Friday, December 13, 2013

Lucky Thirteen

Thought for the day:  I think it's incumbent on anybody born on the thirteenth to consider that number... lucky. 



Yep, today is my birthday. (whoopee)  Since it falls on a Friday this year, I guess that makes it extra lucky, right? Right.

Smarticus and I will be out and about today, so I won't be hanging around the computer, but I didn't want to leave y'all hanging without a post. Lucky for me you, this rerun fills the bill perfectly. It ran originally on another Friday the 13th, back in May of 2011.

Before I take off, let me send all kinds of good wishes to someone else who's celebrating a birthday today. Please join me in wishing  Jon a very happy birthday... and many more. [Happy birthday, cowboy!]

Heck, I'm even gonna leave the weird news stories of the week attached to the old post. What the heck? Sure, the news is old, but the laughs are still fairly decent.




+++++++++++++++

Thought for the day:  Luck is the idol of the idle.


How ironic that on a day I intended to write about Friday the 13th, Blogger took a dive. A bit of nasty luck, eh?

Friggatriskaidikaphobia is a freaky cool word that means fear of Friday the 13th. Since Friday is considered by some to be an unlucky day, and thirteen is feared by some as an unlucky number, it should come as no surprise that when the two converge, superstitious fears multiply accordingly. We could say that

Unlucky Friday + Unlucky Thirteen = Unluckier Friday

The word superstition means a belief or practice resulting from ignorance and fear of the unknown, a trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation. Although I have no statistics to back me up, I'll hazard a guess that there are far more superstitious males than females. I mean, really, have you ever heard of a woman refusing to change her lucky drawers or socks? No, of course not. Although I will concede that this peculiar attachment to one's dirty socks and undies and by extension, one's aversion to donning clean ones, may in fact be rooted in something entirely different than a belief in their ability to prolong a streak of good luck. For any gentlemen with a proclivity to wear said scuzzy skivvies, be forewarned: No matter how much  luck you believe those skivvies may bring you in games of chance or sport, I double dog guarantee you that wearing them will NOT lead to any semblance of luck with the ladies.

Most of us are familiar with superstitions dealing with black cats, spilling salt, breaking mirrors, and walking under ladders, but have you ever wondered where those superstitions originated?

And why FRIDAYS, for goodness sake?

And why the number THIRTEEN?

Since this is the only Friday the 13th we'll be encountering this calendar year, I thought today would be the perfect time to investigate.

WHY FRIDAY  : In ancient Rome, Friday was the designated day for executions, which certainly ended a streak of good luck for anyone whacked by the authorities, whether he was wearing his lucky bowling shirt or not. Witches' covens allegedly gather on Fridays, too, and in the Middle Ages, Friday was actually dubbed "Witches' Sabbath". The Good Friday crucifixion of Christ casts the greatest stigma on the day for Christians, but other Biblical events are also attributed to Friday: the day Eve gave Adam the apple, the day they were expelled from Eden, the day God struck the Tower of Babel, and the day Solomon's Temple was destroyed.

Some superstitions regarding Friday are:
  • Clothing made on a Friday will never fit properly.
  • Visiting a doctor on a Friday will lead to no good news.
  • Changing bedclothes on a Friday will lead to nightmares.
  • Marrying or moving on a Friday will come to a bad end.
  • Cutting your nails on a Friday will lead to sorrow.
  • Receiving bad news on a Friday will cause more wrinkles than receiving them on any other day of the week.
  • Starting a trip on a Friday will lead to misfortune.
  • Ships that set sail on a Friday are doomed to suffer bad luck.
About a hundred years ago, to disprove the superstition about ships, the Brits commissioned H.M.S. Friday. The crew was selected on a Friday, the keel was set on a Friday,  the ship was launched on a Friday, and the man chosen to captain the ship was even named Friday. The ship set sail on its maiden voyage on a Friday, too. And was never heard from again.

