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June 2007

HOW HARRY POTTER ENDS (a repeat blog)

By special request (Paul L’s), in honor of the soon to be released novel of the century, we’re reprising last year’s prophetic blog:

HOW HARRY POTTER ENDSDon’t ask us how we know, but we know the most carefully guarded secret since George Bush met with Osama Bin Laden to plot 9/11: the ending to the Harry Potter series. Promise you won’t tell anyone, because we could get in a lot of trouble for this. Anyway:

As expected, Harry fights a climactic battle with Voldemort, a spectacular duel that plunges the pair into secret caves at the bottom of the Hogwarts lake, sends them soaring into the stratosphere where all is blue violet and twinkling stars, and summons legions of demons and good spirits from ancient millennia, in a pitched battle for the soul of Earth.Deep in a dark and phantom woods, Harry and Voldemort are thrust into solitary confrontation by unseen forces. Face to face, inches apart in the swirling mists, both strike with equal force, speed, and timing. Their wands, sparking and hissing, lock in a moment of frozen eternity, an eternity so cold that snow falls and birds drop from the sky. Day turns to night, glaciers rise like ghostly steam, crushing the forest, and Harry and Voldemort, locked in kindred hatred, shatter into a million sharp and glittering fragments . . .

Sleep, long and dreamless. Then grogginess, thick and heavy. Slowly Harry wakes to his surroundings: total darkness. The air is close and damp. Harry struggles wildly, lashing out and sending unseen boxes and bags toppling, then calms himself. He reaches out. A doorknob, somehow familiar.Harry opens the door. Light, afternoon, a hallway. Of course. He’s back with the Dursleys. Harry’s heart sinks. He lusts, improbably, for the adrenaline of mortal combat, for his lovely and terrible world of magic. He walks into the kitchen. The Dursleys greet him, coldly, as Harry might expect, but with solemnity. “Harry, we need to talk.”

The Dursleys tell Harry that they’re boarding up his closet. He’s too old for these infantile flights of fancy. They’ve confiscated his wand, and they’re enrolling him in a weight loss program in Swindon.Harry looks down at himself. He’s fat.

“After all, Harry—you are our only son.”Harry remembers. His potent fantasy, his escape from dreary suburban English life and its numbing school system, evaporates.

That night Harry realized that he was a warrior. He was not destined for this world. And if he was banished from the closet under the stairs, he was going to escape by any means necessary.At midnight, Harry smothered himself with his own tear-soaked pillow in the silence of his bedroom.

Or at least he tried. His parents found him gasping for air, and pulled him from his downy pillow’s death-grip. Harry returned to school that September, where he passed his exams. He lost 35 pounds and was rewarded with a ferry ride to Southend On Sea, where he consumed bags of french fries with mayonnaise and several butter tarts.

Also by request, a reprise of our plea for the:HAWKS HOBBY FARM

Dear readers: The Hawks wish to start a hobby farm and restaurant somewhere in L.A. We’re looking for a one acre lot for high density organic gardening and an oversized Victorian house to convert into a restaurant/café/performance space. Perhaps the Adams or South Central area? We’ll grow the food and prepare gourmet meals, including artisanal goat cheese from the goats grazing on the front lawn. We’ll sponsor a farmer’s market (guaranteed organic produce only) and have acoustic music afternoon weekends and evenings, and host special eco events.The South Central farmers got the shaft, but their vision must live on. Every fallow open space in Los Angeles should be fair game for food growing. The City of Los Angeles can sponsor a program to set up irrigation and fencing on empty lots all across this vast housing sprawl.


Not even the seasoned writers at trend-setting country-rock magazine No Depression can tell that much about the boys hiding behind the cryptical name of I See Hawks In L.A. This does not stop them from already making comparisons with Gram Parsons (!).

One thing for sure, though:

This is the best band in the Byrds-genre in a very long time. I have listened to the harsh branch of country-rock, called Americana, for quite some time and I haven’t come across anything like it since Jayhawks put out “Hollywood Townhall” in 1992. Or let me put it this way, since Ryan Adams was good for real, namely the time around “Heartbreaker”.

