Thursday, June 30, 2022

Squirrels on metal roofs

I saw a squirrel yesterday in a moment of bravery and grace. It was the squirrel that was brave and graceful, making a leap of six or more feet from a branch to a shingled roof. If there had been a panel of squirrel judges present, they’d have raised their little placards:

10, 10, 10, 10, 10.

But I digress.

This scene made me wonder: how do squirrels contend with metal roofs? I’ve read that they can chew metal (keeping their teeth trimmed) and sneak underneath metal roofs to wreak havoc. But what would happen to a squirrel that made a leap to a metal roof? Would it slide down and be left hanging for dear life, like Scottie Ferguson in Vertigo ? Can a squirrel’s claws grip a metal roof? Do most squirrels know not to mess with a metal roof?

[Asking for a small grey friend.]

Leopold Bloom, proto-blogger

As Leopold Bloom sits on the pot reading “Matcham’s Masterstroke,” a prizewinning story in the magazine Titbits, he thinks about writing something himself. From the “Calypso” episode:

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922).

Leopold Bloom, proto-blogger, collecting choice moments of domestic comedy.

Notice that the imagined byline merges Leopold and his wife Molly into a single self: there’s no indication elsewhere that Mr. Bloom has a middle name beginning with M. Androgyny runs through the novel. In the “Circe” episode of the novel, Mr. Bloom will be revealed as “a finished example of the new womanly man.”

And yes, cuffs were once used as writing surfaces.

Related reading
All OCA Joyce posts (Pinboard)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Hill, Sam

As a college student, I worked in the housewares departments of two discount department stores. These days, shoppers still sometimes ask me where things are. On more than one occasion a shopper has told me that they thought I was an employee. I must have the right look.

Today, as I strode a main aisle in our friendly neighborhood multinational retailer, an older fellow asked me, “Do you know where in the Sam Hill the mouthwash is?”

I didn’t hesitate: “Same aisle as the toothpaste, two aisles down.”

As for Sam Hill, he’s in Green’s Dictionary of Slang.

“Seesoo, hrss, rsseeiss, ooos”

From the “Proteus” episode:

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922).

“Better get this job over quick”: it takes a bit of inference to understand that Stephen Dedalus is urinating. He wonders whether it’s safe to set down his walking stick, decides that it is, and the scene dissolves into a play of sound as his urine mixes with the water of Cock Lake. For contrast: when Leopold Bloom goes out to the jakes in “Calypso,” it’s entirely clear what’s happening: “Hope it’s not too big bring on piles again. No, just right. So. Ah!”

Cock Lake, believe it or not, is real, “a tidal pool off Sandymount” (Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated ).

Related reading
All OCA Joyce posts (Pinboard)

The best pens?

The New York Times Wirecutter offers recommendations for the best ballpoint, rollerball, and gel pens.

I like the Parker Jotter, the Papermate InkJoy, and the Uni-ball Signo RT. The last two go unmentioned in the Times. But I’d rather be using a fountain pen, Pelikan or Kaweco, with Aurora black ink.

Related reading
All OCA pen posts (Pinboard)

Only Murders slight, slight spoiler


“Is that Shirley MacLaine?” And two seconds later: “That’s Shirley MacLaine!” What a treat to see her in Only Murders in the Building last night (season two, episode two). A one-off guest spot? That’s my guess.

How to improve writing (no. 103)

From a New York Times obituary for Margaret Keane, painter of big-eyed children:

Such rebukes had no effect on the popularity of Keane art. In 1964, Keane prints alone grossed $2 million. In 1965, a Life magazine article, “The Man Who Paints Those Big Eyes,” likened it to Howard Johnson’s ubiquitous restaurants.
I noticed the problem while eating a bowl of Shredded Wheat: what’s it ? If the referent is art, it’s too far back. Better:
Such rebukes had no effect on the popularity of Keane art. In 1964, Keane prints alone grossed $2 million. In 1965, a Life magazine article, “The Man Who Paints Those Big Eyes,” likened Keane art to Howard Johnson’s ubiquitous restaurants.
But now the repeating Keane is too much. How about:
Such rebukes had no effect on popular taste. In 1964, Keane prints alone grossed $2 million. In 1965, a Life magazine article, “The Man Who Paints Those Big Eyes,” likened Keane art to Howard Johnson’s ubiquitous restaurants.
As the Times obituary makes clear, it was Margaret Keane, not her credit-taking husband Walter, who did the painting.

Related reading
All OCA How to improve writing posts (Pinboard)

[This post is no. 103 in a series dedicated to improving stray bits of public prose.]

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

“Real, real bad”

“Things might get real, real bad on January sixth”: White House chief of statt Mark Meadows to his assistant Cassidy Hutchinson, January 2, 2021.

And when Rudy Giuliani was around, Hutchinson heard references to the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

And when Meadows was told about the presence of weapons on January 6, he did not even look up from his phone. And then he did, and said that he had told Donald Trump.

In other words, they knew. Of course they did.


And Trump: “Take the fucking mags away.” He wanted magnetometers removed so that those with weapons could enter the space for his rally. Those people weren’t there to hurt him, he said. So when he talked about walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, he was sending armed supporters to the Capitol.

And Trump did intend to walk (or ride) to the Capitol. And enter the House chamber. And he grabbed for the steering wheel of the presidential SUV when told that he was going back to the White House: ”I’m the fucking president. Take me up to the Capitol now.” He also lunged at a Secret Service agent in the vehicle. [The grab and lunge are disputed. Hutchinson was testifying to what she was told.]

Back at the White House, Trump lost his lunch. In other words, he threw it against a wall. Ketchup everywhere. Hutchinson says that Trump had thrown dishes or flipped a tablecloth on other occasions as well.


Hutchinson knew enough to caution Meadows not to go to the Willard Hotel on January 5, where Michael Flynn and Roger Stone was scheming. Meadows called in instead.


As rioters were nearing the Capitol, Hutchinson asked Meadows if he had told Trump. No, Meadows said. The president wants to be alone.