There are 13 members in a witch's coven. 
WHY THIRTEEN: You're probably more familiar with this word: triskaidekaphobia. That's the fear of the number thirteen, and it's no secret that many buildings don't acknowledge a thirteenth floor, and many cities opt to skip Thirteenth Street. But, WHY? 

For one thing, a witch's coven has thirteen members. There are also thirteen steps leading to the gallows, and thirteen knots in a hangman's noose. The blade of a guillotine falls thirteen feet, and at her trial, Lizzie Borden spoke thirteen words. There were thirteen people at the Last Supper, and the thirteenth card in a deck of tarot cards? Death.

Apollo 13, the thirteenth mission to be launched from pad #39, (13 X 3)  was aborted after an explosion in the fuel cell of the service module, after leaving the launching pad at 13:13 CST. The date? April thirteenth.

One theory about the root of triskaidekaphobia lays it at the feet of ancient man. It claims that when man was first learning to count, he counted on ten fingers and two feet, so anything beyond twelve was considered frightening and mysterious. On the other hand, what I find mysterious is why he didn't count on his ten toes, too. It's highly possible that he refused to take off his lucky socks.

Would you believe the number thirteen was once considered lucky? For one thing, some early religions considered the thirteenth step to be the one souls take to enter the eternal glory of the afterlife. And in the prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures, the number thirteen represented femininity, and corresponded to the number of lunar (and menstrual) cycles in a year. The Earth Mother of Laussel, an ancient carving found in France, depicts a female holding a crescent-shaped horn with, you guessed it,  thirteen notches in it. Later, when society became male-dominated and the solar calendar replaced the lunar one, twelve became the "perfect" number, replacing the "imperfect" thirteen.

So, there ya have it. Now you know a little bit about the superstitions associated with Friday the thirteenth. Me? I still prefer the TGIF approach.

How about you? Do you have any superstitions or lucky socks?

OK, time for (a drum roll, if you will ...) the

WEIRDEST NEWS STORIES OF THE WEEK

**  In New York, a 21-year-old happened to be riding in a car that was pulled over by the police. As soon as the car stopped, the young man immediately took off running, and jumped into the Hudson River. He was able to latch onto a branch 250 feet downstream, where he waited for the police to rescue him from the fifty degree water. Know why he ran? It seems that the shivering young man thought there was a warrant out for his arrest. There wasn't. Sounds to me like there should have been.

** When two female investigators in Vienna, Austria began questioning his client, a lawyer (ahem) showed his briefs. The attorney dropped his trousers and then perched on a desk in his tightie whities with his back to the women. The client is suspected of a sex crime, but now the lawyer is being investigated, as well. (Maybe they were his lucky shorts?)

** After three late-night escape attempts, a German shepherd named Jack finally escaped from an Oregon veterinarian's office by pulling his kennel open, tripping the dead bolt on the clinic's back door and pulling down the handle to get outside. In the process, Jack tripped three motion detectors and tore open four bags of dog food. The vet said he was "impressed" with Jack's impressive recovery from the flu. Me? I wonder if that dog's last name was Bauer.
Bauer, Jack Bauer.


                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Oh, by the way, Goodreads drew the five winners of my book on Wednesday. Now Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade is on its way to exotic faraway places I can only dream of seeing... Lithuania, Kenya, Philippines, and Holland. (Lucky book!) The fifth book is headed to Texas. A total of 1429 people entered the contest, so let's see, if all the people who didn't win actually buy my book, it just might cover the cost of mailing it to the people who DID win. HA! Oh well. I didn't have any expectations of making a lot of money... and by golly, so far, I'm succeeding brilliantly. Take care, y'all.

85 comments:

  1. Two birthdays on Friday the 13th for two special people. I think that's very lucky. Have a fantastic birthday, Susan.
    (and I'll try to have one, too).

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    1. Yep... special, special, special! (If we keep telling ourselves that, maybe we'll come to believe it.)

      I kept up my end of the bargain and had a fantastic day; I hope you did, too!

