Daily Update: Wednesday, August 24th, 2016


Today is the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle (died first century).

Though Bartholomew was listed among the Twelve Apostles in the three Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), each time named in the company of Philip, and also appears as one of the witnesses of the Ascension (written by Luke, and again in the company of Philip), he is one of the apostles of whom no word is reported nor any individual action recorded in the New Testament. On the other hand, Nathaniel is mentioned only in the Gospel of John, always mentioned with Philip, while Bartholomew is never mentioned; so many authorities consider Bartholomew and Nathaniel to be the same person, perhaps as “Nathanael bar Tolomai”, since “Bartholomew” is technically a last name. In the Gospel of John he is described as initially being skeptical about the Messiah coming from Nazareth, saying: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”, but nonetheless, follows Philip’s invitation. Jesus immediately characterizes him as “Here is a man in whom there is no deception.” He may have written a gospel, now lost, mentioned in early writings of the Church. Tradition holds that he preached in Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India and Armenia. Tradition also holds that he was martyred in Armenia by being flayed alive. (In Michelangelo’s fresco of the Last Judgment, the face on Bartholomew’s flayed skin is considered by many art historians to be a self-portrait by Michelangelo.) He is the Patron Saint of leather workers, butchers, shoemakers and tanners, and of Armenia; his aid is invoked by those suffering from neurological diseases.

Last night while taking my bath (and then in bed) I read the September 2016 issue of Consumer Reports. I also elected to keep the bookcase in the bathroom in place (more anon).

I woke up at 8:00 am, started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, and did my Book Devotional Reading. I then started a small load of laundry (my clothes I was wearing yesterday), and read the morning paper. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading and ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts. I finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance and started the Weekly Virus Scan, and finished the small load of laundry.

Leaving the house at 10:45 am (with the weed wacker part that Richard needed replacing), my first stop was at Cash Magic, where I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for tonight’s drawing. I then headed to Lafayette. At Alexander Books I purchased $15.00 worth of used books; I purchased three-fifths of the Darwath series by Barbara Hambly (I read most of the series years ago, and will be re-reading the books once I get the first two books in the series), Green Darkness by Anya Seton (I read most of Seton’s books years ago, and want to re-read them), and The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights translated by Richard Burton. I then went to Piccadilly Cafeteria, where I ate my lunch and continued reading the June 2016 issue of National Geographic. I then went to Wal-Mart, where I purchased a bathroom tower (more anon), and missed a call from the Clinic reminding me of my appointment tomorrow (more anon). Next, I found that the Home Depot on Ambassador Caffrey did not carry the weed wacker part that Richard needed. I then went to Barnes and Noble, but they did not have anything I wanted there. I then went to the Home Depot on Evangeline Thruway, and they had the weed wacker part Richard needed; I called him to make sure he did not need anything else (he did not).

I arrived back home at 3:45 pm (Richard had gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb, and the Weekly Virus Scan had finished), and put together the bathroom tower (quite easy to put together). Richard and I then watched Jeopardy!, and I moved the bookcase from the bathroom to the dining room and put the tower in the bathroom. I then updated my weblog with the Smiley Anders Fearless Football Forecast for the LSU Tigers 2016 Season and the Smiley Anders Fearless Football Forecast for the New Orleans Saints 2016 Season. Richard went to Crispy Cajun and brought back dinner, which in my case was a burger and fries (very good). When I finish this Daily Update I will take a bath and do some reading. And the Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 10:44 pm.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Louis, King (died 1270), and the Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph Calasanz, Priest (died 1648). I will be filing books (reducing the pile of books next to the desk, most of which are fiction and Religious). In the afternoon I will be going to the Clinic for my 2:00 pm appointment with the Renal Specialist; on my way home I will stop at Wal-Mart and get my salad supplies. Once home, I will make my lunch salads for Saturday and Sunday (I have a salad in the refrigerator already, which is the one I did not eat on Tuesday, which I will eat on Friday).