We get a heavy dose of everything that turned several generations on to a genre created by Gram Parsons, The Byrds and The Band. Irresistable harmonies, an exact yet laid-back country groove, touching lyrics and mood swings and jangling guitars at exactly the right places. No wonder that Chris Hillman, the ex-Byrd, agreed to take part in this record. Hillman, who by the way could be heard on “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo”, is having a fine old time again. You can easily understand why.

The band is also politically aware for real. The homepage reveals a strong political engagement and the songs deal with social conflicts, gamble abuse and panic in Disneyland. Robert Byrd, The Senator of West Virginia, is hailed, among other things for his criticism of the war in Iraq, fully aware of that his intire career as a politician is in danger.

“California Country” is a complete album, the best of its genre right now. Unless this band gets decent distribution in Sweden and Europe, it’s a tragedy.

Jörgen Boman / 2007-05-19


After a fine youth hostel breakfast of big thick blue berry pancakes and mountain eggs we load up and hit the road for Los Angeles. Six days on the road and we’re a gonna make it home tonight.

We aim the Yukon away from the swimming holes and spectacular granite of Yosemite and head down the rolling foot hills of dry yellow grasses, twisting green California oaks tucked into crevices where the water goes. We put on Los Lobos’ “The Town and the City” It blows our minds. David Hidalgo is a heroic guitar player. The arrangements are fantastic. Deep soulful songs. Tones, tones, beautiful tones. Go buy this record. Today.Then we listen to Nina Simone, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Mike Stinson. We listen carefully, we are inspired. It’s been a good tour. California is a big state. Warm audiences in diverse places carried us right along. Every show was different. We even made a little dough. Country road, take us home.


Finally our room is ready. We headed for our little cabin overlooking forest vegetation sloping down to the creek trickling over rocks. We were pretty dazed from the pummeling of our subconscious in our night in the teepee. Thank god, a shower. A hot shower with soap and shampoo borrowed from Paul M, the most prepared and most scrupulously groomed Hawk. Band nap follows and gentle snores rise in the warm summery air of the bunk house.

We rise and make our way up the hill to the Bug multi-purpose room. A wedding reception was held there last night, tonight country rock. One room, many purposes. The modest entry fee includes a trip through the bar-b-que line set up outside beneath the pines. It smells so damn good the Hawks skip greeting new friends and head straight for the grill, grabbing paper plates and plastic forks along the way. Holy moly, PL is going to eat some bbq-ed chicken. There it is right on his plate between the potato salad and corn on the cob. Wow. He’s eating it.

Paul L: Rob has asked me to deliver a first person account of my first fowl since 1982. Actually, I eat turkey at Thanksgiving and emergencies. But this was the first chicken in 25 years. It was good. Very good. But I didn’t develop a craving for more. I’m good. I’ll continue to walk the fowl line.Inside the show has already begun. The music is from the Trespassers, a fine local outfit. Lead by the beautiful and talented Sarah on violin and lead vocals they evoke the wise old spirit of mountain music. Everyone is digging it. This is a real community. Mothers dance with their little children, old folks sit back a bop their heads, teenage girls showoff what they’ve got.

Then it’s our turn. We start off with Hitchhiker and it feels good. The multi-purpose room sounds alright now that it’s filled with people. We finish the tune and the place erupts in applause. This is going to be a good night. We groove along for a while until it becomes clear these folks want to dance. Thank god we’ve been writing so many two-steps lately. In L.A. it seems like having 5 two-steps in G is a serious problem but up here you wish you had even more. The set goes on, the rocking increases, the dance floor gets crowded. Things peak out in an epic Humboldt jam and Paul L actually levitates several inches off the ground. We come back for an encore of Golden Girl, another peak is reached and then we simmer it down with Houseboat. A great show to end the tour on. Talk of a bonfire and after show acoustic jam proves weightless as the deeper night takes hold, Hawks and revelers alike drawn back to hillside cabins and clean sheets. Good night sweet tour.


And yet broke slumber as the 8 a.m. sun crested the ridge.

We are not clean. The earwigs have spared us, but they flee in droves from our blankets as we fold up. Shoes filled with weed stickers and dust, pants stained and a bit stiff, smelly shirts, soiled faces. A brief return to life in the dirt. Not bad, not clean.But hey, the Yukon’s packed, and we stumble down the mountain road back to Mariposa and an adequate breakfast at The Happy Burger Café (One Hawk Star, for atmosphere). Paul M buys Rob a ride on a toy semi for a quarter. It even has a horn and air brakes. How cool. Paul L orders a Belgium Espresso, despite a stonewall from the staff on how it might be constructed. Not bad. And the hot sauce was good.

