Daily Update: Friday, June 16th, 2017

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 27th, 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. 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.) 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. Bloomsday is now a global celebration, with activities taking place in Dublin, the United States, the Czech Republic, Australia, and Italy.

Upon waking up to get ready for work today I posted to Facebook that today was Bloomsday. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Eighth Day of my Corpus Christi Novena. I then borrowed A Time To Kill by John Grisham from Overdrive. (Our Third Tuesday Book Club book for July will be Sycamore Row​ by John Grisham, which is a sequel to A Time to Kill, which I will start reading on Friday – or, rather, rereading, as I read the book back in 2000.) Once we clocked in at the casino, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and I was on Three Card Poker, which was uncharacteristically quiet for a Friday.

After we clocked out, we drove to the Pharmacy, and I picked up a prescription for Richard. I then continued reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Once we arrived home I ate a lunch salad and read the morning paper. I then came to the computer and burned my December 2016, March 2017, April 2017, and May 2017 photos to CD for Liz Ellen, and burned my March 2017, April 2017, and May 2017 photos to CD for myself. I then printed out my Mission Statement (which is on the sidebar of my Weblog) as four cards on heavy stock paper, and laminated the cards using the thermal laminated I had gotten quite some time ago. (I put one in my badge, one in my wallet, and two in my hat.) I then prepared the boxes of stuff for Liz Ellen, cleaned out my Barnes and Noble bag, and cleaned out my purse. I then gathered up the aluminium cans (which I have not done in far too long), threw the bag of cans in the garage, and put the boxes of Liz Ellen stuff in the back seat of the car. Callie and our granddaughter came over at 2:30 pm, and stayed until 3:30 pm; our granddaughter was much more sociable on this visit. At 4:30 pm we watched Jeopardy!, and Richard went to get himself some chicken, as he was hungry (and I was not). And now I am finishing up today’s Daily Update, and when I finish I will read another chapter in Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner via Kindle on my tablet

Tomorrow 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.) Callie and our granddaughter will be heading back home to South Carolina late tomorrow morning. Richard and I will be back at the casino, and I will continue reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. The Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 6:35 am. After I eat a salad for lunch and make out my storelist for Richard (who will be paying the bills, as our checks will hit the bank Friday night), I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration; during my Hour I will write a note to the person who comes in after me, asking if they could do my hour next week (when I will be in Kentucky). At the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, our #3 LSU Tigers (48-17) will be playing the #17 Florida State Seminoles (44-21); depending on how that game and other games go, our #3 LSU Tigers will next play either the #1 Oregon State Beavers or the #19 Cal State Fullerton Titans on Monday.

On this Friday 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; they 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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