house once again, and headed to D.I.’s Cajun Restaurant, where I very happily had the barbecued blue crabs for dinner. Richard and I got home at 8:00 pm, and I got on the computer to do today’s Daily Update. And when I finish with this Daily Update I will do some reading and then go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Ávila, Virgin and Doctor (died 1582). And early voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th. Richard has his dental appointment in Mamou at 9:30 am tomorrow, and I will prepare Liz Ellen’s monthly packages for her. When I go out to eat lunch, I will mail the packages to Liz Ellen, then go to Wal-Mart to get household items. In the afternoon I will work on Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog. And tomorrow evening our New Orleans Saints will play a home game with the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons.

Our Parting Quote this Wednesday evening comes to us from Elizabeth Peña, Cuban-American actress. Born in 1959 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, her father was Mario Peña, an actor, director, and writer who co-founded the Latin American Theatre Ensemble, and her mother was Estella Margarita (Toirac) Peña, an arts administrator and producer. The family moved to Cuba, and at age eight Peña and her family moved to New York City. In 1975 she was a founding member of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. In 1977, she graduated from New York’s High School of Performing Arts. Her classmates were Ving Rhames and Esai Morales. In 1979 Peña made her film debut in El Super, described as a “moving and melancholy comedy about a family of lower middle class Cuban refugees attempting to adjust to life in Spanish Harlem”. She worked once again with director Leon Ichaso in his next feature, Crossover Dreams (1985). Peña was also noted for having starred in I Married Dora, a sitcom in 1987, as Dora Calderon, the title character. She also starred in John Sayles’ produced critically acclaimed but short-lived television series Shannon’s Deal (1989–1991). She appeared in films such as La Bamba, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Jacob’s Ladder,*batteries not included, Vibes, and Rush Hour. In 2002 she starred in Showtime’s Resurrection Blvd. as Tia Bibi Corrades in the episode “Justicia”, which she also directed. In 2003, she appeared in and directed “It Was Fun While It Lasted”, an episode of The Brothers Garcia. Peña also voiced Mirage in Pixar’s animated film The Incredibles. She guest starred in the 18th episode of season 2 of Numb3rs as Sonya Benavides, and in season 4 of Modern Family as Pilar, the Colombian mother of Gloria Pritchett. Although she spoke Spanish, she did not dub her own voice for Spanish releases. In 1996 Sayles wrote and directed the mystery film Lone Star and again cast her in a co-starring role, for which she won the 1996 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Bravo Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film from the National Council of La Raza. Her last film work was in the 2015 film Ana Maria in Novela Land (died 2014): “There are a lot of jobs I’ve turned down because they wanted me to play what I call “Miss Cuchifrito” types.”

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