A retrace mountainward and beyond, through dry forest canyon, and we’re at The Bug, a multi-leveled hostel and cabin complex carved among the steep evergreen slopes. And here we sit, at a very hip Euro flavored café, with wi fi and green tea. Farewell dub, hello, unobtrusive techno. Only the dreads remain constant.



We’re motoring south fast on the 99, noon dry and bright, fast because of a leisurely breakfast at Richie and Katie’s, fast because of a serious error that put us north on the 5, long loop around outer Sacto to get it right. Cell phone word from Carter Ranch Fest kingpin Adam: the Yosemite area CHP hired an extra night shift, which somehow got put on the dayshift, so now there is double the number of MIGs lurking behind billboards and tall trees on the winding road to the Fest. But on 99 we are sailing uninhibited.We’re passing through Manteca, gateway to Modesto, and hometown of Marcus Watkins, here’s a shoutout to Marcus and Party. Marcus, they’re planting vineyards and big boxes where once you threw rocks and M-80’s.

Now we’re in Manteca, or outer Manteca, emergency piss/diarrhea stop at a gleaming new maximallStaplesCostCoJambaJuice BestBuyInNOutBurgerTarget-ensconced Starbucks, and so a continuation of shoutout to Marcus. So many thoughts. Paul L: this is my first time with a laptop in a Starbucks, and it feels very very good. This Starbucks has that same innocence of the Starbucks outside of Salt Lake City. Mantecans are excited, near giddy over this newly arrived sophistication and ambience. I’m soaking it in, come giddiness, suffuse my weary urban soul. It gets better. Someone’s left the full Modesto Bee on a table. Dunk chocolate chip cookie in Zen tea. Life is beyond meaning, and in the realm of the ecstatic. O blind luck, your favor is so fleeting.South, west and upward into very dry brown hills flourishing with oaks, yes, but mighty dry for early June, isn’t it? Now we’re in trees, chaotic post-logging patterns on steep hillocks and far ridges, high Sierras gazing down blue in the distance, winding upward highway with tattered roadside establishments serving the American Outdoor Family since the road was paved and the mules faded into fond memory and local limited printing history books.

We motor through Mariposa, there are indeed CHP in abundance, and we continue our climb, now a dusty side road winding through mini-ranches with ranch style palaces that appear to date from weeks before the great gasoline crisis of ’73, all coated with early summer dust.And here we are, tents in the meadow, dreadlocks, djembes, merchants selling medieval fools caps and tie dye, natural liquids in plastic tubes, dragonflies in silver on silver chains in late afternoon sunglint, and Fighting Chance, prototypical pre-Coachella dub grunge rockers with beefy tatts and stadium stance, rock the meadow and surrounding forested slopes. Welcome to the Carter Ranch Festival, June ’07.

The Hawks meet wise man and festival organizer Adam Finney, wander the grounds, check out the local counterculturisms, the tents, the orange and pointy horned Scottish Highland cattle that the Carters keep as pets (once you’ve named them, you’re not going to slaughter them, points out Papa Carter). We take the stage and the view is great, tilted meadow with festival folks leading the eye upward to the oaks and pines, and the sun is kindly low as we launch into Hope Against Hope, and the crowd is with us all the way. Five for five on audience connection, sweet life for this country rock band. We do a long set and several encores, and the sun is down.

Yes, yes. Navajo tacos, and they’re good, funky fat tortilla and that magic combination of beans, tomato, lettuce and cheese–how can it taste so different? Must be the dry bright air, same as the air of origin, in the Center of the Earth east of Flagstaff. We enjoy the fruits of the earth in their various liquid and more ethereal forms, and decide to go a-wandering, into the hills with Geology Doctress Sara and boyfriend Brandon who have made the drive up from Los Angeles to escape the city for the weekend and celebrate Sara’s successful completion of her qualifying exams. We find a cattle run, deep and dusty narrow trail cut into dry pasture and woods, bounded by two barbed wire fences running up the hill. These fences are old: the barbed wire plunges into a big old oak tree and out the other side? Could this fence be a hundred years old? The run leads us to an upper meadow, dry and brown, and we make movies and have jumping contests on someone’s deserted vacation home deck. Darkness descends and we head back, this time scaring a long horned Highland cow back down the cattle run, his retreat an annoyed and very reluctant one.

