Daily Update: Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

06-16 - Bloomsday - Ulysses in O'Connell Street, Dublin

With no Saints to honor today, we note that today is Bloomsday, the celebration of the day in Dublin, Ireland in 1904 on which the events of the great novel Ulysses by Irish writer James Joyce take place.

On June 16th, 1904, Joyce met the woman who would later become his wife, Nora Barnacle. When it came time for him to write Ulysses (which was published in 1922), he used that same date as the one in which Leopold Bloom and associated other characters (including Molly Bloom, his unfaithful wife, and Stephen Dedalus, the author’s alter ego) conducted their activities in Dublin. The first mention of a celebration of the date of the novel is to be found in a letter by Joyce to a Miss Weaver of June 27, 1924: “There is a group of people who observe what they call Bloom’s day – 16 June.” In 1954, the 50th anniversary, John Ryan (artist, critic, publican and founder of Envoy magazine) and the novelist Flann O’Brien organized what was to be a daylong pilgrimage along the Ulysses route. They were joined by Patrick Kavanagh, Anthony Cronin, Tom Joyce (a dentist who, as Joyce’s cousin, represented the family interest) and A. J. Leventhal (Registrar of Trinity College). Ryan had engaged two horse drawn cabs, of the old-fashioned kind, which in Ulysses Mr. Bloom and his friends drive to poor Paddy Dignam’s funeral, and the members of the party were assigned roles from the novel. They planned to travel round the city through the day, visiting in turn the scenes of the novel, ending at night in what had once been the brothel quarter of the city, the area which Joyce had called Nighttown. The pilgrimage was abandoned halfway through, when the weary Lestrygonians succumbed to inebriation and rancor at the Bailey pub in the city center, which Ryan then owned. In 1956 Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were married by special license of the Archbishop of Canterbury at St. George the Martyr Church, Holborn, on June 16, in honor of Bloomsday. In 1967 John Ryan (of the 1954 Pilgrimage) installed the door to No. 7 Eccles Street (Leopold Bloom’s front door) at the Bailey pub, having rescued it from demolition. The wimpy accountant in the 1968 Mel Brooks movie The Producers was named Leo Bloom. On Bloomsday 1982, the centenary year of Joyce’s birth, Irish state broadcaster RTÉ transmitted a continuous 30-hour dramatic performance of the entire text of Ulysses on radio. In the 2005 musical production The Producers, based on the 1968 movie, in the evening scene at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, Leo Bloom asks, “When will it be Bloom’s day?”. However, in the earlier scene in which Bloom first meets Max Bialystock, the office wall calendar shows that the current day is 16 June, indicating that it is, in fact, Bloomsday. And I made sure to read Ulysses (aided by my Cliffs’ Notes) in 2004, finishing before my deadline of Bloomsday, so as to fitly celebrate the 100th anniversary. (And did I understand it completely? If I said yes I said yes I will Yes, I’d be lying.) Bloomsday is now a global celebration, with activities taking place in Dublin, the United States, the Czech Republic, Australia, and Italy.

When I woke up, it was to the news that the potential storm system off of the Texas coast had turned into Tropical Storm Bill. When we got to work, there was no one waiting to sign the Early Out list, so we decided to do so. (We had heard different things about the Laughing with Twitchy motivational talk, and decided that if we got out early we would not go to the 11:30 am talk.) We signed the Early Out list as the first and second dealers (not counting Golden Tickets and those dealers celebrating a birthday today), then ate breakfast in ADR (except that I had egg rolls instead of my usual french toast with bacon.) When we clocked in, Richard’s Three Card Poker table was closed, so he went to see where they wanted to put him; I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and after making sure my dealers had arrived on those tables went to take the first break. While I was in the break room Richard came in to tell me we had been no-timed – we had gotten out so early that we had 0 hours worked for today. We stopped for gas in the truck on the way home, and got home at 4:00 am; Richard did his laundry (as usual on a Tuesday), and I went back to bed, with Richard joining me later.

I woke up again at 9:00 am; the New Moon arrived at 9:08 am. I started my laundry, read the morning paper, then worked on photos for my Daily Updates on my weblog (which I also use as daily wallpaper on my Galaxy Note 4) through August.

