"Mom, have you ever enjoyed reading anything by Tolstoy?" Bigger Girl came in from school asking.
Since when does one read Tolstoy for enjoyment or entertainment? i asked. When i read such books, it's to challenge my mind, not to be entertained.
"Well, I like challenging my brain as entertainment," she continued.
True, i noted. But it's a different kind of entertainment.
"Yes, not the silly kind. Anyway, once I finish Naked Lunch and Les Miserables, I want to start Anna Karenina. It's supposedly the only book written by a man that really gets how women are."
That's one way to look at it, i noted.
"Well, at least it's not just entertainment for entertainment's sake, like so many things now. We're so into entertainment and self aggrandizement in this culture that the Oxford English Dictionary had to recognize 'selfie' as a word!"
Yes, that's their new word of the year, i heard the news story. Speaking of selfies, did you hear the story about the eagle in Australia?
"No, what happened?"
Scientists planted a camera to try to get footage of crocodiles, and when the camera went missing, they thought it had fallen in the water. Then they found it later, about 70 miles away. They looked at the footage to see what had happened, and an eagle had stolen the camera. They got great footage of the eagle flying with the camera, and the eagle even took a selfie!
"That's great!" Bigger Girl was grinning. "Well, I'm going to do homework now. The English comp teacher has added an extra assignment. Five paragraphs on what I've learned from her class this semester. Then I need to go get one more ticket for 'A Christmas Carol' at the little theater. I'm taking all of my friends to it as my Christmas gift to them."
"What about taking me to the movies? Or better, I'll take you!" Little Girl had walked in, and she is looking for any excuse to practice driving anyone, anywhere, any time, now that she has her learner's permit.
"This weekend," Bigger Girl said. "Right now, I have an assignment."
"Good. We'll go see Frozen. And I get to drive! Deal?"
"Deal," Bigger Girl said, heading upstairs.
Christmas on the River -- Demopolis, AL, US (celebrations Southern style, including a Barbecue Cook-off; through Saturday)
Day of Shango -- Yoruba/Santería religion (various Caribbean islands; ceremony for the Defender against Evil)
Day of the Artisans -- internet generated day to honor all who work
Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day -- created in 2000 by QPC Inc., encouraging recognition of teams that "consistently work extraordinarily well together to produce significant results for their companies or organizations."
Festival for Minerva -- Ancient Roman Calendar
Grange Day -- US Grange (Order of the Patrons of Husbandry) founded, 1887
Holiday Ale Festival -- Portland, OR, US (beer, outdoors, in the cold, in December, but it is seriously good beer and worth it; through Sunday)
National Cookie Day
National Dice Day -- get together with friends and play a game today (instructions are here)
Navy Day -- India; Italy
Rake Leaves into the World's Largest Pile Day -- just so you can jump in, of course
Ribbons and Wrap Day -- according to the Elf Forum
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting -- NY, NY, US
Santa's List Day -- he completes the lists today, according to some people; which one are you on?
Special Kids Day -- a day to make sure special needs kids get to visit Santa with whatever accommodations they require
St. Barbara's Day (Patron of ammunition workers/bomb technicians/explosives workers/ordnance workers, architects, armourers, artillerymen, boatment/mariners/sailors/waterman, brass workers, brewers, builders, carpenters, construction workers, dying people, firefighters/fire prevention, fireworks, fireworks manufacturers, fortifications, foundry workers, geologists, gravediggers, gunners, hatmakers/hatters/milliners, martyrs, masons, mathematicians, military engineers, miners, prisoners, safety from storms, saltpetre workers, smelters, stone masons, tilers, warehouses; Amaroni, Italy; Barbara, Italy; Colleferro, Italy; Montecatini Terme, Italy; Paterno, Sicily; Rieti, Italy; Santa Barbara, CA; Syria; Toa Alto, Puerto Rico; against death by artillery, explosions, fire, impenitence, lightning, mine collapse, storms, sudden death)
A young woman may place the twig of a cherry tree in a glass of water today. If it blooms by Christmas Eve, the girl is certain to marry in the following year.
Barborka -- Poland (where Barbara is best known as Patron of Miners, thus "Miners' Day)
Eid il-Burbara -- Lebanon; Palestine; Syria (where Barbara is celebrated with a holiday similar to Western Halloween)
St. Maruthas' Day (Patron of Iran; Persia)
Thai Environment Day -- Thailand
Wear A Beard of Bees Today Day -- a supremely silly internet generated one, if you ask me, and only for the bold and fearless, and not allergic!
Wear Brown Shoes Day -- internet generated, by someone tired of wearing black shoes all the time most likely
Wind Whiling Bacchanalia -- Fairy Calendar
Tyra Banks, 1973
Marisa Tomei, 1964
Jozef Sabovcik, 1963
Patricia Wettig, 1951
Jeff Bridges, 1949
Dennis Wilson, 1944
Chris Hillman, 1942
Max Baer, Jr., 1937
Stewart Rawlings Mott, 1937
Wink Martindale, 1934
Victor French, 1934
Deanna Durbin, 1921
Francisco Franco, 1892
Lillian Russel, 1861
Crazy Horse, 1840
Samuel Butler, 1835
Thomas Carlyle, 1795
"Falcon Crest"(TV), 1981
"Beatles for Sale"(Album), 1964
"Tobacco Road"(Play), 1933
"Ten Commandments"(Film), 1923*
Today in History:
Upon the death of Carloman, Karel the Great (Charlemagne), his brother, becomes king of all France, 771
The Syrian harbor city of Saida (Sidon) surrenders to the Crusaders, 1110
After 18 years, the Council of Trent holds its final session, 1563
Father Marquette begins to build the first dwelling in what is now Chicago, 1674
Britain's Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in world, first published, 1791
Britain abolishes the practice of the "suttee" in India, 1829
The American Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Philadelphia by Arthur Tappen and William Lloyd Garrison, 1833
Oliver Hudson Kelley founds The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, (the Grange), 1867
"Boss" Tweed escapes from jail, 1875
The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published, 1881
Lucille Atcherson becomes the first woman legation secretary in the US Foreign sService, 1922
Cecil B. DeMille's first version of "The Ten Commandments" (the one in which he flooded Hollywood Blvd. without permit 3 times to get the Parting of the Red Sea Scene right, and had to bail his crew out of jail 3 times, too!) premiers, 1923
The first Burger King is opened in Miami, Florida, United States, 1954
Suriname joins the United Nations, 1975
The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, is launched, 1998
An adult giant squid is caught on video for the first time by Tsunemi Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo, 2006