“He doesn’t want to do anything, Pat”: Meadows to Trump lawyer Pat Cipollone.

”You heard it, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong”: Meadows to Cipollone, about the chant to hang Mike Pence.


Trump wanted a January 7 post-insurrection statement to cast blame on Pence and suggest pardons for rioters. Meadows suggested language about pardons as well.

Pardon requests came from Giuliani and Meadows.


Liz Cheney is closing with accounts from unidentified witnesses of the pressure put on them before they testified to the January 6 committee. “He knows you’re loyal,” and so on. Under his eye, right? That’s witness tampering.

I paid my way ”

Mr. Deasy, schoolmaster, has paid Stephen Dedalus, teacher, his monthly wage, £3 12s. The coins make “a lump” in Stephen’s pocket. When the conversation turns to the importance of saving money, Mr. Deasy invokes Shakespeare: “Put but money in thy purse” he says. Uhm, that’s Iago, as Stephen points out. But Mr. Deasy is undaunted. He asserts that Shakespeare himself “knew what money was”; he was a poet, yes, “but an Englishman too.” And then Mr. Deasy reveals “the proudest word you will ever hear from an Englishman’s mouth.” Wait for it. From the “Proteus” episode:

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922).

Related reading
All OCA Joyce posts (Pinboard)

[In his Ulysses Annotated, Don Gifford points out that in Dublin 1904 Stephen could live comfortably on his modest salary. On June 16 he spends more than half his month’s wages in a pub crawl.]


Tricks of the Foley artist. From The New Yorker:

Vegetables are old standbys: snapped celery for broken bones, hammered cabbage for a punch. (According to the Web site Atlas Obscura, during the climax of Titanic, in which Kate Winslet floats, shivering, on a piece of debris, Foley artists peeled back layers of frozen lettuce to add texture to the sound of her crisping hair.) Paper clips or nails, taped to the tips of a glove, are useful for the clicking footsteps of a house pet. Wet pieces of chamois leather, the sort that is used for cleaning cars, are highly versatile.

Rodney Davis vs. Mary Miller

The New York Times has an article about their primary contest. One detail I didn’t know about: “At the rally here [Mendon, Illinois] on Saturday night with Mr. Trump, Ms. Miller’s campaign played videos of Mr. Davis wearing a mask at the height of the pandemic.” Shame on him, right?

In December 2020, Miller called the presidential election “the greatest heist of the 20st century.” On January 5, 2021, she cited Adolf Hitler as being “right on one thing.” In July 2021, she declared that she was not wearing a mask again. But really, her mask has been off for a long time.

Related reading
All OCA Mary Miller posts (Pinboard)

Monday, June 27, 2022

S _ _

It can tricky to get a crossword right from Across words alone. Three letters, “Place for a mud bath”: STY, obviously. Oops, no, SPA.

“He himself?”

Stephen Dedalus is staying with Buck Mulligan, friend and medical student, and Haines, an Englishman studying Irish folklore. From the opening episode, “Telemachus”:

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922).

Stephen will expound his theory about Hamlet in the “Scylla and Charybdis” episode of the novel. I won’t attempt to rehearse his theory here. All I’ll say is that Haines’s final question startled me anew when I read it for the first time in many years.

Related reading
All OCA Joyce posts (Pinboard)

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Copyediting the crossword

Today’s Atlantic crossword is a good one. But the clue for 66-A, “Amount of Blinde Mäuse, in a nursery rhyme” should refer to the number of Mäuse. A count noun takes number.

G. & S.

In Boro Park, Brooklyn, in the 1960s, we knew this store as G. & S. Or, “the dry goods store.” Merriam-Webster has two definitions of dry goods :

1 : grocery items (such as tobacco, sugar, flour, and coffee) that do not contain liquid

2 : textiles, ready-to-wear clothing, and notions as distinguished especially from hardware and groceries
I think it’s no. 2 that fits G. & S.

The earliest reference to the store that I can find at Brooklyn Newsstand is a listing in an ad for Congoleum dealers:

[The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 2, 1928.]

Two years later, there’s an ad with a handy location marker:

[The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 7, 1930.]

What I remember of this store (which spanned several storefronts): no shelves, just merchandise in cardboard boxes, with prices written on packages with a grease pencil or Magic Marker. (Let’s be real: it must have been a grease pencil.) I remember things like dish towels and white tee-shirts and household chemicals. Lysol, maybe. Maybe Eveready batteries? I don’t know — because I was a kid, not someone taking notes for a blog post.

[G. & S. Department Store, 4806–14 New Utrecht Avenue, Brooklyn, c. 1939–1941. From the NYC Municipal Archives Collections. Click either image for a larger view. And notice the “Floor Covering Dept.” signage in the second photograph.]

My brother Brian says that G. & S. stood for “Gary and Son.” I think I remember our dad once imparting that bit of Brooklyn fact. (He was just the kind of guy who’d be willing to ask a store clerk.) At some point the store became G. & Sons. That name appears in this 1963 advertisement:

[Kings Courier, June 15, 1963. Click for a larger view.]

You can see a G. & Sons sign in this c. 1983–1988 tax photo. The storefront later housed a National Wholesale Liquidators outlet, followed by Albert & Sons. Google Maps shows that Albert was gone by 2017. A 2021 Google Maps photograph shows this office building still under construction, with an Amazing Savings store on the ground floor. Notice that the illustration is careful to obscure the presence of the El overhead.

Thanks, Brian.

Related posts
More photographs from the NYC Municipal Archives

[If you’d like to go down the Congoluem rabbit-hole: you’ve been warned.]

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Miller White Life?

A charitable explanation would be that Mary Miller (R, IL-15) flubbed her script. Anyone can make a mistake, and the speaker here is dumber than a box of rocks. Given the tenor of her remarks about the city of Chicago, “white life” might be a Freudian slip (the quiet part out loud). Whatever. It would be a shame if this glaring moment were to go unnoticed. It hasn’t.

