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May 13th, 2005

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. Therapist Dr. Donald Dossey, whose specialty is treating people with irrational fears, coined  the term. He claims that when you can pronounce the word you are cured.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is related to triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. 

Superstition about Friday the 13th may well be the number one superstition in America today. The number 13 is considered especially unfavorable though it was considered a lucky number in ancient Egypt and China. There were 13 people at the Last Supper. And several mass murderers have 13 letters in their names: Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy. Of course, millions of people who haven't committed any murders, such as Richard Cheney and Robert Redford, have 13 letters in their names, too. As far as I know, nobody has studied how many dinner parties with 13 present went off uneventfully. Witches, perhaps to clearly oppose themselves to a Christian superstition, sometimes have groups of 13 known as covens.

Some think 13 owes its bad reputation to Loki, the Norse god of evil, who started a riot when he crashed a banquet at Valhalla attended by 12 gods.

Some cities skip 13th Ave., but not Sacramento, which has an intersection where 13th Street crosses 13th Avenue. Some buildings skip from the 12th to the 14th floor, which, of course, means that the 14th floor is actually the 13th floor.

The ancient Egyptians considered the 13th stage of life to be death, i.e., the afterlife, which they thought was a good thing. The Death card in a tarot deck is numbered 13 and represents transformation. Those cultures with lunar calendars and 13 months don't associate 13 with anything sinister.
 
Friday may be considered unlucky because Christ is thought to have been crucified on a Friday, which was execution day among the Romans. Yet, Christians don't call it Bad Friday. Friday was also Hangman's Day in Britain. Some even think that Friday was the day God threw Adam and Eve out of Eden.

Friday is Frigga's Day. Frigga (Frigg) was an ancient Scandinavian fertility and love goddess, equivalent to the Roman Venus who had been worshiped on the sixth day of the week. Christians called Frigga a witch and Friday the witches' Sabbath; modern Wiccans are happy to oblige. Some call fear of Friday the 13th "friggatriskaidekaphobia."

Is Friday the 13th a particularly unlucky day? It could be...if you believe it is. Some prophecies are self-fulfilling.



I met with Randy today for a half-hour on the 2005 audit schedule. Actually, it was for less than a half-hour, because when I went into his office, I flipped over the huge hour glass on his desk, and it hadn't quite run out when I left. Obviously, it's a half-hour glass.



On the way home from work, I stopped by the Harris Teeter and got salad vegetables, and a few other things. At home, I cut up cucumbers, celery, onions, and mushrooms, and food processed carrots and cheese. I made up a big helping of salad, and stored it in the freezer. I'm going to slip in Robert's bag tomorrow for his long work day.

Robert arrived around 8, and we headed to Jay's at around 8:30. His birthday party was fun, and no fights broke out in spite of a contingent of the Log Cabin Republicans attending. Fortunately, the conversation did not turn to politics over the course of the evening -- at least mine with anyone didn't. Santiago and David were there, and it's always good to see them. David is still just the big puppy-dog that he is.

When only me, Robert, Steve, Jay, Les, Brian, and Richard were left, we played Catch Phrase, until Jay abruptly announced, "Game's over. No one's interested in this game." I'm not sure where that came from. We were all accepting the game piece as it got passed around, and taking our turns.

Oh well; maybe the card I gave him was more accurate than I thought: on the outside, picture of a lady in color and lit up in the foreground, in the background four or five guys, which she presumably had dated in the past, it says, "She was one date away from being bitter." And on the inside, "And one year from being old."

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