Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Nicholas, Bishop (died 347).
Turning to today’s Saint, he was born about 270 in Patara, Lycia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey); he was the only son of wealthy Christian parents and was very religious from an early age. According to legend Nicholas was said to have rigorously observed the canonical fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays. His wealthy parents died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young and he was raised by his uncle (also named Nicholas) who was the bishop of Patara. He tonsured the young Nicholas as a reader, and later as presbyter (priest). Nicholas also spent a stint at a monastery named Holy Sion, which had been founded by his uncle. Upon his return he was made Bishop of Myra in Lycia. Among his legendary miracles are that of resurrecting three young brothers who had been killed by a butcher to be sold as meat. He is also known for having provided a poor man with dowries for his three daughters by tossing three bags of gold in through the window, so as to spare the father’s feelings at accepting charity. In 1087 Italian sailors stole the Bishop’s remains and carried them off to Bari, Italy. He is one of the most popular saints in Russia, and in many European countries St. Nicholas Day is the day when gifts are given to children. In the Netherlands his name was transliterated to Sinterklaas, which is the basis for the modern Western conception of Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas is the Patron Saint of children, coopers, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, pharmacists, archers, and pawnbrokers. Today is also the birthday of my son’s friend Lazo in Baton Rouge, who was also one of the groomsmen at Matthew and Callie’s wedding in 2010 (1986).
I read the December 2016 issue of our local Catholic Diocesan magazine, Acadiana Catholic, last night while taking my bath; and I did not light my Advent candles. Our New Orleans Pelicans lost their NBA game with the Memphis Grizzlies by the score of 108 to 110 (it took two overtimes for Memphis to beat New Orleans); our Pelicans (7-15, 0-4) will next play a home NBA game with the Philadelphia 76ers (4-17, 0-2) on Friday, December 8th.
I did my Book Devotional Reading; before we left the house I asked Richard if we had gotten any mail yesterday, and he said we had not gotten any by the time he came to bed. He checked, and we had mail, mainly, a Christmas card from his Aunt Mease in Texas. (We also got a card from the Church on Saturday that I had not known about.) On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and said the Eighth Day of my Novena to the Immaculate Conception. Before we clocked in we signed the Early Out list. Richard was on Mississippi Stud, and I was on Pai Gow; we both got out at 6:00 am. On our way home we got biscuits from the drive through at McDonald’s, and once home I got on the computer for a bit. I then went to sleep again at about 7:30 am.
Waking up at 1:00 pm from dreams of being at work, I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. I then worked on Advance Daily Weblog Entries for the rest of the afternoon, taking time out to watch Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm. By 6:00 pm I had Advance Daily Update Drafts done through December 24th. Richard and I ate dinner at Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen, then he made a trip to Dollar General for some chips. We arrived home at 7:15 am, and I got busy with today’s Daily Update. In a few minutes I will light the Advent Candles, and then take a bath and do some reading before going to sleep.
Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor (died 397). Tomorrow is also National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The First Quarter Moon will arrive at 3:04 am. When I wake up I will do my laundry and the Weekly Computer Maintenance, and put out the flag. I will try to be done with my laundry and the Weekly Computer Maintenance so that I can go to the Hub City at about 11:00 am to put in some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble and to do necessary Christmas shopping.
Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Stella Young, Australian comedian, journalist and disability advocate. Born in Stawell, Victoria, she was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a congenital bone disorder characterized by brittle bones that are prone to fracture. People with OI are born with defective connective tissue, or without the ability to make it, usually because of a deficiency of type I collagen. She used a wheelchair for most of her life. Young held a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from Deakin University, Geelong and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne. After graduating in 2004, she worked for a time as a secondary school teacher. Young served as the editor for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s online magazine, Ramp Up. Before joining the ABC, she had worked as an educator in public programs at Melbourne Museum, and hosted eight seasons of No Limits, a disability culture program on community television station Channel 31. She had been a regular contributor to ABC’s The Drum since 2011, writing about issues for disabled people in the wider community and the disability services sector, as well as covering the 2012 Paralympics from London. Having previously appeared in several showcases and group shows, Young made her festival debut as a solo performer at the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her show Tales from the Crip, directed by Nelly Thomas, won her the award for best newcomer at the festival. Young did a TEDxSydney talk in April 2014, entitled “I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much”, in which she deconstructed society’s habit of turning disabled people into what she called “inspiration porn.” She was a member of the boards of the Ministerial Advisory Council for the Department of Victorian Communities, Victorian Disability Advisory Council, the Youth Disability Advocacy Service and Women with Disabilities Victoria. Young died unexpectedly in Melbourne of a suspected aneurysm (died 2014): “I want to live in a world where a 15-year-old girl sitting in her bedroom watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn’t referred to as achieving anything because she’s doing it sitting down. I want to live in a world where we don’t have such low expectations of disabled people that we are congratulated for getting out of bed and remembering our own names in the morning. I want to live in a world where we value genuine achievement for disabled people, and I want to live in a world where a kid in Year 11 in a Melbourne high school is not one bit surprised that his new teacher is a wheelchair user. Disability doesn’t make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does.”