Mary Miller is a disgrace to her district, her state, her party, her country, and the universe. Here’s a Chicago Tribune article that recounts various Miller missteps, beginning with “Hitler was right on one thing” and ending with “white life.”


The official explanation, from a campaign spokesman (because Miller never takes questions from the press): “a mix-up of words.” And: “Her campaign noted that she is the grandmother of several nonwhite grandchildren, including one with Down syndrome.” White being, for Miller and company, the default setting.

Miller also referred in her remarks to “global elites.” And we know what that coded language signals.

Related reading
All OCA Mary Miller posts (Pinboard)

[Post title with apologies to a venerable name in beer.]

Feeding kids

Alexandra Petri has a satiric piece in The Washington Post: “We must protect life from conception until the moment of birth!”

It’s no surprise to me to learn that Mary Miller (R, IL-15) is one of just forty-two members of the House of Representatives who voted on Thursday against the Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022, created to help fund meal programs throughout the year. Miller is zealous about prohibiting abortion and allowing unlimited access to weapons. Not so zealous about feeding children.

One detail: the bill is meant to

extend flexibilities for summer meals in 2022. This will make it easier to feed all students during the summer months, particularly those in rural areas, through flexible options like meal delivery and grab-and-go. [My emphasis.]
Rodney Davis, Miller’s opponent in the Republican primary, voted for this bill. Friends who tell me that there’s no difference between Davis and Miller, that it’s a mistake to cross over to vote in the Republican primary: you’re wrong.

Related reading
All OCA Mary Miller posts (Pinboard)

[Miller holds a super-spreader event — I mean a campaign rally with a defeated former president today.]

Today’s Saturday Stumper

I’ve read Ben Zimmer’s prose many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crossword puzzle by him before today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper. It’s a good puzzle, relatively easy with toughies here and there. I began with 13-D, eight letters, “Groups inspired by pop-punk” and 20-A, five letters, “Rome’s ____-Shelley Memorial House,” and never had to look back.

Some clue-and-answer pairs of note:

1-A, nine letters, “Non-stretchy attire rarely worn on Zoom calls.” A delightful start. But rarely ? Really? I learned this amusing term only recently and am grateful to know what I have been wearing on and off Zoom calls.

1-D, six letters, “Scouts, often.” Noun? Verb? This clue gave me more trouble than it was probably meant to.

8-D, seven letters, “Mega-selling action figures of the ’90s.” Oh, yes, I remember them.

15-A, nine letters, “Settled.” This ambigious clue had me stuck for a bit.

17-A, nine letters, “Emotional fulfillment guide written long, long ago.” Pretty decorous.

35-D, eight letters, “Ticket stubs, menus, etc.” I love such stuff.

39-D, seven letters, “Trademark for wearable Teflon.” Somehow “wearable Teflon” doesn’t sound nearly as cool.

43-D, six letters, “Originally, to adjust a musical instrument.” Huh.

49-D, four letters, “Metaphorical concession.” Pleasantly defamiliarizing.

55-A, nine letters, “‘That’ll never happen again.’” Colloquial clue, colloquial answer.

60-A, nine letters, “Orthodontist's palatal appliances.” BITEPLATES won’t fit. Need more room!

No spoilers; the answers are in the comments.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Excerpts from a dissent

Excerpts from the dissent filed by Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization :

For half a century, Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992), have protected the liberty and equality of women. Roe held, and Casey reaffirmed, that the Constitution safeguards a woman’s right to decide for herself whether to bear a child. Roe held, and Casey reaffirmed, that in the first stages of pregnancy, the government could not make that choice for women. The government could not control a woman’s body or the course of a woman’s life: It could not determine what the woman’s future would be. See Casey, 505 U. S., at 853; Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U. S. 124, 171–172 (2007) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting). Respecting a woman as an autonomous being, and granting her full equality, meant giving her substantial choice over this most personal and most consequential of all life decisions.


As of today, this Court holds, a State can always force a woman to give birth, prohibiting even the earliest abortions. A State can thus transform what, when freely undertaken, is a wonder into what, when forced, may be a nightmare.


The lone rationale for what the majority does today is that the right to elect an abortion is not “deeply rooted in history”: Not until Roe, the majority argues, did people think abortion fell within the Constitution’s guarantee of liberty. Ante, at 32. The same could be said, though, of most of the rights the majority claims it is not tampering with. The majority could write just as long an opinion showing, for example, that until the mid-20th century, “there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain [contraceptives].” Ante, at 15. So one of two things must be true. Either the majority does not really believe in its own reasoning. Or if it does, all rights that have no history stretching back to the mid-19th century are insecure. Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat. It is one or the other.


In 1868, the first wave of American feminists were explicitly told — of course by men — that it was not their time to seek constitutional protections. (Women would not get even the vote for another half-century.) To be sure, most women in 1868 also had a foreshortened view of their rights: If most men could not then imagine giving women control over their bodies, most women could not imagine having that kind of autonomy. But that takes away nothing from the core point. Those responsible for the original Constitution, including the Fourteenth Amendment, did not perceive women as equals, and did not recognize women’s rights. When the majority says that we must read our foundational charter as viewed at the time of ratification (except that we may also check it against the Dark Ages), it consigns women to second-class citizenship.


The Fourteenth Amendment’s ratifiers did not think it gave black and white people a right to marry each other. To the contrary, contemporaneous practice deemed that act quite as unprotected as abortion. Yet the Court in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1 (1967), read the Fourteenth Amendment to embrace the Lovings’ union. If, Obergefell explained, “rights were defined by who exercised them in the past, then received practices could serve as their own continued justification” — even when they conflict with “liberty” and “equality” as later and more broadly understood. 576 U. S., at 671. The Constitution does not freeze for all time the original view of what those rights guarantee, or how they apply.


