Daily Update: Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen and New Years Day - Federal Holiday and 01-02 - Ninth Day of Christmas

Today is the Memorial of Saint Basil the Great, Bishop and Doctor (died 379) and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop and Doctor (died 390), the Federal Holiday for New Year’s Day, and today is the Ninth Day of Christmas, with dancing ladies (I hope they dance better than I do).

Our first Saint, Basil, was born to the nobility in 330 in Caesarea, Asia Minor (modern Turkey); his was a pious family, as his mother, father, and four of his nine siblings became canonized saints. As a youth he was noted for organizing famine relief, and for working in the kitchens himself, quite unusual for a young noble. He studied in Constantinople and Athens with his friend Saint Gregory Nazianzen, then ran a school of oratory and law in Caesarea. He was so successful and so sought after as a speaker that he was tempted by pride; fearful that it would overtake his piety, he sold all that he had, gave away the money, and became a priest and monk. He founded monasteries and drew up rules for monks living in the desert; he is considered as key to the founding of eastern monasticism. He became Bishop and Archbishop of Caesarea, and conducted Mass and preached to the crowds twice each day. He also fought against the heresy of Arianism. He is a Greek Doctor of the Church and a Father of the Church, and is the Patron Saint of Cappadocia, of hospital administrators, of reformers, and of Russia. Gregory Nazianzen was born in 329 in Arianzus, Cappadocia, Asia Minor. He spent an itinerant youth in search of learning, becoming the friend of and fellow student with Saint Basil the Great, and, later, a monk at Basil’s desert monastery. He was a reluctant priest; he believed that he was unworthy, and that the responsibility would test his faith. He battled against Arianism, and became Bishop of Caesarea c.370, which put him in conflict with the Arian emperor Valens. The disputes led his friend Basil the Great, then archbishop, to reassign him to a small, out of the way posting at the edge of the archbishopric. He then became Bishop of Constantinople from 381 to 390, following the death of Valens. He hated the city, despised the violence and slander involved in the disputes, and feared being drawn into politics and corruption, but he worked to bring the Arians back to the faith; for his trouble he was slandered, insulted, beaten up, and a rival “bishop” tried to take over his diocese. When it seemed that orthodox Christianity had been restored in the city, Gregory retired to live the rest of his days as a hermit. He wrote theological discourses and poetry, some of it religious, some of it autobiographical. He is a Father of the Church and a Doctor of the Church. Today is the Federal Holiday for New Year’s; normally the Federal Holiday is on New Year’s Day, but since yesterday was Sunday, today is the Federal Holiday (no mail). Today is also the Ninth Day of Christmas, with nine ladies dancing. (There is no word on what song they are dancing to.)

Last night our LSU Lady Tigers lost their SEC opening College Basketball game to the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs by the score of 48 to 74; our LSU Lady Tigers (11-3, 0-1) will next play an Away College Basketball game with the Florida Lady Gators (9-5, 0-1) on Thursday, January 5th. And our New Orleans Saints lost their last regular season NFL game (with no post-season play) to the Atlanta Falcons by the score of 32 to 38. Our Saints thus end up with a record of 7-0 (2-4 in divisional play), and will next play an unnamed opponent on September 10th (that’s the latest information I have, subject to change). And Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.

It was thundering when I woke up to get ready for work; I posted to Facebook that today was New Year’s Day (Federal Observance), and did my Book Devotional Reading. I could not change out my LSU flag (from Saturday) for my US flag, because my LSU flag was still soaking wet. We drove to work amid a thunderstorm, and I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Fourth Day of my Epiphany Novena. Once in ADR I called the Pharmacy and renewed a prescription. When we clocked in, Richard was on Three Card Poker; I was on Mini Baccarat until they closed my table at 4:30 am, and moved me to Four Card Poker. At about that same time Richard (on Three Card Poker) looked at his watch, and realized that he had not had a break since starting work at 3:00 am; it turned out that the dealer who was supposed to be the relief dealer did not sign in (it turned out that she had overslept) , and that our pit bosses had dropped the ball on getting a relief dealer for the pit. (I am more amazed that the dealer on Mississippi Stud did not realize that she had not had a break, either.) Otherwise, it was busy at the casino, as many of our guests did not have to return to work until Tuesday; we had two dealers call out (including the one who overslept), and only one other dealer got out early.

