Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I don't know who reads this blog exactly, but if someone who does happens to have a passionate interest in Finnegans Wake, as I sometimes do, then I'd like to alert you to a website of some value.

FWEET, which stands for Finnegans Wake Extensible Elucidation Treasury has a very powerful & friendly search engine for probing th Wake. It contains over 79,000 "elucidations" about each line of th Wake, & you can search th text of th elucidations & th text of th book. For instance, a search for th word "buggy" (a word that came to mind just now) gives us one line from th Wake itself & two elucidations containing "buggy".

In th FW text, it gives us just that one line, from page 85, "buggy and bike, to walk, Wellington Park road, with the curb," & if I want to see th lines before & after it, I can click on th page number (085) & get this page.

When I do my bibliomantic divinations using Finnegans Wake, I like to nab a smallish & interesting phrase, so I'll expand that just a bit to:

open to buggy and bike, to walk, Wellington Park road, with the curb or quaker's quacknostrum under his auxter and his alpenstuck in his redhand

So today it seems we have an image of a thoroughfare & a person walking w/ a quacknostrum (quack remedy) under his arm (auxter, from oxter, armpit) & a walking stick (alpenstuck, from alpenstick) in his redhand. To whom in my life (since it's a divination for me after all) does this refer? Me? A friend? Someone to watch out for somewhere in th world? Th FW gives us a clue where to find him: somewhere open to buggy and bike. I suppose I could take that literally, altho maybe it means something else... like a blog! Ha, maybe it refers to FWEET, a website that seems very elucidating, but actually carries quacknostrum under its auxter. Hmm.

All in all, in spite of any strange divinations that may come up, I do recommend FWEET for joyful Finnegansplay.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a Bouyant Bloomsday 2009

Hi friends, & again, Happy Bloomsday. As you may recall, 105 years ago to th day, took place th events of James Joyce's Ulysses, altho some miles away in Dublin, & not here in Urbana, Illinois. (& of course, in another Dublin than th one that exists today, since time & space remain inseparable in practice indeed.)

(He flourishes his ashplant shivering the lamp image, shattering light over the world. A liver and white spaniel on the prowl slinks after him, growling. Lynch scares it with a kick.)

I don't have big plans myself; some folks're gathering in Champaign later on, says Facebook, so I'll probably join. It seems I forgot all about it last year, so simply taking a moment to poke thru Ulysses, which has sat on my shelf unread for a few years, counts for something. I quietly recited some of Finnegans Wake to myself last night, & may do that again today. But for th most part, no big plans.

However, for "old time's sake" & to renew a worthy fascination, I'll do a quick bibliomantic divination using th good FW. Ahem. Page 126:

Who do you no tonigh, lazy and gentleman?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

birthday party

Happy Birthday!

I type to you now from th Orpheum Children's Science Museum, where I work th front desk these days. On my right, I hear th sounds of birthday party nomming - a cupcake cake! I gave these folks a short animal show, where they got to meet three of our critters: Windy, an ornate box turtle; Patricia, one of our bearded dragons; & Corny, th corn snake. Everybody got along swimmingly - no one eaten, no one brought to tears, no minor deaths.

Later tonight, I'll do a workshop on magic. I have about five easy tricks to show off & teach. I did a sloppy li'l preview for my house last night, & I feel good about that.

In between that & this, maybe a nap?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British queen--
All fit together
In the same machine.
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice--
So many different people
In the same device.
~53rd Calypso of Bokonon

Storm tonight, a big one, which, says Ronna, came all th way from Texas to greet us. Big thunder. Big lightning. Big me, in it.

I ran in it, jumped in it, danced in it, but mostly stood in it, w/ my arms raised. I wanted to feel every drop, hear every nuance of th constant rumbles in my ears, sense every blade of grass (getting taller!) that went between my toes. I wanted to blur th line between Me & It.

We talked about th end of th world (climate change!), & I thought, well of course th world is ending. Also beginning, both of those, in every moment. But things will never be th same again. How could they possibly?

We live in a most massive non-trivial machine. We are it. If lightning strikes me, it's not an It & a Me, separate things. It's one divine It, this very same device. Me becomes (Me) becomes () becomes...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

2s & 47s

Moving lots of files from place to place. Th computer says: "Copying 2,222 items to HBParkhouse," & as I notice this & think about twos, I see th computerclock, which reads 2:22 pm. Now, of course, they say "2,197" & "2:27".

A few days ago I saw a pair of 47s, an interstate & a time. I took special note of th interstate, then noticed a carclock reading something:47.

Ah, & now that I open my book, I see that I've stopped on page 44, twice 22. Th 22nd word on page 22: "book". 22nd sentence on page 22: "That's all I wanted to say". 22nd paragraph in th book: "I can walk across the bridge hundreds of times without stepping on that board, but Margaret always steps on it."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cali & back

Jacob & I enjoyed a magical 11 days in California ((but aren't all 11 days magical?)), returning yesterday morn on a red-eye flight. We connected with old & new friends to very quickly & thoroughly assemble a Moondog Madrigal Puppet Show, which we performed last Friday at th Community Music Center in th Mission district of San Francisco.

Louis "Moondog" Hardin wrote over 100 quirky rounds that he called madrigals, & 22 of these became music in this three-act puppet opera written by our friends Marji & Dan, who played a young student artist named Kneena (who speaks in haiku), & a mysterious Vandal, respectively. Jacob played a pitiful Professor, & our friends Robin & Peter an Angel & an Earthworm. Th rest of us (Nathan, Lembit, Paul, & yr hairy narrator) took turns playing th Student Body, a puppet representing a conglomerate of clueless college students (who speak (sort of) in pantoums) & parody an ancient Greek chorus. All of us played instruments & sang tasty Moondog rounds.

We got a good-sized audience full of friendly people, who seemed to like it quite a bit. We hope to take a next step & do more performances somewhere.

I enjoyed hilly California, altho I don't know how much of sense of it I got. I didn't do a whole lot outside of rehearsals for this show (which we had plenty of), but I did get around a bit: to Chinatown for a tea tasting; to an artist space in th Mission to chat w/ a new friend Tyson & play w/ some piano innards; to some acoustically marvelous tunnels on a mountain across th Golden Gate Bridge (which overlooked a very Herzogian fog); to a street corner at 1 am to play madrigals for five or so people; to a private birthday party at a club, also to play madrigals; to th Maker's Faire, where we pulled up some grass & serenaded some passersby; to Berkley, where our friends Andrea & Qilo live, for an Indian dinner & a potluck which hosted a conversation about Cybernetics & Somatics; to th basement of an office building getting renovated, where we spent in sleeping bags for a few nights; to City Lights, a leftist bookstore; to a forest-suburb of Santa Cruz, where eight of us lived & rehearsed for a few days, house-sitting, cooking great food, palling around; to lots of nice little coffee shops; to th airport, naturally, which pointed us home.

So we got in yesterday, & I promptly napped. I find Urbana simply marvelous to come home to. I love traveling, & I love making this place my home. (You simply must visit!) Yesterday ended, much to my surprise w/ a very late night, shared w/ someone special. I woke up late today, walked to th libary w/ my friend Ronna, started reading a new book which I so far enjoy, & picked some garlic scapes.