As a matter of constitutional substance, the majority’s opinion has all the flaws its method would suggest. Because laws in 1868 deprived women of any control over their bodies, the majority approves States doing so today. Because those laws prevented women from charting the course of their own lives, the majority says States can do the same again. Because in 1868, the government could tell a pregnant woman — even in the first days of her pregnancy — that she could do nothing but bear a child, it can once more impose that command. Today’s decision strips women of agency over what even the majority agrees is a contested and contestable moral issue. It forces her to carry out the State’s will, whatever the circumstances and whatever the harm it will wreak on her and her family. In the Fourteenth Amendment’s terms, it takes away her liberty.


After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. The majority accomplishes that result without so much as considering how women have relied on the right to choose or what it means to take that right away. The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision.


With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent.
The full decision is here.

Back to 1868

From the New York Times’s annotated text of today’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade:

The crux of Justice Alito’s legal rationale is that the 14th Amendment’s protections of freedoms that are not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution must be limited to those rights that were understood to exist deep in the country’s history — especially around 1868, when that amendment was ratified. This is an example of “originalism,” in contrast to the more liberal interpretative method that views the Constitution as a living document whose meaning can evolve with society.
And yes, “Thomas’s concurring opinion raises questions about what rights might be next.”

Today is a dark day for freedom and dignity.

Two more posts on Alito’s thinking
“Indefensible” : Rights and wrongs, old and new

“Once upon a time”

One of the great beginnings.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).

The Four Seasons Reading Club, our household’s two-person adventure in reading, is about to engage in some heavy lifting: Ulysses begins today.

Related reading
All OCA Joyce posts (Pinboard)

[Geen : not a typo. The song is “Lilly Dale,” by H.S. Thompson. Here are the lyrics. And here are two recordings. Whoever sings to young Stephen Dedalus changes grave to place.]

Our tube

Edd Byrnes, Farley Granger, and David Groh, all in the Murder, She Wrote episode “How to Make a Killing Without Really Trying” (February 4, 1990). Familiar faces in new arrangements: one of the pleasures of television. See also these arrangments.

[Byrnes, best known as Kookie from 77 Sunset Strip; Groh, best known as Joe Girard from Rhoda.]

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Supreme inconsistency

Cross my heart — this is exactly the point I made about three hours ago as Elaine and I were pulling into a Walgreen’s parking lot.

[I call anticipatory plagiarism.]

Netizen Trump

“You guys may not be following the Internet the way I do”: Donald Trump, pushing his Department of Justice to investigate a conspiracy theory about Italian satellites changing votes for him to votes for Joe Biden.

Members, plural

Liz Cheney just dropped a bombshell, I think: at the end of today’s hearing of the January 6 committee, the committee will show videotaped depositions in which White House staff identify the members of Congress — members, plural — who requested pardons after January 6.


And they were: Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Scott Perry.

EXchange names on the screen

[From Dial Red 0 (dir. Daniel B. Ullman, 1955). Click for a larger page.]

It makes sense that a movie that opens with a shot of a telephone directory would at some point have a look inside.

Why do columns of directory text fill the screen in old movies? I think such shots provide a low-grade reality effect. It’s not enough to show a character opening a telephone directory; we must see what the character sees. And what the character sees is somehow real: even a fictional telephone directory is in some way a work of non-fiction.

NOrmandy was a real exchange name. In Los Angeles, the exchange may have been NOrmandie. So spelled, that’s a Los Angeles street name.

More telephone EXchange names on screen
Act of Violence : The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse : Armored Car Robbery : Baby Face : Black Angel : Black Widow : Blast of Silence : The Blue Dahlia : Blue Gardenia : Boardwalk Empire : Born Yesterday : The Brasher Doubloon : The Brothers Rico : The Case Against Brooklyn : Chinatown : Craig’s Wife : Danger Zone : The Dark Corner : Dark Passage : Deception : Deux hommes dans Manhattan : Dick Tracy’s Deception : Down Three Dark Streets : Dream House : East Side, West Side : Escape in the Fog : Fallen Angel : Framed : Hollywood Story : Kiss of Death : The Little Giant : Loophole : The Man Who Cheated Himself : Modern Marvels : Murder by Contract : Murder, My Sweet : My Week with Marilyn : Naked City (1) : Naked City (2) : Naked City (3) : Naked City (4) : Naked City (5) : Naked City (6) : Naked City (7) : Naked City (8) : Naked City (9) : Nightfall : Nightmare Alley : Nocturne : Old Acquaintance : Out of the Past : Perry Mason : Pitfall : The Public Enemy : Railroaded! : Red Light : Side Street : The Slender Thread : Slightly Scarlet : Stage Fright : Sweet Smell of Success (1) : Sweet Smell of Success (2) : Tension : Till the End of Time : This Gun for Hire : The Unfaithful : Vice Squad : Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

OED life

“We’re in trouble if the language ends, and not just professionally”: Fiona McPherson, a lexicographer at the Oxford English Dictionary (New Statesman ). This visit to the OED offices includes astirbroad, burner phone, and what the what.

Related reading
All OCA dictionary posts (Pinboard)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

“Don’t blame the intern”

Monica Lewinsky to Ron Johnson: “dude. don’t blame the intern.” Well played!

I wanted to post the tweet, but the embedded video won’t play here: it goes to Twitter instead. So if you want to see Ron Johnson passing the buck, follow the link to Twitter.

Eleven movies, one season

[One to four stars. Four sentences each. No spoilers. Sources: Criterion Channel, HBO Max, PBS, TCM, YouTube.]