On our way home from work we went through thunderstorms again, with my phone blowing up with emergency weather notices. Once home our newspaper was rather wet (not soaking, but not quite readable), so Richard spread it across the kitchen bar. I drilled a new larger hole for my 2017 Old Farmers Almanac (it now fits much better on the nail), and did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts. I then came out to the front room at 1:30 pm and ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. Richard then had me start watching Taxi Driver (1976) on Sundance, but then a good half hour or so into the film opted to turn it off, as it was being shown in censored form. So, I went back to the computer to work on my weblog, doing several Advance Daily Update Drafts. Richard went to bed at 4:00 pm, and I watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm. I am now finishing up today’s Daily Update, and will now go join Richard in bed. Our New Orleans Pelicans (14-21, 1-6) will be playing an away NBA game with the Cleveland Cavaliers (24-7, 3-4)tonight; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow will be the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, and it will be the Tenth Day of Christmas, with ten lords a-leaping (No, I do not know what would make a lord leap.) Richard said that he would be working all of his hours this week, so I will drive myself to work in my car and sign the Early Out list. In the afternoon I will do my laundry.

Our Parting Quote this Monday afternoon comes to us from Anne Francis, American actress. Born in 1930 in Ossining, New York, she entered show business at a young age, working as a model at age five to help her family during the Great Depression, and made her Broadway debut at the age of 11. She made her film debut in This Time for Keeps (1947). In her early film career, she played supporting roles in films such as So Young So Bad (1950), Susan Slept Here (1954), and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). Francis was married to Bamlet Lawrence Price, Jr., from May 1952 through April 1955, Her first leading role was in Blackboard Jungle (1955) as the wife of Glenn Ford. She is perhaps best known on film for her role as Altaira in the science fiction movie Forbidden Planet (1956). “Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet” is a line in the song “Science Fiction / Double Feature” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She found success in television, with several appearances on The Twilight Zone, including the role of Marsha White in the episode “The After Hours” (1950) and the title character in the episode “Jess-Belle” (1963). She was married to Dr. Robert Abeloff from 1960 through 1964 and never remarried. In 1964 Francis guest starred in two episodes, “Hideout” and “Rachel’s Mother”, of the CBS short-lived drama The Reporter. She made two successive appearances in 1964 in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. series. In 1965 Francis turned to series television and was cast as in the title role in Honey West, about a sexy private detective with a pet ocelot. The character was initially introduced on the popular ABC series Burke’s Law. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy award for her role in Honey West, and holds the distinction of starring in the first TV series with a female detective character’s name in the title. She made a guest appearance along with Charles Bronson in a 1967 episode of The Fugitive opposite David Janssen. She played the role of Georgia James in Funny Girl in 1968 and one year later played Nancy Ingersoll, the wife of Jerry Lewis’ character, in the comedy Hook, Line and Sinker (1969). Francis adopted Margaret “Maggie” West in 1970 in one of the first adoptions granted to a single person in California. In 1971 at the start of the final season of My Three Sons, she played bowling alley waitress Terri Dowling who eventually married Laird Fergus McBain Douglas of Sithian Bridge, Scotland and returned to his homeland as royalty. (Fred MacMurray played the dual character roles of Steve Douglas and Fergus McBain Douglas in this four part story arc). During the 1980–1981 season of Dallas Francis had a recurring role as Arliss Cooper, the mother of Mitch and Afton Cooper. In 1982 Francis published a book she had written, Voices from Home, subtitled An Inner Journey. She later played Mama Jo in the 1984 TV-detective series Riptide. She made an appearance in Matlock, another popular detective series; and in The Golden Girls as Trudy McMann, Dorothy’s friend from high school. In 1989 and 1990 she starred in several episodes of Murder, She Wrote, returning to her full name of Anne Lloyd Francis in the show’s credits. Her last film role was in Lover’s Knot (1996), and she did a two-part episode of The Drew Carey Show in 1998. Her final television acting role came on a 2004 episode of the CBS series Without a Trace (died 2011): “Most young blondes in those days [the 1950s] were not taken too seriously. I had wanted to work on a project [directing] all my own from beginning to end for many years. I had managers who said, “Look, you’re an actress. You’re not supposed to do that other business.” And now I look at all the women today who are doing it, and no one’s batting an eyelash.”

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