Daily Update: Monday, September 19th, 2016

Januarius and Our Lady of La Salette and 09-19 - Talk Like A Pirate Day

Arrr! Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr (died about 304), and today is the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of La Salette. Today is also International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

According to various Christian legends, Januarius was allegedly born in Benevento to a rich patrician family that traced its descent to the Caudini tribe of the Samnites. At the young age of 15 he became local priest of his parish in Benevento, which at the time was relatively pagan. When Januarius was 20 he became Bishop of Naples and befriended Juliana of Nicomedia and Saint Sossius whom he met during his priestly studies. During the one and a half year-long persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian, he hid his fellow Christians and prevented them from being caught. Unfortunately, while visiting Sossius in jail, he too was arrested. He and his colleagues were condemned to be thrown to wild bears in the Flavian Amphitheater at Pozzuoli, but the sentence was changed due to fear of public disturbances, and they were instead beheaded at the Solfatara crater near Pozzuoli. His dried blood is stored in two hermetically sealed small ampoules, held since the 17th century in a silver reliquary between two round glass plates in Naples. The smaller ampoule, of cylindrical shape, contains only a few reddish spots on its walls (the bulk having allegedly been removed and taken to Spain by Charles III). The larger ampoule is about 60% filled with a dark reddish substance. Since at least 1389, on his feast day, and on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, the blood liquefies, to the joy of all the faithful in Naples. Saint Januarius is the Patron Saint of blood banks and of the city of Naples, Italy; his aid is invoked against volcanic eruptions. Turning to Our Lady of La Salette, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to two children on September 19th, 1846 on Mount Sous-Les Baisses, France. She was weeping bitterly, and continued to weep even as she spoke to them, first in French, then in their own dialect of Occitan. The Virgin invited people to respect the repose of Sunday, and the name of God. She threatened punishment, in particular a scarcity of potatoes, which would rot. She then gave a personal message to each of the children, then disappeared. The apparition was approved by the appropriate office of the Vatican in 1851. The message of the visionaries of La Salette focuses on the conversion of all humanity to Christ. Though La Salette’s message is embedded in the bygone environment of the nineteenth century, rural France, it has had a tremendous impact on the modern world. Saints (for example, John Vianney), pastors (such as Don Bosco), and religious writers (like Joris-Karl Huysmans) have all been influenced by La Salette. The spirit of La Salette is one of prayer, conversion, and commitment. In the secular realm, today is also International Talk Like A Pirate Day. It was created in created in 1996 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19th each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate; the date chosen was that of Summer’s ex-wife’s birthday, as being a date easy for him to remember. Baur and Summers sent a letter to syndicated columnist Dave Barry in 2002, and he promoted the holiday. Actor Robert Newton (died 1956), who portrayed Long John Silver in the 1950 Disney film Treasure Island and again in the 1954 Australian film Long John Silver, is described as the “patron saint” of Talk Like A Pirate Day. Newton was born in Dorset and educated in Cornwall, and it was his native West Country dialect, which he used in his portrayal of Long John Silver and Blackbeard, that some contend is the origin of the standard “pirate accent”. International Talk Like A Pirate Day is a recognized holiday by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Google Search and Facebook have the option to select “Pirate” as a language choice, and the Long John Silver’s seafood chain has a promotion for those who dress as and / or talk like pirates at their restaurants.

Last night our hapless New Orleans Saints lost their game with the New York Giants by the score of 13 to 16. Our New Orleans Saints (0-2, 0-0) will next play a home game with the Atlanta Falcons (1-1, 0-1) on Monday, September 26th, 2016. And Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.

I did my Book Devotional Reading and posted to Facebook that today was International Talk Like a Pirate Day (arrr!). I then did my Internet Devotional Reading on our way to work. Once at work I called the Pharmacy and renewed a prescription. When we clocked in (on the first day of the two-week pay period), Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud, Three Card Poker, and Let It Ride (once), and I was on Pai Gow poker. On my breaks I finished reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler via Overdrive on my tablet, and continued reading Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde via Overdrive on my tablet.

After work we stopped at the Clinic; at the Pharmacy I picked up my prescription, and then I finished reading Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde via Overdrive on my tablet. I then had my appointment with the doctor, who likes how I am doing, and said that he will see me again on January 16th, 2017, with blood being drawn for lab work the week before. On my way out of the Clinic I said to the nurse that I would be seeing her Thursday at the Renal Clinic; she told me no, that he wants to see me at the Renal Clinic in March 2017 (so I do not have to come up to the Clinic on Thursday). When we got home from work I read the morning paper and ate my lunch salad; then, while Richard mowed the grass, I did my Book Reviews for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler and for Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. I found that I will be able to get the last two books for my Third Tuesday Book Club for this year via Overdrive, but that I could not get the next several Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde on Overdrive. I thus requested The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde and Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde from the Lafayette Public Library, and downloaded The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith on my Overdrive. I then moved the CDs I had put on the hard drive of the computer to my Flash Drive that lives in my car, and downloaded three songs from Amazon, which are all now on the computer, on my phone, and on the Flash Drive. By this time it was 4:30 pm, and I watched Jeopardy. Our LSU Football team is now ranked #18 by the AP Poll (from #20 last week), and ranked 17 in the Coaches’ Poll (from #22 last week). I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and when I finish I will get ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Eustace and Companions, Martyrs (died 118) and the Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest and Martyr (died 1846), Saint Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, Catechist and Martyr (died 1839), and Companions, Martyrs (died 1839, 1846, and 1869). I will set the alarm for half an hour early, and Richard and I will sign the Early Out list at work. In the afternoon he will go to Baton Rouge to visit with his brother Butch, and I will head for Lafayette for my Third Tuesday Book Club meeting to discuss We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.

Since we have no Pirates to give us a Parting Quote this Monday afternoon (arrr!) we instead turn to Martha Holmes, American photographer and photojournalist. Born in 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky, she was studying art at the University of Louisville and at the Speed Art Museum when someone suggested in the early 1940s that she apply for work at the Louisville Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times newspapers. She was hired and began as assistant to a color photographer, but soon became a full-time black-and-white photographer when many of the paper’s male photographers were called to service in World War II. In September 1944, Holmes left for Life magazine and New York. She moved to Washington, D.C., in 1947, to be one of Life‘s three staff photographers there. She covered the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings during the height of the committee’s investigations into the entertainment industry and alleged communist propaganda. After two years in Washington she returned to New York and lived there for the rest of her life. She continued working for Life, for which she photographed two covers, on a freelance basis and by 1950 was named one of the top ten female photographers in the nation. Her photographs were published in People, Redbook, Coronet, and Collier’s magazines, and exhibited worldwide, including at the International Center of Photography, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Louvre in Paris. Her most famous photographs were of Jackson Pollock and of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. She was married for 46 years to Arthur Waxman, a theatrical executive and early general manager of the Actors Studio, who died in 1998 (died 2006): “One thing Life always taught us: They’d say, ‘Film is cheap. Use it. Shoot, shoot, shoot.’”

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