Our Parting Quote this Wednesday evening comes to us from Julie Harris, American actress. Born in 1925 in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, her mother wanted her to be a debutante. She attended a finishing school in Michigan, but convinced her mother to let her attend another school in New York City that also offered acting classes. As a teenager she also trained at the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp in Colorado with Charlotte Perry, a mentor who encouraged Harris to apply to the Yale School of Drama, which she soon attended for a year. She made herself known in 1950 as a 24-year-old playing a 12-year-old, the loquacious, motherless, fiercely self-tormenting Frankie Addams, in Carson McCullers’s theatrical adaptation of her own novel The Member of the Wedding. She reprised the role of Frankie in the 1952 film, directed by Fred Zinnemann, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, before returning to Broadway that year in a role that could not have been more different, as the first Broadway incarnation of Isherwood’s bawdy, bohemian nightclub singer Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera. She won exultant reviews, and after fifty performances the producers affixed a seven-foot cutout of her to the theater marquee and placed ads in the newspaper declaring that “Gertrude Macy and Walter Starcke have the pleasure to announce the stardom of Miss Julie Harris.” For her performance, she won her first Tony, and once again she recreated the role in the movie version in 1955. Over the next twenty-five years Harris essayed a remarkable variety of roles onstage. In the 1950s she appeared in Jean Anouilh’s Mademoiselle Colombe, the tale of an independent-minded woman in turn of the century France who leaves her husband to become an actress. She played a lusty young adulteress in the Restoration comedy The Country Wife, followed by a small-town Minnesota girl who moves to Miami and falls for a gigolo in The Warm Peninsula, a play by Joe Masteroff. In 1955 she won her second Tony in The Lark, an adaptation by Lillian Hellman of Anouilh’s retelling of the martyrdom of Joan of Arc, leading a cast that included Christopher Plummer, Boris Karloff and Joseph Wiseman. That same year she was in East of Eden with James Dean, with whom she became good friends. On television, in one of many dramas she appeared in that was produced by the Hallmark Hall of Fame (she was in more of their productions than any other actress), she gave an Emmy-winning performance in James Costigan’s Little Moon of Alban as a young Irishwoman whose lover dies fighting the British and who subsequently falls for the man who killed him. She played the role again in a stage adaptation on Broadway in 1960, with Robert Redford as her doomed first love. Later in the 1960s she played a loose woman who is also a murder suspect in a stylized French farce, A Shot in the Dark. She also starred in her first musical, Skyscraper, singing and dancing with aplomb if not distinction as a stubborn city girl who refuses to sell her little house to make room for an office tower. The comedy Forty Carats turned out to be her biggest hit, running for nearly two years (though not the whole time with Harris in it) and winning her a Tony, her third, for her portrayal of a 40-something woman who marries a much younger man. In December 1972 she opened in The Last of Mrs. Lincoln, a play by James Prideaux in which she played Mary Todd Lincoln at the end of her life, long after the assassination of her husband. She won the Tony for best actress in spite of the play’s having been critically excoriated and closing after only six weeks. Away from Broadway, she played Juliet at the Stratford Festival production of Romeo and Juliet in Canada, Ophelia in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Hamlet in Central Park and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire on Cape Cod. Harris played the ethereal Eleanor Lance in The Haunting (1963), director Robert Wise’s screen adaptation of a novel by Shirley Jackson, a classic film of the horror genre. Harris portrayed the poet Emily Dickinson at home as a fiercely observant, proudly literary and deeply self-conscious near-agoraphobe in The Belle of Amherst, a one-woman show written by William Luce that appeared on Broadway in 1976 and was filmed for public television. She received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording for the audio recording of the play. Her other major roles included Nora in A Doll’s House and Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, both on the Hallmark Hall of Fame. In her later career she was well known for her role as Lilimae Clements, the mother of Valene Ewing (played by Joan Van Ark) on the CBS nighttime soap opera Knots Landing. The role was as a recurring character from 1980 to 1981 and as a series regular from 1981-1987. She narrated five historical documentaries by Christopher Seufert and Mooncusser Films and was active as a director on the board of the independent Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. She also did extensive voice work for documentary maker Ken Burns: the voices of Emily Warren Roebling in Brooklyn Bridge, Ann Lee in The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God, Susan B. Anthony in Not For Ourselves Alone: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and, most notably, Southern diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut for Burns’ 1990 series The Civil War. In her next to last appearance on Broadway, in 1994, she played Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie. She was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1994 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C. In 2001 Harris suffered a stroke, which impeded her speech and curtailed her ability to perform, though she later appeared in a handful of films, including The Way Back Home (2006), in which she played a stroke victim. On December 5th, 2005, she was named a Kennedy Center Honoree. In the summer of 2008 she appeared on stage again in her hometown of Chatham as Nanny in a Monomoy Theater production of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. Throughout her stage career she won the Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for I Am A Camera (1952), The Lark (1956), Forty Carats (1969), and The Last of Mrs. Lincoln (1973), and the Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for The Belle of Amherst (1977); she was the first actress to win five Tonys, not counting her Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.  Her five additional Tony nominations were for Best Actress (dramatic) in Marathon ’33 (1964) and The Au Pair Man (1974), for Best Actress (musical) in Skyscraper (1966); and for Best Actress (play) in Lucifer’s Child (1991), and The Gin Game (1997). She was also nominated for one Academy Award, and nominated for eleven Emmys (winning three). On August 28th, 2013, Broadway theaters dimmed their lights for one minute in honor of Harris (died 2013): “My mother used to say to me, ‘But you’re so dramatic.’ Yes, I’d say, that’s what I’m supposed to be. Life is dramatic, all the time, much more than on stage.”


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