Daily Update: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Rose of Lima and 08-23 - International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Rose of Lima (died 1617). And today is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

Born as Isabel Flores de Oliva in 1586 in Lima, Peru, to Spanish immigrants to the New World, when she was a baby a servant claimed to have seen her face transform into a rose, hence her name, “Rosa”. She took the confirmation name of Rose in 1597. In emulation of Saint Catherine of Siena, she fasted three times a week with secret severe penances. When she was admired for her beauty, Rose cut off her hair against the objections of her friends and her family. Upon the censure of her parents, Rose disfigured her face with pepper and lye. She spent many hours contemplating the Blessed Sacrament, which she received daily. She determined to take a vow of virginity in opposition to her parents who wished her to marry. Daily fasting turned to perpetual abstinence from meat. Her days were filled with acts of charity and industry. Rose helped the sick and hungry around her community. She would bring them to her home and take care of them. She grew beautiful flowers, which she would take to market to help her family. Her exquisite lace and embroidery also helped to support her home, while her nights were devoted to prayer and penance in a little grotto which she had built behind the family home. She became a recluse, leaving the grotto only for her visits to the Blessed Sacrament. She had so attracted the attention of the Dominican Order that she was permitted to enter a Dominican convent in 1602 without payment of the usual dowry. In her twentieth year she donned the habit and took a vow of perpetual virginity. For eleven years this self-martyrdom continued without relaxation, with intervals of ecstasy, until she died at the age of 31, having prophesied the date of her death exactly. Her funeral was attended by all the public authorities of Lima, and the archbishop pronounced her eulogy in the cathedral. She is the Patron Saint of florists and embroiderers, of the city of Lima; of the countries of Peru, the Philippines, and India, of Latin America, of indigenous peoples of the Americas, and of people ridiculed or misunderstood for their piety, and her aid is invoked against vanity. Today is also the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. This date was chosen by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) by the adoption of resolution 29 C/40 by the Organization’s General Conference at its 29th session, and Circular CL/3494 of July 29th, 1998, from the Director-General invited Ministers of Culture to promote the day. The date is significant because, during the night of August 22nd to August 23rd, 1791, on the island of Saint Domingue (now known as Haiti), an uprising began which set forth events which were a major factor in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. UNESCO Member States organize events every year on this date, inviting participation from young people, educators, artists and intellectuals.

I posted to Facebook that today was the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, and did my Book Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and when we got to the casino we opted to sign the Early Out list. Once we clocked in Richard was on a Blackjack table, and I was on Mini Baccarat; we were soon tapped out, and got out with no time. On our way home we stopped at Wal-Mart, where Richard got a loaf of bread and some other items. We arrived home at 4:15 am, and I went back to bed.

I woke up (again) at 9:30 am, started my laundry, and read the morning paper while eating my breakfast toast. While Richard cleaned out the gutters, I took the books (books I have not read yet) out of the bookcase behind the bathroom door, moved that empty bookcase to the dining room, and tried to move one of the new black bookcases Richard had put together and put in the library to the bathroom to sit behind the door. Unfortunately, the bookcase basically fell apart, and Richard observed that even if I was able to fix it, it was wider than the previous bookcase, had made it harder to get into the bathroom and to open the linen closet. I did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for my weblog.

At 1:15 pm we went to D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse for lunch, then went to Wal-Mart, We got cat food for the outside cats, and after some discussion I had Richard buy two more tall black bookcases to put together. We arrived home at 2:15 pm, and while Richard put together the bookcases (and then got rid of the bookcase I had destroyed), I worked on my Advance Daily Update Drafts, finished my laundry, then started putting the Books I Have Not Read Yet into the tall black bookcases from the two bookcases that had been in the bathroom and from the bags of books that I had purchased that I had not filed in bookcases (no room). I took a break to watch Jeopardy!, which was finally on at 4:30 pm (evidently we have had all the extra coverage we are going to have on the Flood of 2016. I know that makes me sound insensitive, but I missed my Jeopardy! being pre-empted for the better part of a week). And Richard made jambalaya for dinner. When I finish this Daily Update I will file books from the last bag of books I purchased, then I will take a bath and do some reading before I go to sleep. So I have no books in the bathroom (I have a short bookcase in there, because there is stuff on top of it; I don’t know what I will put in there for the stuff on top of the bookcase), two tall bookcases in our bedroom full of books I have not read yet, an empty bookcase in the dining room (plus two bookcases overstuffed with books; the dining room is for my Catholic books – or, more precisely, for books under 200 in the Dewey Decimal System), and an empty tall black bookcase in the library (along with about six or seven full bookcases of books holding my Fiction books). In the front room I have non-fiction books that are not Religious in nature filed in the built-in bookcases on the TV wall, plus books in the old barrister bookcase we inherited from Richard’s dad; there is also a bookcase holding children’s books, and a bookcase in the kitchen for cookbooks. My next books project is to move the empty bookcase out of the bathroom to the dining room, and start filing the books I have read that are in an untidy pile next to the computer. After that I have two boxes of books to be filed in the front room. And I have a bag of books to run past Julie the next time I see her, to see if she wants them.

