Today is the Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor (died 407). On this date in 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas.
Born c. 347 in Antioch, Asia Minor, the father of today’s Saint died when he was young, and he was raised by a very pious mother. He was quite well educated, and studied rhetoric under Libanius, one of the most famous orators of his day. He then became a monk preacher, and priest for a dozen years in Syria; while there he developed a stomach ailment that troubled him the rest of his life. It was for his sermons that he earned the title Chrysostom (Greek for golden mouthed). They were always on point, they explained the Scriptures with clarity, and they sometimes went on for hours. He was made a reluctant Archbishop of Constantinople in 398, a move that involved him in imperial politics. He criticized the rich for not sharing their wealth, fought to reform the clergy, prevented the sale of ecclesiastical offices, called for fidelity in marriage, encouraged practices of justice and charity, and revised the Greek Liturgy. Among his sermons, eight directed against Judaizing Christians remain controversial for their impact on the development of Christian antisemitism. He was also active in destruction of pagan symbols and places of worship, including the temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Depending on one’s outlook, John was either tactless or fearless when denouncing offences in high places. Because John’s sermons advocated a change in their lives, some nobles and bishops worked to remove him from his diocese, and he was twice exiled from his diocese. Banished to Pythius, he died on the road. He is the Patron Saint of Constantinople, education,epilepsy, lecturers, orators, and preachers. And on this date in 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas near Galveston as a strong Category 2 hurricane, with a Category 5 equivalent storm surge. The hurricane also resulted in the largest evacuation of Texans in that state’s history. People in low-lying areas who had not heeded evacuation orders, in single-family one- or two-story homes, were warned by the weather service that they might “face certain death” from the overnight storm surge, a statement that turned out to be true for some unable to evacuate. In the United States 112 people were killed and 23 were listed as missing. Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kenedy County, Texas region near Corpus Christi, Texas.
I woke up conscious that my earliest call-in fell off the calendar today (the next one drops off on December 27th, 2016). I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Richard did not sleep well; he kept waking up with leg cramps. We signed the Early Out list (as the third and fourth dealers). When we headed out to the casino floor to start our shift at 3:00 am. they had the usual Blackjack Pit and the usual Carnival Games pits closed, in preparation for putting new chips on the tables. Our Director of Table Games had worked out a streamlined system for crediting the old chips off the tables and filling the tables with the new chips, but the Chief Financial Officer of the casino had vetoed that idea. Instead, they would credit the old chips off of a table, then filling the table with the new chips, in strict numeric order of how the tables are recorded in the system. Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud and Three Card Poker, and I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow. When it became evident that the whole process of crediting old chips and filling the tables with new chips would take the back half of forever (rumor had it that they wanted the whole process done on our eight hour shift; if it took them half an hour per table, for sixty-four or sixty-five tables out on the floor (not counting the poker room), that would take them some thirty-two or thirty-three hours), the Pencil started working the list, as we had a lot of extra dealers, and Richard and I got out at 4:00 am. We headed home, arriving home at about 5:00 pm, and I went back to bed.
I woke up again at 9:15 am with a cold, started my laundry, and read the morning paper. I then ordered three CDs from Amazon (A Winter’s Solstice from Windham Hill Artists, Volumes III, V, and VI), and I downloaded The Very Best Of The Eagles, Best Of The J. Geils Band, and No End In Sight: The Very Best Of Foreigner. I then fixed up the albums I had downloaded, and copied them to my phone and to the flash drive that lives in my car. I also got a call from my dentist reminding me of my appointment tomorrow (more anon). Richard had not gotten much sleep, and was very sore in his muscles from his cramps; he thinks that he did not pause enough to drink water while he was mowing the lawn yesterday.
He and I left the house at 12:45 pm, and ate lunch at Ronnie’s Cajun Café. I sent a text to Michelle asking how everything was. We then went to Wal-Mart, where Richard got some household items we needed. I got home at 2:00 pm, reconciled the bank statement with our checkbook with my Checkbook Pro app, and updated my National Parks Travelers Club spreadsheets, based on the latest one that they had on their website (which is from March of 2016; I will check again in mid-October). Richard called his brother Butch in Baton Rouge to tell him that we would not be visiting today; Richard will go over by himself next Tuesday, as I will be going to my Third Tuesday Book Club. Michelle answered my text, saying that they were 136 miles from their destination, and that Matthew has to work until Saturday in Connecticut. Richard and I watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm, and I got a text from Michelle that she and Callie and the cats had made it safely to the house in South Carolina. I changed Matthew and Callie’s address in my contacts, and finished my laundry. I then was going to make a new set of address labels for Matthew and Callie (for when I send them letters), but I could not find my Avery© 5160 style label sheets, so I put those on my storelist. And this cold of mine has got me feeling bleah, so I will do my Daily Update for today and take a bath and do some reading.
Tomorrow is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a Feast with its own special readings for Mass. (When it occurs on a Sunday, it supersedes the Nth Sunday of Ordinary Time readings.) I will get up early and do the Weekly Computer Maintenance, followed by the Weekly Virus Scan, and iron my Casino pants, apron, and shirts. At 12:00 pm I will leave for Mamou to go to my 12:30 pm Dentist Appointment; on my way back home I will eat lunch and get my hair cut. And tomorrow evening I will try to do something productive (at this moment, I have no idea what).
Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Patti Webster, American entertainment publicist, author, and minister, Born in 1964 in Somerville, New Jersey, she was raised in a family of clergy, as her father, mother, great-grandmother, grandmother, and grandfather were all pastors. She majored in engineering and operations research at Virginia Tech. After a series of summer internships, Webster decided not to pursue a career in engineering. Moving to Maryland, she took a job in 1985 as a marketing and publicity assistant at BET (Black Entertainment Television), then a fledgling network. In 1988, Webster moved to New York, where she worked at several entertainment-related companies, eventually working as an assistant at Jive Records where she found she loved the publicity business. Subsequently, she was hired by Rogers & Cowan; during her three-year tenure at the company, she worked with Quincy Jones’ Qwest Records, Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross and Celine Dion. In 1991 Webster founded W&W, a public relations agency focused on representing African-Americans, signing her first client, Stephanie Mills, shortly thereafter. In 2008 she authored It Happened in Church: Stories of Humor from the Pulpit to the Pews. She was ordained as a minister in 2011 and served as a deaconess at Shiloh Pentecostal Church in Somerville, New Jersey, where she grew up. Despite her success as a publicist, Webster said that her real job was to spread the word of Jesus Christ. By 2013 she had built W&W into a highly respected and influential public relations agency, representing celebrities in a wide variety of fields, including Patti LaBelle, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Dwight Howard, and Steve Harvey, as well as organizations including Creflo Dollar Ministries and BMI. She served as a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), on the boards of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the TReach (Therapies Reaching & Educating Autistic Children) Foundation, and on the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Marketing Mavericks team (died 2013): “I think that if God created laughter, it isn’t to be excluded from church. I think laughter is to be everywhere.”