Why do cows retreat from humans? Have they learned that you can take one out, but then big trouble follows? There’s a theory that the two whales who made their way to the deep water port of Sacramento were simply returning to ancient form, that they’d always explored fresh water inlets (they’re mammals, at home in fresh or salt water), until the age of whaling taught them to flee signs of human. And now whaling’s almost done, and it’s safe to hang with the humans. Perhaps. And perhaps.In darkness we hang at the Yukon, not sure what to with ourselves, when a sweet to dissonant and back again musical density wafts over our jaded ears and lures us to the wood stage, now festooned with Xmas lights. May we present the second musical revelation of Tourette 07: Madeline Flash, from our very own Los Angeles, indeed Highland Park. Seven dudes, on drums, standup bass, guitars, bass clarinet, virtuoso keyboard, and feminine flautist to complete the spell. Is this improvised? No, here come the horn parts, but how can this meandering and coalescing be spontaneous. Mystery, and musicality, and a rare new millennium commodity: consonance.

We hang in the giant oak over the stage, soaking in MF magic, and then we gaze at the stars, and there are many, and the stranger to L.A. eyes, the Milky Way, which should have no other name. Then, it’s teepee time.We were supposed to get a room or two, but the room is indeed a large teepee parked in the middle of the festival meadow, four bedrolls on a tarp gazing upward to stars through the round teepee top. Rob is snoring within minutes, but the two Pauls and Shawn are regaled for hours by the sound system and stage teardown, random reveling from distant and near meadow tents, everpresent dub reggae from unknown sources, folk singing on truck beds, and somehow, in the wee hours, a psychedelic lone electric guitar. Or was this a dream? No, for we slept not.


Next morning Paul M spots a cherry tree in the side yard of our bunkhouse, miniature cherries bursting to ripeness. If we don’t pick them there will be a birds invasion, and no one wants that. We do our duty, fill a bag with the dark red beauties. We pack the Yukon, ready to roll, when a Pioneer Days posse of covered wagons, rawhide and coonskin cap bedecked old timers and their progeny parade down the highway through town. Two CHP cars with flashing lights return us to 2007 at the parade’s end. Cool.

Reverse directions, back to Highway 50 and the long steady descent towards Sacramento, which looms suddenly in the hazy distance. Cell call to Richie in Sacto, tell him we spy Sacramento on horizon. “Do you feel like pioneers?” asks Richie. Exactly.Sacramento haze silhouetted skyline looms and looms, and then we’re here, exit freeway maze and down 26th Street to our old friends and third Tourette patron saints, Richie and Katie .and their 1907 shady street wood frame manse. Katie makes lunch, tres bon, Richie heads off for an early gig, Hawks head for Winters, spared Friday afternoon traffic madness by Tourette miracle.

The Winters water tower announces the town to the fields and orchards, tiny downtown left and right, and we unload at the Palms. This great and tiny old opera house is starting to feel like home, and we’re headlining for the second time. The first band, Rowdy Kate, with an indeed rowdy and talented young chanteuse and great jamesburtonesque guitar player, do a great honky tonk show, lots o’ Emmy Lou, great to hear these songs that you don’t hear down in L.A. these days.The Hawks do a long electric show, with Richie sitting in on accordion, and once again the crowd is on their feet, a great night. We’ve figured out that we’re a band that survives on the fringes, like coyotes in the foothills in the glow of city lights. New York, Chicago and L.A. are okay if you’re Wilco, but our destiny seems to flourish in the backroads, in Winters, Pioneertown, Gallup, and unnamed lodges in the Sierras and the Berkshires. And festivals where the audience retires to tents ringing the stages at night.

Big thanks and hugs to Winters soundman Jeremy and main man philosopher sage Dave, load up, back to Katie and Richie’s, late night single malt tasting, life is indeed good, our hosts are indeed good, and we sleep on clean sheets amongst art and love.