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle (died first century). I will iron my Casino pants, apron, and shirts, and do the Weekly Computer Maintenance, then I will head to Lafayette to put in some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble. When I get home I will file books. And the Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 1o:44 pm.

Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Charles Lisanby, American film and television set designer. Born in 1924 in Princeton, Kentucky, he graduated from high school in 1940 at the age of sixteen and was drafted into the United States Army the next year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Receiving an early discharge due to meningitis, he ignored his father’s wish that he become a doctor and instead went to New York to attend art school. After working for an advertising agency for a couple of months, Lisanby received his first professional commission in 1947 when the Friars Club in New York City commissioned him to paint a mural in the dining room of their headquarters. Coincidentally Ralph Levy, who at the time worked for CBS, saw his work and asked him to design the experimental made-for-television ballet Billy the Kid, arguably the first ballet on television. His work gained the attention of the Theatrical Stage Designers Union who demanded he cease working for CBS until he took a test to gain entrance into the Union. He passed the test with the highest marks and met the influential stage designer Oliver Messel, who offered him a job as his assistant working on the Broadway show Romeo and Juliet starring Olivia de Haviland in 1951. After Romeo and Juliet, Charles continued to work in the same scene shop for a year until he was offered a job by Jim McNaughton at ABC. In 1954 CBS offered him a job for twice the salary. which he immediately took, and worked on The Jane Froman Show. In 1955 he met Andy Warhol at a party; they left together, and when Lisanby said that he liked a stuffed peacock in the window of a taxidermy shop, the peacock was delivered to him the next day, and an intense relationship began between the two men. Warhol created an entire gallery exhibit (DETAILS) of the drawings he had done of Lisanby, and they took a trip around the world together. Meanwhile, Lisanby worked for CBS for a number of years on such shows as the infamous $64,000 Question and Camera Three, where he met Lewis Freedman, the future head of PBS and director of the National Endowment for the Arts. He worked on the Broadway musical Hotel Paradiso in 1957. The next year he was asked to work with Ralph Levy and Bob Banner on The Gary Moore Show where he worked for six years on 234 shows and helped give Carol Burnett her television debut. During this period his relationship with Warhol cooled, due to Warhol’s change of direction into pop art. After The Gary Moore Show ended Lisanby went on to work on The Red Skelton Show from 1970 to 1971 and the 1972 Broadway musical Applause starring Lauren Bacall. In 1973 and 1974 he designed the Ben Franklin television miniseries and received his first Emmy. In 1978 he designed the awards show for the 20th Grammy Awards. Starting in 1979 he began annually working on Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular which he continued designing until 1996. He earned his second Emmy for the documentary Baryshnikov on Broadway in 1980. He continued working on television shows and specials, earning his third Emmy for 1987’s Barry Manilow: Big Fun on Swing Street. The next year he designed the 60th Anniversary Academy Awards Show. In 1990 he designed the halftime show for Super Bowl IV in the New Orleans Superdome, which had the themes Salute to New Orleans and the 40th Anniversary of Peanuts. His last project was Reflections on Ice in 1998, starring Michelle Kwan and based on Mulan. During his years of work in television he pioneered such innovations as the creative use of neon lights, lighted steps, and actors sitting on large block letters. He donated his life’s work to James Madison University in 2010. Two years later the new James and Gladys Kemp Lisanby Museum in Festival Conference and Student Center held an exhibit to highlight Lisanby’s most important contributions to the arts of television and scenic design, as well as introduce his relationship with Andy Warhol. Mentor to an Icon: A Charles Lisanby and Andy Warhol Exhibit was on view from January 23rd, 2012 to March 2nd, 2012. The exhibit was accompanied by a free iPad app that allowed visitors to interact with and learn more about the individual works exhibited as well as view interviews with and videos of and about Lisanby (died 2013): “You have to find out what the show is about — who’s starring, what is the script or sketches. You really have to service the show, figure out what it needs to say, what it has to say. People have to look at something, and if what they’re looking at bores them, they’re not going to watch.”

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