Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.  Chordboard - Self, from material in my possession.

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Chordboard - Self, from material in my possession.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

See the windows painted red!
Chocolates in red boxes.
Cards with print and images in red.
Rings? Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

All around us, love.
Festive, to initiate our “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7.”
Not.

This holiday for the initiation of our rookie couples, young pairs going out to a dinner they can’t easily afford.
Uncomfortable in a restaurant whose service people are oh! so very professional.
Uncomfortable with their date watching as they commit faux pas one after the other.
Uncomfortable with the prices.
With understanding the menu.

Until they look at each other.
The sight of the young beauty opposite overcoming all obstacles.
Until they look at each other.
Each acknowledging their discomfort.
Their desire to be nowhere else on earth than here.
Opposite the one they love so much.
Who returns their love.

The ungainliness meaning naught.
The inexperience meaning naught.
Nay, the opposite of naught.
Meaningful.
Dinner a microcosm of life ahead.
Filled with mystery.
The two of them facing it together.
Tonight a test.

Accepting each other’s flaws.
Buoyed by their love and good intentions.
Being with-each-other the only necessity.

Ordering two glasses of chianti, producing identification.
And a Chicken Parmesan and a Lasagna.
No appetizers, thank you.
Does the salad come with the dinner?
No, no salad.
Are you sure?
It’ll be plenty.
No, no salad.
Tap water is fine.

Unwatched now, the hands make their ways halfway across the table.
Moving the salt and pepper shakers to reach its mate coming opposite.
Clasping.
The other hands raising the generous glasses, clinking, spilling a bit and laughing.
Or laughing because they didn’t spill a bit.

No need for smoothness.
Elegance.
Savoir faire.

Just the right age.
The right companion.
Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Tagging Today
Thursday, February 14, 2019

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________________________  308 posts to date. Today we’re at the 6.16% mark of my commitment, the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.  5,000 posts will take 13.69 years, taking me to a new phase of my life. Will see twelve more  But thirteen “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7.”  Starting today.  This calendar features a panoply of weather conditions, from stormy winter to lovely spring, the latter somewhat rare.  The most important takeaway this calendar is to avoid delusional expectations. Accept that we will not see a mild day. If we get one, hoorah! Accept that we will not see a mild day.   Tick Tock. In clock language: Enjoy today.

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308 posts to date.
Today we’re at the 6.16% mark of my commitment,
the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.

5,000 posts will take 13.69 years, taking me to a new phase of my life.
Will see twelve more
But thirteen “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7.”
Starting today.

This calendar features a panoply of weather conditions, from stormy winter to lovely spring, the latter somewhat rare.

The most important takeaway this calendar is to avoid delusional expectations.
Accept that we will not see a mild day.
If we get one, hoorah!
Accept that we will not see a mild day.

Tick Tock.
In clock language: Enjoy today.

My 308th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Thursday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 39* with a feels-like temperature of 32*, under sunny skies, with a wind gusting to 28.

Today begins our “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7.”
Our next measurement of time as we march the thirteen plus years to the 5,000th and final posting.

One of the great things about switching to the “Winter Spring Shoulder Calendar Feb 14 to April 7” is that, historically, the second two weeks of February are five degrees warmer than the first two, and March is eight degrees warmer than February. April is twelve degrees warmer than March.

Dinner is Fried Pork Chops w Vinegar Peppers.  Conceptually: Heat 2TB olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is very hot, pat the chops dry with paper towels.  Cook the chops, turning once, for about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned.  Remove and fry the thinly-sliced potatoes in the oil.  Return the chops and add the vinegar peppers and 2 tablespoons vinegar to the skillet.  Cook covered for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


Dinner is Fried Pork Chops w Vinegar Peppers.

Conceptually:
Heat 2TB olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is very hot, pat the chops dry with paper towels.
Cook the chops, turning once, for about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned.
Remove and fry the thinly-sliced potatoes in the oil.

Return the chops and add the vinegar peppers and 2 tablespoons vinegar to the skillet.
Cook covered for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

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Question of the Day
Something to say about St Valentine’s Day?

 

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Elephant Jokes to tell at a bar:

How do you stop an elephant from charging? Take away his credit card.  Battle of Zama by Henri-Paul Motte, 1890 Henri-Paul Motte - Das Wissen des 20.Jahrhunderts, Bildungslexikon, Rheda 1931

How do you stop an elephant from charging?
Take away his credit card.

Battle of Zama by Henri-Paul Motte, 1890
Henri-Paul Motte - Das Wissen des 20.Jahrhunderts, Bildungslexikon, Rheda 1931

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Answer to Question
Something to say about St Valentine’s Day?