      Delete
  2. Happy ... Happy Birthday, Susan! It's still Thursday, the 12th here.

    That's a wealth of 13 information! love it... I'm not superstitious ... but have queasy feelings sometimes when the weather is really bad on a Friday the 13th ... but not much. ha

    I have two black cats ... always loved black cats or gray... My eyes just can not settle down enough to read. I keep forgetting about your book! I need to order that ... next time I need something from Amazon... I will remember to buy it ... I just placed an order ... it will be delivered Tuesday. Wish I had thought of it!

    I don't read as much as I used to... my old mind wanders off more than it ever has. I have the attention span of a gnat... that's why blogs are good for me... over and out... ha

    ohhhhh I hope you had whatever it is you wanted for your birthday today! peace... love and light for sure ...

    Namaste

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! It was a fabulous birthday. I LOVE the GA Aquarium, and that's where we spent the day. the LIGHT shining down through the water as all those wondrous creatures glide by is nothing short of mesmerizing, and the PEACE... um, I mean piece... of cod on my luncheon sandwich was very tasty. (Hmmm, maybe that was a tad insensitive? Nah, the aquarium cafe sole... I mean sold it to us...)

      Delete
  3. I can't count too good but wanted to wish you Happy Birthday, Susan, on this 13th day of the 13th month of 2013!

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  4. Happy Birthday!
    That picture of the black cat on top of the ladder did freak me out.

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    1. Thanks!

      Sorry. If it makes you feel any better, maybe he was actually a blond with a dye job. (He was trying to create artificial intelligence?)

      Delete
  5. Happy Birthday. Not only is it lucky for you - it is lucky for all of us who know you (and luckier for those blessed with your presence in reality).
    Have a wonderful day. And yes, as you know I have two much loved black cats. And no lucky underwear.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. That's a very sweet thing for you to say.

      Nope, there's nothing "unlucky" about your beautiful kitties.

      HA! Yeah, I think that's a "guy's thing".

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  6. Happy Birthday to you Susan......13's a charm.

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    1. Thanks! Yep, I think so, too... our thirteenth grandchild was born this summer.

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  7. Happy Birthday. damn, I had a comment all thought out.......

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks! Damn, dontcha hate it when that happens...

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  8. Happy birthday!

    I'm not superstitious. Obviously, as I own two black cats.

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    1. Thanks!

      That's good. Too many sweet black cats don't get adopted because of silly superstitions.

      Delete
  9. I can't believe that two of my fellow bloggers have a birthday today - the blogging world is a small world indeed! Happy 29th birthday Susan :)

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    1. Thanks! Twenty-nine? As my hubby would say, "I've got underwear older than that." (Come to think of it, he probably DOES...)

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  10. If you hadn't reminded me, I would have spent the day in idle bliss. Now that I know, I shall hide in the broom-cupboard.

    Happy Birthday! Cro xx

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    1. Thanks! Okay, Friday is over, so you can come out of the closet now...

      Delete
  11. Happy Birthday, Susan. For your birthday,I wish you warmth. There has to be some place in this country that is not in the deep freeze, and I am hoping it is in your town in Georgia.

    I admit to being a tiny bit superstitious, but mostly, I believe we make our own luck with our attitude. So, don't walk under any ladders today, but take a chance and spend the day like you were 18 again (but make sure you have some Tylenol handy).

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    1. Thanks, Arleen! We had plenty of warm, It was chilly in the morning, but not bad. And mostly sunny. (And it was nice and toasty inside the GA Aquarium!)

      That's kinda funny... I DID have to take Tylenol when we got home... and I even took a nap. (I don't DO naps!)

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  12. Another Sadge. I'm surrounded by them.. I love em..... great social and party people. My son, is one and he is never too tired to open his house up for a party. Also travel..... Can't keep em in one spot for very long. My love to you on this birth day. Have your birthday fun.

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    1. Thanks, Manzie! I'm still a "people person", but we don't do parties like we used to. And that's just find with us.

