Daily Update: Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Giving Tuesday

With no Saints to honor today, we note that today is Giving Tuesday, an initiative begun in 2012 in response to increasing commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season.

The day after Thanksgiving has long been known in the secular world as Black Friday, the beginning of the Christmas Shopping Season. This is followed by Small Business Saturday, which in turn is followed by Cyber Monday. (The Sunday after Thanksgiving has not been taken over by commercial interests – yet.) Giving Tuesday, celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a day when giving to others out of our bounty is emphasized. So I encourage my Four or Five Loyal Readers and my Army of Followers to go through their stuff and to give of the excess to those who can use it.

Last night our LSU Men’s Basketball team lost their away game with Charleston by the score of 58 to 70.

I set my alarm for half an hour early, but woke up late. I did post to Facebook that today is Giving Tuesday, flipped to the new month on my wall calendars, and adjusted the date on my watches (which thought it was November 31st). When we left the house Michelle’s car was in front of the house, but Michelle was not sleeping in the house. On our way to work I cleared the Browsing Data on my Chrome Browser, Wikipedia, Play Store, and Facebook, deleted my Google Search history, and did screenshots of all of my current Home Screens on my Galaxy Note 4. Upon getting to the casino we signed the Early Out list. When we clocked in Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow, and a Blackjack table, so (as is usual for the Relief Dealer) went to ADR to take his first break. I was on Mississippi Stud, and had dealt about four hands when I was tapped out, and told that we were out with no time. I clocked out (using the time clock in the Dice Pit), found Richard in the back of the ADR 1 break room, and we headed home, arriving home at 4:00 am. I immediately went back to bed, without setting my alarm clock.

Not setting my alarm was not a good thing; I did not wake up until 10:30 am, which very much annoyed me. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and said the Third Day of my Novena to the Immaculate Conception. I then spent about five or ten minutes getting clothes that were too small for me, shoes that I will never wear again, old purses, and paperback books (for which I now have hardback copies) together to take to the Thrift Store. I then ate my lunch salad while reading the morning paper.

Richard and I left the house at 12:00 pm, and made a detour to the thrift shop with my bags of clothes and shoes and stuff. We then went over to Ken and Lisa’s house, and were met by Michelle, who said she had texted Richard that she, Callie, and the baby would be coming over to visit; Richard had turned his sound off on his phone, and had not gotten the text messages. We headed home, via the convenience store so that I could get dedicated cigarette lighters for the Advent Candles; on Sunday and Monday I lit the candle using the gas burner on the stove, which is inconvenient. Once we got home Richard noticed that I had put the Advent Candles out and the crèche. We also got a delivery of Liz Ellen’s annual Christmas Package of Goodies, which also contained a box for Michelle and Cody. I did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog at the computer, and ordered a new set of powder puffs from the Vermont Country Store, then continued addressing Christmas Cards; Michelle and Callie and the baby arrived at about 2:30 pm. They stayed for awhile (bringing Richard an Oyama© Multi-Function Turbo Convection Oven/Roaster, Model TRO-110C) then left for Callie’s grandmothers’ houses. (Callie and Kitten are flying out tomorrow from Lafayette, with a connecting flight in Atlanta.) Richard and I were going to watch CSI: Cyber, but the latest episode was not up yet on On Demand. At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy!, and Richard went to Little Caesar’s to get pizza pizza for our dinner. Our LSU Women’s Basketball team in a home game beat Texas Southern by the score of 86 to 36; our Lady Tigers will take a break, and play their next game as a home game with UC-Santa Barbara on December 13th. And later tonight our New Orleans Pelicans will play a home game with the Memphis Grizzlies; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update. After I finish my pizza pizza and this Daily Update, I will light the Advent candle, then I am going to take a hot bath and do some reading, and hope to unwind from a stressful day.

Tomorrow we again have no Saints to honor; instead we will note that in 1804, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, First Consul of the French Republic Napoléon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years. (Even Louis XIV was merely a King.) Our LSU Men’s Basketball team will play a home game with North Florida tomorrow evening, and our New Orleans Pelicans will play an away game with the Houston Rockets. I plan to wake up early, do the Weekly Computer Maintenance and my laundry, finish addressing Christmas cards, and start putting up Christmas decorations.