A fine Tiburon breakfast is had by the two Pauls and Shawn at New Morning Café, while Rob breakfasts with sister Kathy in an undisclosed location. Tiburon has good food. It seems to be populated with well off retirees who played by the rules, and they’re eating well in their golden years. If ever you should motor north on the 101 in Marin and have a craving for Mexican food, take Blythedale road eastward to Tiburon and get the goat cheese tamales at Lucinda’s, at Tiburon’s outer edge. Five Hawks Stars to Lucinda’s, and Four to New Morning Café.

East zig east zag east across San Joaquin Valley, and up the 50, steady altitude climb, towards Reno, dry California hills and oaks, more trees, orchards, land divided long ago, ranches and small acreages, exit towards Camino, two laner through a land long used and divided, lumber mill took the trees, takes the third growth still, new orchards on long cleared land, off the road and we’re at Jack Russell Brewery, on a sprawling hillside with long rows of blackberry and other berry varietals sloping roadward, and a family of geese gathered in the pasture.The foothills are dry and bright.

Pull around in back, and the Hawks are in beer heaven, where there is in fact beer. Within minutes we’re sampling pints of 10th Anniversary Bitter, Pale Ale, and lagers, surrounded by giant steel vats. Life is good in the afternoon. Greetings to the super cool Jack Russell brewers/sound techs, skilled at both, and Bruce and Cindy Hayden, Far West Folk Alliance royalty and our second patron saints of the Tourette. Alt country and folk bands, this is a cool gig. You will be treated as artistes. Know that the pints are full and the alcohol by volume is generous. Sound check in beer fog. Bruce leads us 3 miles down agriculture woods roads winding up and down to dusk downtown Camino and the band bunkhouse. We’re townies for the day and night. A modest but very enthused crowd sits in semidarkness among the giant steel beer vats, and we do a long electric set, Shawn playing snare and a kick drum fashioned out of a cardboard barrel. (We’ve managed to beg and borrow drums for all our other shows, a great easing of the packing of the Yukon challenge.) Everyone buys CD’s and t-shirts and we do pretty well in the dough department. Tour Audience Demographic is holding steady: over fifty, rural hippie, trippy, not snippy.

Late night return to our downtown Camino bunkhouse. Solid sleep.


Next day some hiked Mt. Tam, some wandered Tiburon, but all boarded the Yukon in mellow late afternoon, across the Tookie Memorial Bridge once more for what some would call Oakland, others might deem Emeryville. A nondescript brick and glass façade patrolled by tall hotpantstreetwalkers, and real hippies, graying hair and bluing eyes twinkling, greet us and escort us into a magic room, more magic in contrast to mean street outside, San Pablo, that’s all we’re going to tell you.

Because Strings is a private communal urban music club, a haven, eclectic items of serenity and unbowed 60’s values on ceiling, walls, and floor, velvet cloth on stage piano, walk inward and outward out the back to brick patio with giant hot tub salvaged from a rich east bay mansion updating from their 70’s pleasuremode. Stony salvage, recycled glory, we’re in synch with these graying ex-Topangans fled north when the getting was way good. You will find Strings when it is time.Sound check, hang in serene green room off serene brick patio, Strings main man Joey opens the show with a stirring “Pretty Boy Floyd” and then introduces the Hawks, two sets acoustic, great rapport with the crowd, and at 10 p.m. the gourmet restaurant next door parades in platters of food, and band and audience chow down. This is very good. Much post show basking in praise and chatting with intriguing Bay Area intellectuals who have seen it all, 60’s, 70’s, and cyberspace. Rob’s old buddies Mark F and Will G flow into the hippie stream with grace and ease. Another generation of activists and musicians feels gentle kinship. Civilization will prevail, through Rove and the age of American Darkness.

Paul L’s nephew Gabe shows up at midnight with a CD of his latest beats and songs and proceeds to blow the Hawks collective mind, spinning the tracks in the Yukon on dark San Pablo. Amazing stuff. Beyond hip hop, into the future, we present Gabriel Aranda Lacques.Late night crawl over Tookie Bridge, to Waller Tiburon lair, a quick master poker lesson from Paul M with imaginary cash and reckless betting, and a welcome crash.


The gray and brown skies above Interstate 5 gave way to smooth, high wispy clouds and dangerous winds at the 580 split. Shawn “Son of Trucker” Nourse fearless held the Yukon steady as the 60 mile-an-hour gusts tossed our tall SUV about. San Francisco forces this difficult passage on travelers who wish to reach its cold and foggy streets. This airlock, this threshold, this unseen portal, protects the peninsular city from the flighty demons and weightless fairies that hover like insects over tortured San Joaquin souls, buzzing in their ears and driving them mad. O sunharshed Valley.