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  13. Happy, Happy Birthday to you!! And to your friend Jon as well. I hope you and Smartacus have a great time today.
    Interesting about Friday being execution day in Rome. I never knew that and it's really creepy to think about!
    As a 24 devotee, I Love Jack Bauer the dog LOL

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    1. Thanks, thanks! We did have a great time. We spent the day at the GA Aquarium.

      I'm glad you liked Jack. (Both the man and the dog.)

      Delete
  14. This will change with mine, but right now there are 13 comments -- does that mean this is the unlucky comment or Julie's above is?

    But more importantly -- Happy Birthday!!!!! I'm so happy you're turning mumble-mumble years old!!! I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day, and that your next year is filled with love, blessings, joy, and lots of smiles!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Neither! NO comments are unlucky! Nothing but goodness and light allowed around here.

      Thanks! Turning mumble-mumble kinda sucks, but it beats the heck out of the alternative. And with all those good wishes, being old ain't half bad.

      Delete
  15. Happy Birthday and enjoy lucky 13. I've always considered the number lucky - sometimes it's what you make of things. enjoy Birthday Weekend and all the best

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    1. Thanks! That's just it... it's all about attitude. Gratitude and attitude trump superstition.

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  16. Freaky on the ship
    Lost on its trip
    But 13th is a load
    Stupid superstitious mode
    Just as many bad things happen on any other day
    Have a great birthday at your bay

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    1. Superstition doesn't rate,
      But it's dumb to flip the bird at fate.
      Any day can be a deuce or ace.
      But they shoulda left on Saturday... just in case.

      Delete
  17. Happy birthday, Susan!! May it be filled with wonderful things.

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  18. Let there be cake !
    And a Birthday filled with lovely surprises.
    I love this post and giggled a few times.
    You are so funny.

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy Birthday and please go out and have a fabulous day! You know, whenever I open your blog, I just grin when I see those two in you header. They have become very special and I will miss them when the season is over.

    Having lived with one, I must say, there is nothing quite as wonderful as a German shepherd dog! If this one has a last name, you must be right, Bauer!

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    1. Thanks! I did!

      I'm glad you like that header picture. It makes me smile, too.

      Delete
  20. I hope that your birthday will be filled with Dionysian revelry and sybaritic splendor.

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  21. Replies
    1. Thanks! And it WAS big. (A big number, anyway.)

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  22. Happy birthday!

    I'm not superstitious...as a matter of fact, I bought a lottery ticket today (I rarely do, but this day was just asking for it!).

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    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, Smarticus bought a ticket, too. Unfortunately, it wasn't a "lucky" one.

      Delete
  23. Happy Birthday, Susan! You will have enjoyed the celebration. Best wishes for the next year! Britta

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  24. Happy Birthday, one day late. Hope it was a great one.

    A black cat crossed my path yesterday while I was driving (I waited for him to cross, of course). At first I thought he was black and white but as he kept walking, the snow fell off his back.

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    1. Thanks! It was a good un.

      HA! Good thing you aren't superstitious.

      Delete
  25. Happy birthday, Susan! I hope it was a fantastic one, full of love, hugs and luck.:)

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    1. Thanks! It was all of those things, and more.

      Delete
  26. Happy Birthday Susan... I hope it was a fabulous one :)

    I don't have superstitions... for me they are a waste of time. I do, however; understand why people have them... Great post girl :)

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    1. Thanks. Yep, it was!

      I agree with you. Life presents us enough challenges. No sense in hamstringing ourselves with a bunch of superstitious nonsense.

      (Thanks!)

      Delete
  27. Happy Birthday a day late! I'm not the superstitious type. I'm just the OCD type.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Or maybe the COD type. I'm dyslexic, too.

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    2. You're also the sweet and funny type. Thanks.

      Delete
  28. SUSAN ~
    First, a belated Birthday Wish.

    Interesting stuffs here. I knew some of it but not a lot of it.