From the Criterion Channel’s Terence Davies / A Retrospective

A trilogy
Children (1976). Snapshots of the artist as a boy and a young man. The boy, Robert Tucker (Phillip Mawdsley), a Davies alter-ego, is small, gay, diffident, alienated, a silent observer and the target of bullies. His home life is made miserable by a tyrannical father, soon to die. The boy become man (Robin Hooper) sits, thinks, collects photos of professional wrestlers, and takes pills for depression. These sentences do nothing to capture Davies’s ability to weave past and present into a cloak of sorrow and torment. ★★★★

Madonna and Child (1980). An older Robert Tucker (Terry O’Sullivan) lives with and cares for his mother (Sheila Raynor), works in an office, eats lunch alone, sneaks out at night for furtive meetings with men, and goes to confession. There is no plot unfolding here, only an arrangement of brief, sometimes cryptic scenes. Curious: such movies always seem to me much longer than they are (this one is barely twenty-seven minutes). I think that this trilogy must have influenced Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory: the shower scene in Children and the scene in this film of Robert sitting with his mother as she drinks cocoa seem to me likely points of connection. ★★★★

Death and Transfiguration (1983). “Oh, Mum, what would I do without you?” The death of his mother leaves Robert Tucker (Terry O’Sullivan) bereft. But we see him here also as a boy (Iain Munro) and as an old man, dying in hospital. Startling to me, and no doubt meant to be startling: the old Robert, death rattle and all, is played by Wilfrid Brambell, the “clean old man” (Paul’s grandfather) of A Hard Day’s Night. ★★★★

[I wonder if this final part of the trilogy influenced the Frasier episode “Rooms with a View,” which shifts unpredictably between present, past, and future in a hospital.]

Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988). Another autobiographical film, with glimpses of a family’s life in Liverpool in WWII and after: a brutal father (Pete Postelthwaite), a bullied mother (Freda Dowie), two daughters (Lorraine Ashbourne, Angela Walsh), and a son (Dean Williams). It’s painful to see the daughters choosing husbands who carry the tradition of domestic violence into the next generation. It’s painful to see the son weeping after his wedding (we’re invited to wonder why). Amid all the pain of life, there’s music, in the form of countless popular favorites sung, sometimes as solos, sometimes all together, in parlors and pubs: “They tried to sell us egg foo yung!” ★★★★


Dial Red 0 (dir. Daniel B. Ullman, 1955). A veteran escapes from a psychiatric hospital to confront his wife about her decision to divorce him. When she’s murdered, he becomes the main suspect. Improbable but surprisingly good. The only actor I recognized in the cast: Jack Kruschen, the helpful Dr. Dreyfuss from The Apartment. ★★★ (YT)


Fear No More (dir. Bernard Wiesen, 1961). Overtones of The Lady Vanishes, Vertigo, and North by Northwest, with a scheme to frame loyal secretary Sharon Carlin (Mala Powers) for a murder on a train. As Elaine observed, this movie also looks forward to Carnival of Souls, with a young woman caught in an unintelligible nightmarish world. Jacques Bergerac (Gigi) is Sharon’s sidekick; John Harding is a sleek villain. Strange and scary. ★★★ (YT)


Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (dir. Brent Wilson, 2021). There’s little here that will surprise anyone knowledgeable about Brian Wilson and his music: we see Brian riding in a car driven by journalist Jason Fine (with whom he is said to feel comfortable), giving short, often familiar answers to leading questions (e.g., declaring that the next big project will be a rock ’n’ roll album, something Brian has been talking about for many years). A series of musical personalities extol the goodness of Brian’s music, heartfelt (the late Taylor Hawkins) or blathering (Don Was, likening to keyboard fingerings of “California Girls” to Mozart’s string quartets). The most affecting moment: Brian silently taking in the news that one-time Beach Boys manager and occasional lyricist Jack Rieley died in 2015. My main takeaway from this documentary: just how difficult it must be to be Brian Wilson, and to persist. ★★★ (PBS)

[A much better look at BW: Brian Wilson: I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times (dir. Don Was (!), 1995).]


The Last Picture Show (dir. Peter Bogdanovich, 1971). As it began, I said aloud, “It’s just like _______”: a nearby town where there’s no longer any there. In 1950s Anarene, Texas, people pair off in various partnerships because, face it, there’s not much else to do. A great, bleak, funny film about what it means to be of — and stuck in — a place, with echoes of Rebel Without a Cause and Splendor in the Grass. The cast includes Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Ellen Burstyn, Cloris Leachman, and Cybill Shepherd. ★★★★ (CC)


Illegal Entry (dir. Frederick De Cordova, 1949). Crossing the border, yes, but by plane, and that’s where Howard Duff comes in, as Bert Powers, an unemployed pilot working undercover to crack a smuggling outfit. Paul Stewart is an arrogant villain; Märta Torén is a cafe owner whose life is complicated. Brief appearances by official-looking men and brief voiceovers add a semi-documentary veneer. A so-so movie that would be more enjoyable in a print that would show off William H. Daniels’s cinematography. ★★ (YT)


Hacks (created by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky, 2022). I just read the sentences that I wrote about the first season, and I think they offer a fair description of this second season. There’s more attention given to the lives of the secondary characters, and genuinely funny non-cringeworthy material as Deborah Vance’s (Jean Smart) new stand-up set takes shape. Vance’s relationship with her young writer, Ava (Hannah Einbinder) continues to be a real-life theater of cruelty. Fun one-off appearances by and Susie Essman and Harriet Sansom Harris, and a downright scary appearance by what looks like an animatronic model of Wayne Newton. ★★★★ (HBO Max)


Thieves’ Highway (dir. Jules Dassin, 1949). Richard Conte is Nick Garcos, truckdriver and son of a truckdriver, looking to get even with Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb), the crooked produce dealer whose schemes left Nick’s father without his legs. A great cast, with Valentina Cortese as a sometimes trustworthy prostitute, Millard Mitchell as a sometimes trustworthy trucker, and Jack Oakie and Joseph Pevney as comic relief. It’s the only film I’ve ever seen that I’ve imagined as a post-war European film with subtitles: does that make it American neo-realism? The only weak point is the ending, a little too moralizing, a little too pat. ★★★★ (TCM)


How They Got Over: Gospel Quartets and the Road to Rock ’n’ Roll (dir. Robert Clem, 2018). Getting over: moving an audience. This documentary will move even the most secular viewer to something like religious ecstasy. Brief bits of knowledgeable historical commentary, longer comments from singers themselves, and numerous archival performances, many of them complete (thank you, director, for your good judgment). With performances the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and more. ★★★★ (TCM)

[A performance that appears in the film.]

