Daily Update: Friday, March 10th, 2017

Day of Abstinence and Ember Day and 03-10 - Harriet Tubman Day

Today is a Friday in Lent, so today is a Day of Abstinence from Meat. With no Saints to honor, today is the second of three Ember Days for this season of the year. And today is Harriet Tubman Day.

Each Friday in Lent is a day of Abstinence from Meat. (This can be problematical at the casino; when we get to ADR on Friday, it is still considered Thursday Night by the cafeteria line workers.) Today is the second of three Ember Days for this season of the year. Ember days (a corruption from the Latin Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073 – 1085) for the consecutive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after December 13th (the feast of Saint Lucy), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday (Pentecost), and after September 14th (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. In the secular world, today is Harriet Tubman Day. Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10th, 1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.After she died in 1913, she became an icon of American courage and freedom. The law to make Harriet Tubman Day a recognized holiday was considered and passed by the U.S. Senate on March 6th, 1990 and then was considered and passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on March 7th, 1990. U.S. President George H. W. Bush gave Proclamation 6107 on March 9th, 1990 proclaiming the holiday, and the holiday was approved as Public Law 101-252 by the 101st Congress in a joint resolution on March 13th, 1990. At present it is observed in New York, parts of Maryland, and in my weblog.

On waking up to get ready for work I posted that today was Harriet Tubman Day, and did my Book Devotional Reading. Richard drove himself to work in the truck, and I drove myself to work in the car. Once at the casino I did my Internet Devotional Reading, then I signed the Early Out list. Once we clocked in, Richard was on Mini Baccarat, and I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow, and a Blackjack table. Due to a combination of factors (some tables staying open, at least one dealer calling in), I did not get out early, so I regretfully shelved the idea of going to Baton Rouge for the Friends of the LSU Library Book Bazaar and to see Butch.

After work Richard went to the Pharmacy to pick up his prescriptions, and I drove home in the car; when I got to our town I stopped at the Oil-Xpress to get the oil changed in my car. Richard then showed up to get the oil changed in the truck; when they were done with my car, I headed home. Once home I made my lunch salads for today and Sunday, and ate today’s salad while reading the morning paper. When Richard got home he called Unum to get the Intermittent Family Leave process started; he anticipates that he might have to take time off from work to take care of Butch and Butch’s situation. After I finished my lunch, we watched MST3K Episode 518 The Atomic Brain (originally released as Monstrosity), with the short film What About Juvenile Delinquency? I then did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog, then we watched Jeopardy!. For dinner, we had fried crab cakes and canned sweet potatoes. And now I am finishing up today’s Daily Update. Tonight our #12 LSU Lady Tigers (15-3, 0-0) will be playing an Away College Softball game with the Auburn Lady Tigers (16-2, 0-0), and our #6 LSU Tigers (9-4, 0-0) will be playing a home College Baseball game with the Wichita State Shockers.

We have no Saints to honor tomorrow, but tomorrow is the third of three Ember Days for this season of the year. In the secular world we will recall that on this date in 1851 the first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi took place in Venice. Early Voting will begin in Louisiana for the Municipal Primary Election on March 25th. And at sunset tomorrow the Jewish feast of Purim begins. We will work our eight hours tomorrow, and in the afternoon I will be going to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, followed by lunch at McDonald’s, hopefully Mass for the Second Sunday of Lent, then the production of my Daily Update. In sports, our New Orleans Pelicans (25-40, 3-9) will be playing an Away NBA game with the Charlotte Hornets (28-36, 6-3), our #6 LSU Tigers will play another Home College Baseball game with the Wichita State Shockers, and our #12 LSU Lady Tigers will be playing another Away College Softball game with the Auburn Lady Tigers.

Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon comes to us from Anita Brookner, English art historian and novelist. Born in 1928 in Herne Hill, London, her father was a Jewish immigrant from Poland and her mother’s father had immigrated from Poland; the family name had been Bruckner until it was Anglicized due to anti-German sentiment. An only child, her grandmother and uncle lived with the family, and her parents opened their house to Jewish refugees escaping Nazi persecution during the 1930s and World War II. She once observed, “My family were Polish Jews, and we lived with my grandmother, with uncles and aunts and cousins all around, and I thought everybody lived like that. They were transplanted and fragile people, an unhappy brood, and I felt that I had to protect them. Indeed that is what they expected. As a result I became an adult too soon and paradoxically never grew up.” In 1949 she received a BA in History from King’s College London, and in 1953 a doctorate in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, where her professors included Anthony Blunt, a renowned art historian later unmasked as a Soviet spy. In 1967 she became the first woman to hold the Slade Professorship of Fine Art at Cambridge University. She was promoted to Reader at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1977, where she worked until her retirement in 1988. Among her students at the Courtauld was noted art historian Olivier Berggruen, whose graduate work she advised. She was a Fellow of King’s College London and of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. She never married, instead taking care of her aged parents. In 1972 she published Greuze: 1725-1805: The Rise and Fall of an Eighteenth-century Phenomenon on the French painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze, and in 1980 she published Jacques-Louis David (1980) on the French history painter. Brookner published her first novel, A Start In Life (1981, published in the United States as The Debut), at the age of 53. Thereafter, she published roughly a novel a year. Brookner was highly regarded as a stylist. Her novels explored themes of emotional loss and difficulties associated with fitting into society, and typically depicted intellectual, middle-class women, who suffered isolation and disappointments in love. Many of Brookner’s characters were the children of European immigrants to Britain; a number appeared to be of Jewish descent. Hotel du Lac (1984), her fourth novel, was awarded the Booker Prize.In 1990 she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours. The Next Big Thing (2002, US title Making Things Better) was long listed for the Booker Prize, and Strangers (2009)  was short listed for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her last book was a novella, At the Hairdressers (2011), published only as an e-book (died 2016): “A complete woman is probably not a very admirable creature. She is manipulative, uses other people to get her own way, and works within whatever system she is in. The ideal woman, on the other hand, is quite different: She lives according to a set of principles and is somehow very rare and always has been.”

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