    I actually like the number 13 (I tend to lean more toward odd rather than even numbers). Also, I can't recall ever having a particularly bad Friday the 13th (including yesterday's). And I'll sometimes deliberately walk under open ladders just to disprove the myth.

    >>... How about you? Do you have any superstitions or lucky socks?

    No lucky socks, but I do have boxer shorts with dogs printed on them that I like to think of as "lucky". Sometimes I'll deliberately pass up another pair of boxers for my "dog underwear" when I think I need a little extra pawsitive influence on that particular day. (Seriously though, I think the shorts are probably all bark and no bite.)

    ~ Stephen

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    1. Thanks!

      You made me smile. Nice to see you showing your light-hearted side for a change. (Got some sleep, did ya?)

      Delete
  29. I'm running a tad late but I do hope you had a wonderful birthday. The number 13 has never worried me as I'm not superstitious (well not really).

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    1. Thanks. I did.

      Glad to hear you're not superstitious. (Or not reeeeally superstitious, anyway.)

      Delete
  30. HAhahaha!! Who knew the origins of Friggatriskaidikaphobia would be so intriguing? And who knew anything about that word Friggatriskaidikaphobia anyway? Like how to pronounce it??!! My birthday also falls on a 13th, and I've always considered it a lucky number! Maybe there's a word for NOT finding Fri 13th scary??

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Cool! I suspect all of us with birthdays on the thirteenth refuse to buy that superstitious mumbo jumbo. (Defense mechanism, maybe?)

      Of COURSE there's a word for it. NON-friggatriskaidikaphobic. (Okay, so there's a word for it NOW...)

      Delete
    2. Either way the average person won't have a CLUE what we're talking about!!!!

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    3. Hey, that makes it all that much better. (Here's our golden opportunity to finally be part of an "in crowd"... until we forget the darned word, that is...)

      Delete
  31. Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Lucky 13! :-) Happy birthday to you! I hope you had a good one.

    Greetings from London.

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  32. Hey Susan,

    I'm going to spare you from one of my rambling, inane, incoherent, nonsensical comments.

    You being born on the December the thirteenth and it being, or was, Friday the thirteenth, is proof that this is a lucky day for me. I'm lucky to know you. Once again, like stated on Farcebook, happy birthday, Susan. I know you'll drink to that.....

    Gary :)

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    1. Thanks, Gary. That very sweet of you. Cheers!

      Delete
  33. I did not know all these superstitions.

    Happy belated birthday!

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  34. Fun, fun post and happy belated birthday wishes!

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    1. Thanks! Glad ya liked it... and thanks for the b-day wishes, too.

      Delete
  35. It's always fascinating to read about superstitions. Thirteen is also a happy number. Quite a coincidence given that's why I'm here, to wish you Happy belated birthday! Hope it was magical (in a good way)!

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Woo hoo! A happy number, huh? Love it! (And I read that piece on Wiki... very cool. Thanks!) And thanks for the birthday wishes, too. Yep, it was magical. (In a good way, always in a good way.)

      Delete
  36. Lucky thirteen! Happy belated birthday Susan!
    I wish you all the best for 2014.
    My daughter's birthday is tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks! All the best to you and your daughter, too. Give her an extra hug for me. She was your early Christmas gift, wasn't she? How sweet.

      Delete
  37. Hi Susan .. I'm late - but I have a friend on your birthday too .. as well as your Jon and no doubt a few others ... Hope you had a very happy day and weekend ...

    I'll join you in the 13th celebrations .. 13 just has to be my lucky number! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Thanks.

      Yes, lucky, and according to V.R. and Wikipedia, thirteen is a happy number, too!

      Cheers!

      Delete
  38. Late to this party... Happy Belated Birthday!

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  39. I also want to wish you a happy belated birthday Susan! Hope you had a great one! Oh, and Jack the German shepherd deserves his own show!

    Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie! It was a terrific birthday, except ya know, for that whole getting older stuff.

      Tell you what, a show about Jack the German shepherd would be better than most of the stuff on TV today.

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