Related reading
All OCA movie posts (Pinboard)

Sluggo’s singular they

[Nancy, August 20, 1949. Click for a larger view.]

Today’s yesterday’s Nancy has a nice instance of singular they.

Related reading
A handful of OCA posts about singular they (Pinboard)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

“But he targeted me”

Ruby Freeman, in taped testimony for the January 6 committee. Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, who testified today, were election workers in Georgia and the target of attacks by Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani:

“There is nowhere I feel safe, nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small-business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen, who’d stand up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”
As Freeman also said in taped testimony, “I can’t believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family.”

Freeman’s testimony and her daughter’s testimony, like Rusty Bowers’s testimony, was beyond compelling. The damage Trump and his allies do to our democracy and to individual emotional well-being is ongoing and incalculable.

Theories and evidence

“We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence”: an apparently Rudy Giuliani to Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), as Bowers ecounted the conversation earlier today. I was listening to the January 6 hearing while driving.

Bowers’s testimony was beyond compelling. The members of this committee know what they’re doing.

[“An apparently Rudy Giuliani”: not a typo, just a novelty.]

Eggs ’n’ acid

A brilliant way to improve scrambled eggs: whisk a small amount of Dijon mustard with the eggs. More flavor!

But also: better texture. It’s science. From Samin Nosrat, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking (2017):

Acid encourages the proteins in an egg white to assemble, or coagulate, more quickly but less densely than they otherwise would. Under normal conditions, strands of egg proteins unravel and tighten when heated. As they do, the strands squeeze out water, causing eggs to toughen and dry out. Acid draws egg proteins together before they can unravel, which inhibits them from joining too closely. A few secret drops of lemon juice will produce creamier, more tender scrambled eggs. For perfect poached eggs, add a capful of vinegar into boiling water to help speed up coagulation of the white and strengthen the outer texture, while preserving the runny yolk.

Acid aids in stabilizing whipped egg whites by encouraging more, finer air pockets, helping to increase the volume of the egg white foam. Though cream of tartar — a by-product of wine-making — is the form of acid traditionally added to egg whites as they’re whipped for meringues, cakes, and soufflés, a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice per egg white will yield a similar result.
Nosrat doesn’t mention mustard. But yes, mustard is acidic.

Thanks, Ben, for better scrambled eggs.

[I’ve followed the title on the book’s cover, which differs from the Library of Congress version inside.]

Append reddit

“One of the most-used tools on the internet is not what it used to be”: Charlie Warzel, “The Open Secret of Google Search” (The Atlantic ).

A suggestion therein: append reddit to any Google search to generate better results.

[No mention of other search engines in this piece.]

Monday, June 20, 2022


If you have a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with a so-called butterfly keyboard, you may noticee one or more keeys repeating, always or intermitteently. For months I have had the problem with my MacBook Air’s e key, as I just demonstrated. Elaine has had thee proobleem, always, with thee e and oo keys. Such problems make typing a ridiculously frustrating effort. Hey, Apple: a functioning keyboard should have always been a given. (Not a giveen.)

There’s an app that solves repeating key problems: Xinhong (Sam) Liu’s Unshaky. Unlike compressed air (often recommended for keyboard woes), Unshaky is free. And unlike compressed air, it solves the repeating-key problem. I set a delay of 80 milliseconds for my e key and and can once again make just my own misteaks.

Anyone using a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with a butterfly keyboard — here’s a list of models — should know about Unshaky. I only wish I had known about it sooner. My gratitude to Sam Liu is immense.

Related reading
All OCA Mac posts (Pinboard)

[In just two days, Unshaky has corrected 116 double-letter presses.]

A pocket notebook sighting

[From A Foreign Affair (dir. Billy Wilder, 1948). Click for a larger view.]

Jean Arthur as Phoebe Frost is a serious member of Congress abroad in post-war Berlin. Arthur was last seen in these pages holding a pencil.

A Foreign Affair is now streaming at the Criterion Channel.

More notebook sightings
All the King’s Men : Angels with Dirty Faces : The Bad and the Beautiful : Ball of Fire : The Big Clock : Bombshell : The Brasher Doubloon : The Case of the Howling Dog : Cat People : Caught : City Girl : Crossing Delancey : Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne : Dead End : Deep Valley : The Devil and Miss Jones : Dragnet : Extras : Eyes in the Night : The Face Behind the Mask : Foreign Correspondent : Fury : Homicide : The Honeymooners : The House on 92nd Street : I See a Dark Stranger : Journal d’un curé de campagne : Kid Glove Killer : The Last Laugh : Le Million : The Lodger : M : Ministry of Fear : Mr. Holmes : Murder at the Vanities : Murder by Contract : Murder, Inc. : The Mystery of the Wax Museum : Naked City : The Naked Edge : Now, Voyager : The Palm Beach Story : Perry Mason : Pickpocket : Pickup on South Street : Pushover : Quai des Orfèvres : The Racket : Railroaded! : Red-Headed Woman : Rififi : La roue : Route 66The Scarlet Claw : Sleeping Car to Trieste : The Small Back Room : The Sopranos : Spellbound : Stage Fright : State Fair : A Stranger in Town : Stranger Things : Sweet Smell of Success : Time Table : T-Men : To the Ends of the Earth : 20th Century Women : Union Station : Vice Squad : Walk East on Beacon! : Where the Sidewalk Ends : The Woman in the Window : You Only Live Once : Young and Innocent

Sunday, June 19, 2022


There’s still no stamp. But there is a flag, designed by Ben Haith. And an explanation.

[Click for a larger image.]

The nineteenth is Juneteenth.

Previous posts on this day
From Ralph Ellison’s Juneteenth : Eugene Robinson on Juneteenth

Father’s Day

[My dad, James Leddy, not yet a dad, in Florida, 1954. Photo by my mom, Louise Leddy, not yet a mom. Click for a larger view.]

