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Archive for July 18th, 2014

Another Wake for Finnegan

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I’d already started reading James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake back before my shenanigans (thanks, Kelly, for the Penguin Books edition I have). And I’d made myself a fairly solid beachhead before that reading effort got torpedoed by my death, followed by the major regulations project I’ve been working on since, together with other responsibilities and interests.

Coming back to it from that very first midsentence “riverrun,” I had decided to read it this time the way I read the original 401(a)(4) regulations, the way I’ve read so many hundreds of poems, the way I’ve read so many blog posts and e-mails and written correspondences — I am manually transcribing the entire manuscript myself, page by page, word by word, letter by letter, each and every punctuation mark exactly as it stands. As I encountered back in 1991 with those 401(a)(4) regulations, so too today, all too commonly the same people who act impressed at how well I know and understand what I have read are quick to judge and even openly insult my methods. *shrug* I know what works for me. If people spent one hundredth the time they spend preaching “acceptance” on actually practicing what they preach instead of rejecting others’ ways and choices and beliefs and kindness, there would be a whole lot more love in this world.

Today, I picked up a new personal trademark idiosyncrasy that will slow my Finnegan transcription to a crawl. I’ve been using my iPad mini for transcription — already possibly the second slowest alternative at my disposal (the slowest being via the smaller keyboard of my iPhone), perhaps even slower than if I wrote it all out in my longhand scrawl, certainly way slower than the PC keyboard I used for 401(a)(4) regulation transcription. Apple’s text services had been annoying me by continually trying to correct what it thinks to be misspellings — nuisance enough for a normal text message, but almost insane for a James Joyce book, in which just about every third word is unrecognized by Apple’s dictionary. So annoying that I can’t count how many times I’ve thought I ought disable the auto-correct feature completely, but for how useful it is when I actually do unintentionally misspell a word and am grateful for the built-in editor.

So I’ve kept the auto-correct on, time and time and time again accidentally typing through the end of a Joyce “word,” having Apple “correct” it, then having to take the extra time and effort to back up and type the correct version back in. But today, the number of amusing replacements finally got to me. So I’ve launched a new Adrienesque exercise: I’m now transcribing two separate versions of Finnegan. First, of course, the authentic version, the way Joyce wrote it. But in my second version, I’m letting Apple run free, like an untrained dog without a leash, which will give me Finnegan According to Apple, so to speak.

Of course, I’ll increase my transcription time by 50% or more: I’ll still have the usual typing with frequent backspacing and retyping for the authentic version; then, to get the Apple version by most direct means, I will be re-typing the entire text from scratch all over again, that second time of course saving myself from the time of correcting whatever Apple decides to do. Even with the extra transcription time, I expect to be completely finished both versions in time for the 100th anniversary of Joyce’s publication of the first edition (about five years from now).

bumper sticker [] - grolier


Written by macheide

18 July 2014 at 3:44 pm

Posted in grolier

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Pressured, Virtually

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The entirety of all that I write, all that I sketch or paint or shape, all that I record, all that I diagram or plan or calculate, all that I even wish I could dream I could think I could imagine, all that I create and all that I so endlessly modify, even all that I discard or forget, et cetera — think of all of that as if it were the community in which I live: myself and my family and my friends and my neighbors and others including visitors and intruders, the streets and the yards and the lakes and the countryside, the signs and the wildlife and the nearby airport’s approach path, the bridges and the parking lots and all the buildings and everything else. And in that virtual community of my writings and all, this weblog – aftermath – would be the main building, with its excutive offices and business center, with its activity rooms and lounges and exercise rooms and library, with its meeting hall and its stage and its kitchen and its restrooms, even with its storage places and equipment rooms and closets and hallways.

And that main building called aftermath is caked solid top-to-bottom inside and out with mold.

Mold. Dirt. Rust and waste and dust and muck.

So like I have done this week helping other community volunteers to rid some of our curbs and streets of a decade or more of black mold, I need as badly to pressure-wash aftermath.

The goals for this virtual version might seem at first glance to be sharply divergent. For the real community, our primary goal had to do with appearances. My #1 goal fighting mold that intrudes into my own house would be personal health, with a close second being the physical integrity of the building itself, with cosmetics following closely behind yet still no better than third. But for the curbs and streets and sidewalks of our community, our concern is almost exclusively in how we look to ourselves and to guests (and eventually to future purchasers).

In contrast, for aftermath I care nothing about how all this looks to anyone else at all. Even to the limited extent I open some of it up to public access, that doesn’t mean I am performing or presenting nor even that I mean any of this to communicate to anyone other than myself. The problem with the mold here is not in terms of the impressions it might make on anyone else, but rather on how the rust has rendered it of less use to me for what I had been using it for and continue to use it for.

But all in all, those two different goals are more similar than they are different, in that they both relate to quality of life. Accept the curb mold the way this community has for the past decade, and we accept a lower standard of living than we could rather easily take responsibility for making for ourselves. Ditto, if I continue to accept the weblog mold that aftermath has accumulated, then I accept a lower quality for my virtual life, on which I depend so heavily to conduct so much else of my real life.

So, haul out my cyber pressure washer and off I go down aftermath‘s creaky sidebar and down through its clanky categories and off through its pages and tags and settings, through all its content, then off through all its tunnels to the broad virtual home I have made for myself here. It’s a never-ending chore, yes, but one I can’t let go as long as our community ignored its curbs.

bumper sticker [] - aftermath

Written by macheide

18 July 2014 at 1:25 pm


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Tuesday through Thursday this week, I served as one of a team of five volunteers pressure-washing green-black mold and grime off the curbs of our community’s entrance and exit streets, along with the street itself around the guardhouse. And look!—I still have all my toes!

One of our guards tells us that he’s not seen our curbs and streets cleaned throughout the seven years he’s been here. Likely, it’s been a lot longer than that, perhaps never. Yet it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do this at least once every year. And we did nowhere near as much as we would have liked to have done. Notably, the streets and curbs around the golf clubhouse and our community’s two main buildings are despicably dark with mold, yet we had to leave them as they stand.

If any one of us had this mold on the walls of our own living room, would we let it go untended? Too many of our residents too easily forget that this entire community is every bit as much our home! And if we are going to admit that and make the natural decision to attend to it, then inevitably we need to stop renting equipment such as this pressure washer, just break down and purchase or build our own.

Besides hey, the labor cost is zero. Where else can you get a deal like that?

bumper sticker [] - local

Written by macheide

18 July 2014 at 6:44 am

Posted in local

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