Daily Update: Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, which begins Holy Week. With no Saints to honor, today is also the birthday of my Aunt Dee-Dee in Jacksonville (1919; I presume she is still with us, as I have not heard anything otherwise).

Palm Sunday always falls on the Sunday before Easter, and commemorates an event mentioned by all four Gospels: the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion. According to the Gospels, before entering Jerusalem Jesus was staying at Bethany and Bethphage, and the Gospel of John adds that he had dinner with Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha. While there, Jesus sent two disciples to retrieve a donkey that had been tied up but never been ridden, and to say, if questioned, that the donkey was needed by the Lord but would be returned. Jesus then rode the donkey into Jerusalem, with the Synoptics adding that the disciples had first put their cloaks on it, so as to make it more comfortable. The Gospels go on to recount how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and how the people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalm 118, “LORD, grant salvation! LORD, grant good fortune! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.” Where this entry took place is unspecified; some scholars argue that the Golden Gate is the likely location, since that was where it was believed the Jewish messiah would enter Jerusalem; other scholars think that an entrance to the south, which had stairs leading directly to the Temple, would be more likely. In Catholic churches palm fronds are blessed and given to the congregation, and at one of the masses a procession of the people carrying palm fronds takes place; I always get enough so that I can put a sliver of palm behind every crucifix in the house (I have one in every room) and under the visors of our vehicles. The liturgy is highlighted by a dramatic reading of the Passion from one of the Synoptic gospels, with the officiating priest reading the words of Jesus and the congregation reading the group answers in the account; as this year is the first year in the three-year cycle of Sunday readings, we hear the Passion from the Gospel of Matthew. The feast is very old, dating at least from the fourth century, and ushers in Holy Week. Today is also the birthday of my Aunt Dee-Dee in Jacksonville (1919; I presume she is still with us, as I have not heard anything otherwise; I do have a Google Alert set up for her name on the Internet).

Last night our #13 LSU Tigers won their second Away College Baseball game with the #15 Arkansas Razorbacks by the score of 10 to 8, our #8 LSU Lady Tigers won their second Away College Softball game with the #12 Alabama Lady Crimson Tide by the score of 2 to 1, and our New Orleans Pelicans, unsurprisingly, lost their Away NBA game with the Golden State Warriors by the score of 101 to 123; as the regular season winds down, our New Orleans Pelicans (33-47, 6-10) will be playing an Away NBA game with the Los Angeles Lakers (24-55, 6-9) on Tuesday, April 11th.

On waking up to get ready for work today I took the polish off of my toenails and did my Book Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in at the casino, Richard was on Macau Mini Baccarat. I was on the second Mississippi Stud table; when that table closed, they used me as one of the dealers that was sending deaders to take the Computer Survey (those who participate are eligible to win prizes; it’s been noticed that most prizes seem to be won by people in Human Resources). So after taking the computer survey myself, I gave a push to the dealer on Four Card Poker, took a break, then I was on Three Card Poker and then Mississippi Stud sending people to the survey. I then sent the Relief Dealer for Pai Gow and Mini Baccarat to the survey, just after she had gotten to Pai Gow. She had not returned by the time the dealer on Pai Gow came back from his break, so I broke Richard on Mini Baccarat (the next spot on the Relief Dealer’s string), assuming that the Relief Dealer would be back from the survey to tap me out and send me to my break. However, she never came back, and I had to work an hour and twenty; either I was wrong in assuming that it was time for Richard’s break (which would mean that the Relief Dealer took her survey, then went to break because it was her turn to take the break), or else I was right in assuming it was Richard’s break, and the Relief Dealer took forty minutes to do a fifteen minute survey. (The Relief Dealer went home early at 9:00 am, when I was taking my break, so I will be talking to her tomorrow to see which scenario was in operation.)

On our way home from work we stopped at Wal-Mart so that Richard could purchase some charcoal. Once home from work I made my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday and ate today’s salad while putting fresh polish on my toenails and reading the Sunday papers. Richard heard from Michelle (she couldn’t come by, because she had promised the day to her boyfriend, ahead of her flying to South Carolina later this week), and from Callie (who said she would come by with the baby at about 2:30 pm). I took a short nap, which turned into a regular nap, because Callie texted Richard back to say that she would come by tomorrow instead. When I got up I got my plate of barbequed chicken, whole boiled potatoes, and baked beans (thank you Richard) and came to the computer to do this Daily Update. Our #13 LSU Tigers won their third Away College Baseball game with the #15 Arkansas Razorbacks by the score of 2 to 0; our #13 LSU Tigers (22-11, 7-6) will be playing an Away College Baseball game with the University of Louisiana Lafayette on Tuesday, April 11th. And our #8 LSU Lady Tigers lost their third Away College Softball game with the #12 Alabama Lady Crimson Tide by the score of 2 to 4; our #8 LSU Lady Tigers (32-9, 8-4) will be playing an Away College Softball game with the McNeese State Lady Cowboys on Tuesday, April 11th. And I opted not to go to the Palm Sunday Mass this evening.

Tomorrow is Monday in Holy Week, with no Saints to honor, but I personally honor Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (died 1955). Tomorrow is National Sibling Day. And tomorrow is the birthday of my friend Julie in Louisiana (1964). Tomorrow at sunset begins the great Jewish feast of Pesach (Passover). We will be working our eight hours, and I hope to get started reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See via Kindle on my tablet. After work Richard has two appointments at the Clinic, one with the Nurse Practitioner, and one with the Dietician. In the afternoon Callie should be coming over with the baby, and tomorrow evening is the Tri-Parish Penance Service at church.

On this Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion afternoon our Parting Quote comes to us from Egon Bondy, Czech philosopher, writer, and poet. Born as Zbyněk Fišer in 1930 in Prague, in the late 1940s he was active in a surrealistic group. “Bondy” is a name from the 1936 short story War with the Newts by the great Czech writer Karel Čapek; Fišer selected the Jewish pseudonym “Egon Bondy” for a surrealistic anthology he prepared in 1949. From 1957 to 1961 he studied philosophy and psychology at Charles University in Prague. From the 1960s he was one of the main figures of the Prague underground, writing texts for The Plastic People of the Universe. His non-conformism brought him into conflict with the communist regime in occupied Czechoslovakia. His works were circulated only as Samizdat, with individuals reproducing his censored publications by hand and passing the documents from reader to reader. Bondy was always interested in the study of Karl Marx and in the criticism of both contemporary capitalism and totalitarian socialism. His philosophical work concerned ontological and related ethical problems. He attempted to show the relevance of ontology without any substance or grounding. The scope of his works was exceptionally broad: he published about thirty books of poetry, ranging from epic poems in early 1950s to meditative philosophical works in the 1980s. He also published about twenty novels, most of them dealing with the topic of a society or an individual in crisis, or a crisis in the relationship between an individual and his or her community. Despite the deep, existential background of his work, the texts were fresh and entertaining. He himself most valued his philosophical works, including a history of philosophy (died 2007): “For us in Eastern Europe one of the greatest dangers is this: that we could, by demagogy, become involved in this struggle on the side of “white civilization.” This is what I fear most. … I fear that under the cover of the “struggle for freedom,” we will be only mercenaries in the struggle for so-called white civilization, although we shall remain only as a reservoir of cheap labor. A tragicomical situation.”

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