Of course, San Francisco is full of its own devils and witches, more than enough to bedlam its inhabitants. We Hawks have several family members who live by the shark-filled, dangerous bay waters who are driven periodically mad by these dark spirits. Alcatraz was not built on that jagged rock for nothing. When the one thousand cell doors slam simultaneously shut, it is terror itself that is released into the atmosphere, like a bell tolling the long dead escapee souls scraping along the bottom of this sad and salty sea. Tookie, tookie, tookie, b’gaw, b’gahw, b’ghawww.Yes, the Bay Area and surroundings are dark at the core. L.A. has its Ellroy, but who of the north will exorcise in print the regional horrors corked by edifices of Silicon Wealth, shouted down by new age manipulaspeak and habitual radicalrant? We volunteer.

Shall we speak of the high powered Palo Alto lawyer who drove her interior decorator to a nervous breakdown? Shall we speak of the Mount Tam two grand mountain bikers seeking death by cliffplummet, Peets tripleshot tightening their chest as bravado yields the floor to horror? Shall we ponder a haighthaunted populace, haight haunted by the Dead, its Dead departed and its Living Dead, a legacy of giants eternally unrivaled? Rome has its Caesars, SF its Jerry and Janis. Oh, horror. Oh fog. Oh dotcom.*Nevertheless, a small spark sparks deep in the heart of this Mill Valley relic in relic strewn Mill Valley, downtown, peetsfulsome and chicorganic. We roll down Throckmorton towards a sun swallowed by forested ridge and pull up in front of the club, greet family and old friends at the entrance while Porsche Cayennes and Mercedes convertibles fight for the limited parking spots beneath the wise and weary redwoods.

Every Hawks journey has a patron saint, and our nominee for this one is Mars Arizona, who have set up this show and handed the Hawks the headliner slot. Inside Sweetwater they are soundchecking, and it’s sounding good. A good sounding room, sounding with songgood.** The family lovefest continues as siblings, in-laws, godfathers, Mom Lacques and Papa Olguin show up, and many eventually wind up on stage. Mars Arizona harmonize a sweet acoustic set, with their badass guitar player adding the sting. We Hawks had a betterthandustingoffthecobwebs set, pushed by our northern steel brother Dave Zirbel. Satisfaction.

Nearly Beloved, with BrothersLax and Eric Banjo and rocksteady DrumRubin and aforementioned Zirbel and aforeaforementioned Papa Olguin, Olguin of Santa Monica, SM when pure and neglected, soggy and soulful, BritInfused and snoringbeachfogside, Young Papa Olguine bass virtuoso on the L.A.1980neowwave scene, thrift store suit and Beefheart noizdevotion, Cathay de Grande and Rae’s on Pico, kids trying to be adults not adults trying to be kids. Our current state of the nation. Never mind. Papa’s unbowed and wiser.Nearly Beloved broke out a nice new MattLax original “My P-role Officer”, from Matt’s days trying to graft a Future onto the twisted limbs of 14 year old gansta killers in the steel grip of Special Ed. Everyone in the band is a fine soloist, and the night concluded with a jam on “Whipping Post,” yes, that very whipping post, and in 2007 Greg Allman is tied to Harrahs Reno, see him tonight, or see the Hawks 50 miles to the west in Camino, in the brown foothill prelude to the high heights.

Next day some hiked Mt. Tam, some wandered Tiburon, but all boarded the Yukon in mellow late afternoon, across the Tookie Memorial Bridge once more for what some would call Oakland, others might deem Emeryville. A nondescript brick and glass façade patrolled by tall hotpantstreetwalkers, and real hippies, graying hair and bluing eyes twinkling, greet us and escort us into a magic room, more magic in contrast to mean street outside, San Pablo, that’s all we’re going to tell you. *One of these scribes is on a jamesjoycebinge, halfwaythru and driven mad by Ulysses, so please understand and indulge any retroavantgardean prose you might have to thicketweave through. On a happier note, the Hawks are launching a web based service: ReJoyce. We will convert your prose to 1904 Hibernian in Exile near impenetrable neospeak.

**This is tough to shake.