Happy Father’s Day to all.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

J. Michael Luttig, speaking

Retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig has explained why he spoke so slowly at Thursday’s hearing of the January 6 committee.

Watching the hearing, I immediately got my snark on and made a ill-considered post associating Luttig with the Bob and Ray character Harlow P. Whitcomb. When it occurred to me — not long after — that someone might be speaking exceedingly slowly for any number of reasons, I reconsidered my snark and deleted.

It turns out that there’s no health-related or neurological reason for Luttig’s slow speaking. Read his account: it might surprise you.

No, years

[The New York Times, June 18, 2022.]

Someone near and dear to me would like to call attention to the plain truth: many parents have been waiting not months but years for these vaccines.


Mark Shields (1937–2022)

From the New York Times obituary:

Of President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Shields said dismissively that “the toughest thing he’s ever done was to ask Republicans to vote for a tax cut.” The House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was “an invertebrate”; Senator Lindsey Graham made Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s loyal sidekick, “look like an independent spirit.” In both major parties, he said, too many are afflicted with “the Rolex gene” — making them money-hungry caterers to the wealthy.
I listened to and learned from Mark Shields for years on the PBS NewsHour. I always liked the way he prefaced so many of his responses to Judy Woodruff’s questions with her first name: one person talking to another.

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper, another 2012 rerun while Stan Newman, the puzzle’s editor, is on vacation, is a “Lester Ruff” creation — an easier Stumper by Stan. This one is indeed less rough. If two-letter answers were permitted, I’d say it was E-Z. I suspect that next Saturday’s puzzle, when Stan has returned, will be gloriously difficult.

Some clue-and-answer pairs of note:

16-A, six letters, “Swindle.” I did not know this meaning.

17-A, eight letters, “Twitter message.” Very nice, and the final four letters are something of a tossup.

28-D, five letters, “Common sense.” Ha.

40-A, eight letters, “That’s Not All, Folks! autobiographer.” A friendly giveaway.

41-D, seven letters, “Cornmeal product.” Pairs amusingly with 55-A.

43-A, five letters, “Rule material.” I thought Oh, it has to be _____, and it is, but I’m still not sure I understood the clue correctly.

47-D, six letters, “Zealot.” Well-suited to our times.

49-D, six letters, “Foul.” It’s a good thing I’m reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I knew the answer right away.

55-A, seven letters, “British toast.” Pairs amusingly with 41-D.

No spoilers; the answers are in the comments.


Underway, the Oxford Dictionary of African American English. From Henry Louis Gates Jr., the editor-in-chief:

Every speaker of American English borrows heavily from words invented by African Americans, whether they know it or not. Words with African origins such as ‘goober,’ ‘gumbo’ and ‘okra’ survived the Middle Passage along with our African ancestors. And words that we take for granted today, such as ‘cool’ and ‘crib,’ ‘hokum’ and ‘diss,’ ‘hip’ and ‘hep,’ ‘bad,’ meaning ‘good,’ and ‘dig,’ meaning ‘to understand’ — these are just a tiny fraction of the words that have come into American English from African American speakers, neologisms that emerged out of the Black Experience in this country, over the last few hundred years.
To appear in 2025.

Related reading
All OCA dictionary posts (Pinboard)

Friday, June 17, 2022

An EXchange name sighting

[From Black Angel (dir. Roy William Neill, 1946). Click for a larger view.]

I can’t remember the last time I saw a matchbook in the wild (next to the cash register, say, on a counter in a candy store). But I always remember when I see a matchbook filling the screen.

The movie is set in Los Angeles, and CRestview was indeed a Los Angeles telephone exchange.

More telephone EXchange names on screen
Act of Violence : The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse : Armored Car Robbery : Baby Face : Black Widow : Blast of Silence : The Blue Dahlia : Blue Gardenia : Boardwalk Empire : Born Yesterday : The Brasher Doubloon : The Brothers Rico : The Case Against Brooklyn : Chinatown : Craig’s Wife : Danger Zone : The Dark Corner : Dark Passage : Deception : Deux hommes dans Manhattan : Dick Tracy’s Deception : Down Three Dark Streets : Dream House : East Side, West Side : Escape in the Fog : Fallen Angel : Framed : Hollywood Story : Kiss of Death : The Little Giant : Loophole : The Man Who Cheated Himself : Modern Marvels : Murder by Contract : Murder, My Sweet : My Week with Marilyn : Naked City (1) : Naked City (2) : Naked City (3) : Naked City (4) : Naked City (5) : Naked City (6) : Naked City (7) : Naked City (8) : Naked City (9) : Nightfall : Nightmare Alley : Nocturne : Old Acquaintance : Out of the Past : Perry Mason : Pitfall : The Public Enemy : Railroaded! : Red Light : Side Street : The Slender Thread : Slightly Scarlet : Stage Fright : Sweet Smell of Success (1) : Sweet Smell of Success (2) : Tension : Till the End of Time : This Gun for Hire : The Unfaithful : Vice Squad : Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Domestic comedy

“That house was already mid-century modern; then they renovated it to make it look even more mid-century modern. I guess now it’s mid-century postmodern.”

Related reading
All OCA domestic comedy posts (Pinboard)

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Missing posts

For some reason, two Bloomsday posts today never made it to my RSS, The Old Reader. I don’t know about other services. So just in case, here they are: “Fellows of the right kidney” and How to enjoy Ulysses.

“A clear and present danger”

Retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig, at today’s hearing of the January 6 committee:

“I have written . . . that today, almost two years after that fateful day in January 2021, that still, Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy. That’s not because of what happened on January 6. It’s because to this very day the former president, his allies, and supporters pledge that in the presidential election of 2024, if the former president or his anointed successor as the Republican Party presidential candidate were to lose that election, that they would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election, but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020.”
These comments look back to an opinion piece that Luttig wrote earlier this year: “The Conservative Case for Avoiding a Repeat of January 6” (The New York Times ).