Richard and I left the house at 12:00 pm, and had Chinese for lunch at Peking. We then talked to the head honcho at Verizon, who told us that the reason our monthly rate was not as low as had been quoted was because we were quoted the wrong rate. He suggested that we call the 611 number for Verizon Customer Service. Richard then went to Wal-Mart to get some bread and some Diet Dr. Pepper. Also, Tropical Storm Bill made landfall in Texas; it is expected to bring torrential rains to the same parts of Texas that were inundated earlier this month. (If only we could redistribute the rain to California…) We arrived back home at 1:15 pm, and I worked on Advance Daily Update Drafts before doing some research on my Nook and finding out that I cannot get the Watch ESPN app on my Nook (my Nook is an Android-based E-reader, and does not have the same computing oomph as a regular Android phone or tablet.) I then watched Jeopardy!, during which Miechelle came by to pick up her mail and to pick up the carry-on bag (she flies to Connecticut to see Matthew and Callie and the baby on Thursday). After Jeopardy! I watched the rest of the elimination game between #1 ranked LSU and Cal State Fullerton on my Galaxy Note 4; LSU won the game, 5 to 3, and will play the loser of the Vanderbilt – TCU game being played tonight on Thursday evening. I then finished my laundry and ironed my casino pants, apron, and shirts, then got on the computer and did Advance Daily Update Drafts through Friday. I am now tired, and will finish this Daily Update and start getting ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow is Tuesday; we have no Saints to honor, so we will instead note that tomorrow is the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, during the American Revolutionary War. (History is written by the winners; if the Americans had lost the Revolutionary War, our stalwart patriots would have been remembered as arrant traitors, and George Washington would have been a war criminal.) After I do the Weekly Computer Maintenance tomorrow (which I have not done in two weeks, as we were in Connecticut last week), I will head to Lafayette; I have a book to return at the library, and I need to put in comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble. When I get home I will start getting stuff together for Liz Ellen’s somewhat monthly package, which I hope to mail out on Thursday.

On this Tuesday and Bloomsday afternoon our Parting Quote comes to us from Dan Dorfman, American financial journalist. Born in 1931, he grew up in Brooklyn, spending two years in an orphanage after his parents divorced before living with his mother for the rest of his childhood. In 1949 he graduated from the New York School of Printing, a vocational high school. He worked as a printer before joining the Army. While stationed in Germany, he was a driver for the editor of a local newspaper distributed to U.S. soldiers. He thought the concept of interviewing people was fascinating, and Dorfman took a journalism course at New York University after leaving the Army. He went to Fairchild Publications and worked as a copy boy, as a boys’ wear reporter for the Daily News Record, and as a retail-management reporter for Women’s Wear Daily. From Fairchild he moved to the New York Herald Tribune as a business reporter. The paper shut down and he worked for its successor, the World Journal Tribune, which closed in 1967. He also spent time at Merchandising Week magazine. The Wall Street Journal then hired Dorfman for “Heard on the Street“, a column designed to break news about the reasons for stock moves. He departed in 1973 after the Securities and Exchange Commission told the paper’s editors that a source made special arrangements for Dorfman to buy new stock, a story which the Journal reported. Dorfman then wrote New York magazine’s “Bottom Line” column for three years and Esquire’s “Full Disclosure” column for two before arriving at the Daily News, where he was part of the Chicago Tribune Syndicate. Along the way, Dorfman expanded into television. He was a panelist on public TV’s Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser from 1975 to 1984. He joined CNN in 1980, the network’s first year, and appeared three times a week on Moneyline, a business show that aired after the stock market closed. After six years at the Daily News, he rejoined New York magazine in 1985. He left the following year for USA Today, where he wrote two columns a week for the paper and a third that was syndicated by Gannett Co. (GCI), its owner. CNBC hired him in 1990 and featured him at 12:36 p.m. New York time each weekday. His reports caused share prices to swing so often, and so much, that the NASDAQ Stock Market, the Midwest Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange all had so-called “Dorfman rules” for trading in the companies he cited, where exchange authorities could halt trading in a stock that Dorfman referred to on television. The NASDAQ also considered controlling volatility caused by Dorfman’s on-air picks. The NASDAQ proposed to sometimes suspend trading in any stock mentioned by “a well known, recognized, and influential stock analyst or commentator,” and confirmed they were talking about Dorfman. Dorfman himself supported the “Dorfman Rule”. Money magazine lured him from USA Today in October 1994 to write a monthly column. Frank Lalli, Money’s managing editor, had been his editor at New York magazine and the Daily News. A year later he was suspended from the magazine after it was reported in the press that he was the target of a Federal probe for having a business relationship with a “stock promoter,” and for possible insider trading, according to sources cited by Businessweek magazine. After the Businessweek story was published, Lalli asked Dorfman to name confidential sources for his columns. He refused and was fired. As a result of the investigation that reportedly included Dorfman, a former lawyer for Securities and Exchange Commission and five others were indicted on charges of securities fraud involving two NASDAQ companies. Dorfman was not cited in the indictment. In 1996 Dorfman suffered a mild stroke, but recovered fully. In the mid-2000s he was writing columns for the New York Sun (died 2012): “I’m not looking to cause volatility in stocks. I’m not looking to cause them to go up or down. If there’s a way to prevent people from, you know, losing money on a fast train basis, I think it’s a good idea.”

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