Saint Valentine is said to have ministered to the faithful amidst the Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.  Jean-Léon Gérôme - Walters Art Museum  William T. Walters commissioned this painting in 1863, but the artist did not deliver it until 20 years later.  In a letter to Walters, Gérôme identified the setting as ancient Rome's racecourse, the Circus Maximus. He noted such details as the goal posts and the chariot tracks in the dirt.  The seating, however, more closely resembles that of the Colosseum, Rome's amphitheater, in which gladiatorial combats and other spectacles were held.  Similarly, the hill in the background surmounted by a colossal statue and a temple is nearer in appearance to the Athenian Acropolis than it is to Rome's Palatine Hill.   The artist also commented on the religious fortitude of the victims who were about to suffer martyrdom either by being devoured by the wild beasts or by being smeared with pitch and set ablaze, which also never took place in the Circus Maximus.  In this instance, Gérôme, whose paintings were usually admired for their sense of reality, has subordinated historical accuracy to drama.

Saint Valentine is said to have ministered to the faithful amidst the Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.

Jean-Léon Gérôme - Walters Art Museum

William T. Walters commissioned this painting in 1863, but the artist did not deliver it until 20 years later.
In a letter to Walters, Gérôme identified the setting as ancient Rome's racecourse, the Circus Maximus. He noted such details as the goal posts and the chariot tracks in the dirt.
The seating, however, more closely resembles that of the Colosseum, Rome's amphitheater, in which gladiatorial combats and other spectacles were held.
Similarly, the hill in the background surmounted by a colossal statue and a temple is nearer in appearance to the Athenian Acropolis than it is to Rome's Palatine Hill.

The artist also commented on the religious fortitude of the victims who were about to suffer martyrdom either by being devoured by the wild beasts or by being smeared with pitch and set ablaze, which also never took place in the Circus Maximus.
In this instance, Gérôme, whose paintings were usually admired for their sense of reality, has subordinated historical accuracy to drama.


St Valentine baptizing St Lucilla, Jacopo Bassano.  Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte) - http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Jacopo-Bassano-%28jacopo-Da-Ponte%29/St.-Valentine-Baptising-St.-Lucilla-%28san-Valentino-Battezza-Santa-Lucilla%29.html

St Valentine baptizing St Lucilla, Jacopo Bassano.

Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte) - http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Jacopo-Bassano-%28jacopo-Da-Ponte%29/St.-Valentine-Baptising-St.-Lucilla-%28san-Valentino-Battezza-Santa-Lucilla%29.html

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14.
Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine's Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

Martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14 are presented in martyrologies, including a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire.
According to legend, during his imprisonment Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.

Eros bow Musei Capitolini MC410 Marie-Lan Nguyen and one more author - Own work

Eros bow Musei Capitolini MC410
Marie-Lan Nguyen and one more author - Own work

The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").

Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.
Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady).

February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine's Day in various Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of 'commemoration' in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion.
In addition, the feast day of Saint Valentine is also given in the calendar of saints of the Lutheran Church.

However, in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: "Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14."

The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan (Malta) where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar.

Chaucer's love birds
Jack B. Oruch writes that the first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.
Chaucer wrote:

"For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make".

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet and author.  Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales.  Chaucer is known as the "Father of English literature", and he was the first writer to be buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet and author.
Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales.
Chaucer is known as the "Father of English literature", and he was the first writer to be buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.

["For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."]

This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.
A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381.

Readers have uncritically assumed that Chaucer was referring to February 14 as Valentine's Day.
Henry Ansgar Kelly has observed that Chaucer might have had in mind the feast day of St. Valentine of Genoa, an early bishop of Genoa who died around AD 307; it was probably celebrated on 3 May.
Jack B. Oruch notes that the date on which spring begins has changed since Chaucer's time because of the precession of the equinoxes and the introduction of the more accurate Gregorian calendar only in 1582.
On the Julian calendar in use in Chaucer's time, February 14 would have fallen on the date now called February 23, a time when some birds have started mating and nesting in England.

Chaucer's Parliament of Foules refers to a supposedly established tradition, but there is no record of such a tradition before Chaucer.
The speculative derivation of sentimental customs from the distant past began with 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler's Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars.
Most notably, "the idea that Valentine's Day customs perpetuated those of the Roman Lupercalia has been accepted uncritically and repeated, in various forms, up to the present".

Three other authors who made poems about birds mating on St. Valentine's Day around the same years: Otton de Grandson from Savoy, John Gower from England, and a knight called Pardo from Valencia. Chaucer most probably predated all of them but, due to the difficulty of dating medieval works, it is not possible to ascertain which of the four first had the idea and influenced the others.

I have a copy of the Canterbury Tales.  I’ll read from it on the subway.

I have a copy of the Canterbury Tales.
I’ll read from it on the subway.

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Good Morning on this Thursday, the 14th day of February.
We talked about new couples and the evening dinner out.
About date, temperature, and dinner.
Taking an elephant’s charge card away.
About Chaucer and Gerome, two names that are distinct takeaways.
And of course, Valentine’s Day.

Time to go.

Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?

See you soon.

Love

Dom