The pardon list

“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works”: John Eastman, in an e-mail to Rudy Giuliani.

He didn’t make it.

Clarence to Ginni to John?

Yet another revelation that everything was/is even worse than it had appeared. From The New York Times:

A lawyer advising [John Eastman] President Donald J. Trump claimed in an email after Election Day 2020 to have insight into a “heated fight” among the Supreme Court justices over whether to hear arguments about the president’s efforts to overturn his defeat at the polls, two people briefed on the email said. . . .

Mr. Eastman’s email, if taken at face value, raised the question of how he would have known about internal tension among the justices about dealing with election cases. Mr. Eastman had been a clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.
And as the Times notes, Eastman and Virginia Thomas had been exchanging e-mails.

Notice too the threat of calculated chaos that supported the scheme to challenge election results in the Supreme Court: “Be there, will be wild!” Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. And then a pro-Trump lawyer to Eastman, circa December 24: “odds of action before Jan. 6 will become more favorable if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way.”

[Post title: after “Tinker to Evans to Chance.”]

How to enjoy Ulysses

From Random House, 1934, an advertisement: “How to enjoy James Joyce’s great novel Ulysses (Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin).

Related reading
All OCA Joyce posts (Pinboard)

[The Ransom Center files this advertisement under “Indecent Behavior — Sexuality, Gender, and Transgression.”]

Bloomsday 2022

Stephen Dedalus closes his eyes as he walks with his father Simon:

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).

Thursday, June 16, 1904. The day begins:

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922).

Bloom is indeed a fellow of the right kidney. The left too. But Simon Dedalus could never have imagined his son in the company of Mr. Bloom.

I have to grant that the kidney bit is almost certainly no more than coincidence. But if Hugh Kenner can make meaning of his car’s odometer reading on Bloomsday, I’m entitled to this kidney connection.

Related reading
All OCA Bloomsday posts

[Bloomsday : “the 16th of June 1904. Also: the 16th of June of any year, on which celebrations take place, esp. in Ireland, to mark the anniversary of the events in Joyce’s Ulysses” (Oxford English Dictionary ). Stephen’s closing his eyes as he walks already prefigures the Proteus episode of Ulysses.]

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Vanishing pencils

From the Lou Grant episode “Hunger” (March 1, 1982). Animal (Daryl Anderson) talks with Lou (Ed Asner) and Art (Jack Bannon):

Animal: “Hey, we have another memo from the eighth floor.”

Lou: “Hot dog.”

Animal: “How’s this for an arresting opening line: ‘Where have all the pencils gone?’”

Lou: “Hey, that’s kind of lyrical.”

Art reads: “Pencils are vanishing at the rate of one hundred per day at the Tribune. Are people taking them home, tossing them in the trash, or eating them for lunch? They certainly aren’t wearing them out at work. Please conserve. The Tribune management.”

Lou: “Isn’t Mrs. Pynchon wasting a lot of energy on this conservation campaign?”

Art: “Hey, pencils disappear. That’s their style. They like to vanish.”
Animal: “I’m gonna buy my own pencils. You can get seconds from the pencil company. A whole cigar box full’ll cost you seven bucks. I got some one time. The writing said ‘Knowledge Is Power.’ ‘Knowledge’ was spelled wrong.”

Lou: “Get me some, okay?”

Animal: “Sure. Hey, who needs the Trib’s pencils?”

[He picks up a pencil, snaps it, and tosses the halves.]

Art: “Atta boy. Gesture of defiance with my property.”
Wasted pencils: a light variation on the theme of wasted food running through the episode.

Other Lou Grant posts
HB, or no. 2 : Lost LA : Lou’s who : Visitors to the newsroom

“On Point”

In Salt Lake City, the debut of “On Point,” a fifteen-foot pencil sculpture made from an old utility pole.

See also these pencil sculptures, twelve and sixteen feet.

Related reading
All OCA pencil posts (Pinboard)

[Yes, the eraser is way too big.]


[“Capping Things Off.” Zippy, June 15, 2022. Click for a larger view.]

I am happy that I never got around to reading that book, written, Griffy says, by “a guy who called Trump an ‘idiot’ in 2016 and now genuflects before him.”

Related reading
All OCA Zippy posts (Pinboard)

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


From the Lou Grant episode “Jazz” (January 4, 1982). Rossi (Robert Walden) is trying to reunite a long-disbanded jazz quartet, three of whose members are played by real musicians: Louie Bellson, Ray Brown, and Joe Williams. Shades of Route 66 !

It turns out that nearly everyone in the newsroom is a jazz fan, and several are musicians. Who knew? Art (Jack Bannon) played trumpet; Charlie (Mason Adams) studied clarinet; Rossi (Robert Walden) played bass. Grouchy Lou (Ed Asner) has no interest. “Why don’t all you cats bring your instruments in, and we’ll jam after deadline? Solid!” he sneers.

Not long after, Art, Charlie, Rossi, and Billie (Linda Kersey) are looking at a record catalog.

Art: “Basically a big band catalog, but there’s some real collector’s items in it.”

Charlie: “Look at all that Ellington.”

Rossi: “Wow — Stan Kenton, This Modern World, City of Glass.”

Billie: “Let me know when you get to June Christy.”
And Animal (Daryl Anderson) leans over from Lou’s desk: “They got any Zoot Sims?”

And Lou sneers again. He’s strictly an L7. When Rossi mentions the disbanded quartet’s classic recording of “Summertime,” Lou fondly recalls the McGuire Sisters. Ahh, “Summertime.” But that’s the wrong time. Some pretty clever writing there.

Related reading
All OCA jazz posts (Pinboard)

“Like Shakespeare’s”

Martin Cunningham is just the man to help Tom Kernan reform his life:

James Joyce, “Grace,” in Dubliners (1914).

Leopold Bloom is or will be one of those friends. From Ulysses (1922): “Sympathetic human man he is. Intelligent. Like Shakespeare’s face.”

Related reading
All OCA Joyce posts (Pinboard)