Daily Update: Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Timothy and Titus

Today is the Memorial of Saint Timothy (died 97) and Saint Titus (died c. 96), Bishops.

Born about AD 17, Timothy’s father was a Greek gentile, and his mother Eunice was Jewish. He was converted to Christianity by Saint Paul the Apostle around the year 47, and became the partner, assistant and close friend of Paul. After a career as a missionary, he became head of the Church in Ephesus, and was the recipient of two canonical letters from Saint Paul. Martyred for opposing the worship of Dionysius, he is the Patron Saint invoked against stomach ailments. Titus was a disciple of Saint Paul as well, and First Bishop of the Church in Crete. Born sometime in the first century, he was also the recipient of a canonical letter from Paul, and is the Patron Saint of the United States Army Chaplain Corps and of the country of Crete.. There is a minority opinion that “Titus” is another name for “Timothy”, and that both names refer to the same person. In any case, the Church has chosen to remember these two companions of Paul on the day after the Feast of the Conversion of Paul.

Last night I finished reading March by Geraldine Brooks. Our New Orleans Pelicans lost their NBA game with the Oklahoma City Thunder by the score of 105 to 114. And our LSU Tigers lost their College Basketball game with the #19 ranked Florida Gators by the score of 71 to 106; our LSU Tigers (9-10, 1-7) will next play an Away College Basketball game with the Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-6, 3-5) on Saturday, January 28th, 2017.

I woke up at 9:00 am, did my Book Devotional Reading, and read the morning papers. I left the house at 10:00 am for Opelousas; while waiting on my 10:30 am appointment with my oncologist, I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Second Day of my Novena to Saint Blaise. My appointment went well, my doctor loved my wolf pictures, and my next appointment is on July 27th, and I will be responsible for getting blood drawn for lab work a few weeks before that date. (So I am now reassured once again that I am not riddled with cancer.) I took a photo of the statue of Reverend Lt. Joseph Verbis Lafleur in front of the church in Opelousas and headed home, arriving at 12:00 pm.

Richard and I left the house and ate Chinese for lunch at Peking; we then went to Wal-Mart, where Richard purchased my salad supplies for me. We arrived home at 1:00 pm, and while he continued his West Wing marathon (he finished with Sons of Anarchy) I did my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for March by Geraldine Brooks. I then did a couple of advance Daily Update Drafts. I then ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts, and made my lunch salads for Saturday and Sunday. Richard and I then watched Jeopardy!. I came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and Richard’s brother Butch called from Baton Rouge with the news that they had found Richard’s phone in the couch; Richard will go pick it up on his days off next week, as he wants the photos and the music he had on it. (I back up my phone, but he does not back up his; in fact, he thinks backing up stuff is an unnecessary expense.)

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Angela Merici, Virgin (died 1540), and International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It will also be the birthday of Callie’s mother Lisa, who is of course my son’s mother in law (and thus my sympathera), and the other grandmother to my granddaughter (1962). We will return to the casino for the start of our work week, and on my breaks I will start reading one of the books I haven’t started reading yet.  The New Moon will arrive at 6:08 pm, and our New Orleans Pelicans (18-28, 1-6) will be playing a home NBA game with the San Antonio Spurs (36-9, 6-1), and I will record the score of the game in Saturday’s Daily Update.