Our Parting Quote on this Tuesday evening comes to us from Christa Wolf, German literary critic, novelist, and essayist. Born as Christa Ihlenfeld in 1929 in Landsberg an der Warthe, Brandenburg (in what is now Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland), after World War II Wolf and her family, being Germans, were expelled from their home on what had become Polish territory. They crossed the new Oder-Neisse border in 1945 and settled in Mecklenburg, in what would become the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany. She studied literature at the University of Jena and the University of Leipzig, and married her fellow student, the writer Gerhard Wolf, in 1951. After her graduation she worked for the German Writers’ Union and became an editor for a publishing company. She joined the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in 1949 and left it some 40 years later; Stasi records found in 1993 showed that she worked as an informant (Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter) during the years 1959 to 1961. The Stasi officers criticized what they called her “reticence”, and they lost interest in her cooperation. She served from 1958-59 as editor of the journal Neue Deutsche Literatur. She was herself then closely watched by Stasi for nearly 30 years. During the Cold War Wolf was openly critical of the leadership of the GDR, but she maintained a loyalty to the values of Karl Marx and opposed German reunification. Her Moskauer Novelle (1961) was awarded the Artist’s Prize of the city of Halle, and in 1962 Wolf moved to Kleinmachnow near Berlin and began writing full-time. Wolf’s breakthrough as a writer came in 1963 with the publication of Der geteilte Himmel (Divided Heaven). At first celebrated as a new talent of GDR literature, Wolf came to be viewed from the 1960s on as a “loyal dissident,” critical of the regime but maintaining her belief in socialism as a better alternative to the capitalist west. Eventually she extended her critiques to the deforming effects of technology and patriarchy, always concerned to defend the human subject against any form of instrumentalization.  Subsequent works included Nachdenken über Christa T. (The Quest for Christa T., 1968), a work that, while briefly touching on a disconnection from one’s family’s ancestral home, was concerned with a woman’s experiencing overwhelming societal pressure to conform, Kindheitsmuster (Patterns of Childhood, 1976), Kein Ort. Nirgends (1979), Kassandra (Cassandra, 1983), perhaps Wolf’s most important book, re-interpreting the battle of Troy as a war for economic power and a shift from a matriarchal to a patriarchal society, Störfall (Accident, 1987), Was bleibt (What Remains, 1990), describing her life under Stasi surveillance, she wrote it in 1979, but it was not published for eleven years), Medea (1996), and Auf dem Weg nach Tabou (On the Way to Taboo, 1994). Auf dem Weg nach Tabou (Parting from Phantoms, 1995) gathered essays, speeches, and letters written during the four years following the reunification of Germany. Leibhaftig (2002) described a woman struggling with life and death in 1980s East-German hospital, while awaiting medicine from the West. Central themes in her work are German fascism, humanity, feminism, and self-discovery. Wolf’s works have sometimes been seen as controversial since German reunification. West German critics argued that Wolf failed to criticize the authoritarianism of the East German Communist regime, whilst others called her works “moralistic”. Defenders have recognized Wolf’s role in establishing a distinctly East German literary voice. Wolf received the Heinrich Mann Prize in 1963, the Georg Büchner Prize in 1980, and the Schiller Memorial Prize in 1983, the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis in 1987, as well as other national and international awards. Since reunification, in 1999 she was awarded the Elisabeth Langgässer Prize and the Nelly Sachs Literature Prize, and Wolf became the first recipient of the Deutscher Bücherpreis (German Book Prize) in 2002 for her lifetime achievements. With Ein Tag im Jahr: 1960-2000 (One Day a Year; 2003) Wolf offered important documentation of her biography as well as of the everyday life and history of the GDR and the ten years following its demise (died 2011): “When someone dies, everything dies with them. Everything they’ve experienced and thought, everything. I find that inconceivable. It doesn’t help to forget as little as possible. That doesn’t stop the person from being gone. Especially people who lived a full, rich life, who gathered so much inside them and then took so much of that with them to the grave. I can’t help it, that’s when I find death especially unacceptable. It’s terrible, everything that dies with a person. Maybe writing is the only thing you can do against it.”

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