This Thursday Afternoon we have a Parting Quote from Abe Vigoda, American actor. Born as Abraham Vigoda in 1921 in Brooklyn, New York, his parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia; the name “Vigoda” in Russian (“выгода”) means “benefit / advantage/ profit / gain”. He claimed to have been “almost” a champion at handball in his youth. Vigoda began acting while in his teens, working with the American Theatre Wing, and became a professional actor in 1947, plodding away in small theater shows for over 20 years. He gained acting notability in the 1960s with his work in Broadway productions, including playing Mad Animal in Marat/Sade (1967), Landau in The Man in the Glass Booth (1968), Inquest (1970), and Tough to Get Help (1972). He married in 1968. Vigoda’s first film role was in Three Rooms in Manhattan (1965); in 1972 he played elder mobster Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather (1972). According to director Francis Ford Coppola’s commentary on the DVD’s widescreen edition, Vigoda landed the role of Tessio in an “open call,” in which actors who do not have agents can come in for an audition. He also appeared briefly in The Godfather Part II (1974) in a flashback sequence at the end of the film. He made a few appearances on the ABC TV soap Dark Shadows as Ezra Braithwaite (in two 1969 episodes) and Otis Greene (in one 1970 episode). He gained further fame playing Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the television comedy Barney Miller, a character known for his world-weary demeanor and persistent hemorrhoids. He was a regular on the show from 1975 through 1977, and “retired”, but returned for episodes in seasons four (1978) and seven (1981). He played the same character with Florence Stanley and Todd Bridges in a brief spinoff of Barney Miller that centered on his character, eponymously called Fish, which lasted only two seasons in 1977 and 1978. According to Bridges, just twelve during the show’s second season, Fish was scrubbed after Vigoda demanded more money for a third season than the producers were willing to pay. In 1982 People magazine mistakenly referred to Vigoda as dead. At the time, Vigoda was performing in a stage play in Calgary, Canada. He took the mistake with good humor, posing for a photograph published in Variety in which he was sitting up in a coffin, holding the erroneous issue of People. Jeff Jarvis, a People employee at the time, said that the magazine’s editors were known for “messing up” stories, and one of them repeatedly inserted the phrase “the late” in reference to Vigoda, even after a researcher correctly removed it. The edited (erroneous) version was what went to print. The same mistake was made in 1987 when a reporter for television station WWOR, Channel 9 in Secaucus, New Jersey, mistakenly referred to him as “the late Abe Vigoda”. She realized and corrected her mistake the next day. Vigoda continued working in both television and film; he played Lyle DeFranco in seven episodes of Santa Barbara in 1989. In 1997 Vigoda appeared in the film Good Burger as the character Otis, a restaurant’s French fry man. Several jokes were made about his advanced age, including Otis saying “I should’ve died years ago.” Vigoda has been the subject of many running gags pertaining to the mistaken reports of his death. A Late Night with David Letterman skit showed Letterman trying to summon Vigoda’s ghost, but Vigoda walked in and declared, “I’m not dead yet, you pinhead!” In the 1998 New York Friars’ Club roast of Drew Carey, with Vigoda in the audience, comedian Jeffrey Ross joked, “my one regret is that Abe Vigoda isn’t alive to see this”. In May 2001 a website was mounted with only one purpose: to report whether Vigoda was dead or alive. In 2005 a “tongue-in-cheek” Firefox extension was released with the sole purpose of telling the browser user Vigoda’s status. He voiced his character of Salvatore Tessio for three video games, The Godfather (2006), The Godfather: Mob Wars (2006), and The Godfather: Blackhand Edition (2007). Continuing with the gag of his supposed death, Vigoda appeared frequently to make fun of his status on the television show Late Night with Conan O’Brien, including a guest appearance on the show’s final episode. On January 23rd, 2009, Vigoda appeared live on The Today Show. He said he was doing well, joked about previous reports of his death and announced he had just completed a voice-over for an H&R Block commercial to air during the Super Bowl. Vigoda and Betty White, both 88 years old at the time, appeared in “Game”, a Snickers commercial that debuted during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7th, 2010. The plot made fun of the advanced age of the actors. The USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter poll respondents rated the ad the highest of any shown during the game. His last movie was Sweet Destiny (2014) (died 2016): “While living in Los Angeles, I’d jog three to five miles a day. One morning jogging, my agent calls about a new series called Barney Miller, saying, “Go there at once.” Well, I was tired and exhausted … I must have run five miles that morning. I said. “I have to go home and take a shower.” “No, no, no. go right now to Studio City, you’re very right for it, they know you from The Godfather, they want to see you.” “With my shorts?” “Go!” Danny Arnold and Ted Flicker, the producers, look at me, I look at them, they look at me again. “You look tired.” “Of course I’m tired, I jogged five miles this morning, I’m exhausted.” “Yeah, yeah, tell me, you look like you have hemorrhoids.” “What are you, a doctor or a producer?” And he said, ‘Well, I’m a producer and you know what? You’ve got the role.’ Just like that.”

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