CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
We restored a grandfather clock that possesses a ghostly feature. Thanks to Grumpy Andrew, of Grumpy Andrew's House of Horror, who said, "Wonderful! Oh that was a balm for my soul." Meanwhile, to whatever pathetic soul thumbed-down our video, we'd ask to see what grand illusion you built from scratch this week, but —oh, that's right! — you didn't. But you made us feel even more fabulous, so — lest we disappoint you — the thumbs-down didn't discourage at all but rather set us apart from you! Thanks for social-distancing! We feel safer now.
"The way you can tell a fine pendulum is by the reflections of the lights. Do you see the lights? And do you see the colors? All the colors of the spectrum. Can you see the center? The exact center—do you see it? Keep trying. Look at the colors. See how they move. Watch them—they’re brilliant colors. They flash by. Try to find the center. Can you hear anything? The chiming of the hours?"
Yes, the mesmeric words are based on Dr. Julia Hoffman's hypnotic technique in Dark Shadows. We're looking the other way so as not to hypnotize ourselves.
The pendulum, with its reflective sphere in the middle, is from a haunted grandfather clock we are restoring.
It had been three years since we last donned our Third Eye sunglasses during a full moon to scout for fireballs in the night sky. In the first photo, the strange triangle of blue lights is the moon reflecting on the sunglasses lenses. The second photo is from 2017.
We're honored that Vegas magician Creed talked up our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound and our Magic Words: A Dictionary. We actually once attended a secret fire ceremony deep in the Nevada desert with Creed and, no kidding, we witnessed him reach out and seize one of the zillion stars in the Milky Way. (You sure can see a stunning number of stars from way beyond the lights of Vegas. Surely the Universe won't begrudge Creed's snatching one. It was a moment we'll never forget.)
"You want to go into the desert and learn higher magic, nebbich, when you … cannot distinguish a Hall of Riddles from the real world and do not even suspect that the books of life contain something other than what is written on the spine?" —Gustav Meyrink, The Green Face
Having already seen the world through rose-colored glasses, we're now enjoying the view through lurid Jello-green flexi-discs! The grass is definitely greener on the flip side! We're celebrating the Retroactive Lifetime Goal of having our voice recorded onto a lurid Jello-O green flexi-disc in the new issue of Fiddler's Green magazine!
"[W]henever I closed my eyes, the letters of the alphabet shifted around like Scrabble pieces and formed words. Those words lined up and soon I imagined entire pages of writing so clearly that I could actually read them, sentence after sentence, as if I were reading straight from a book. A book I had written, with my name on the cover ..." —Jack Gantos
"There at last he was free and forever from those halls hung with enigmas, tapestried with tears, before which the sphinx in fight gallops like a jackal." The final line in The Ghost Girl by Edgar Saltus, 1922.
Eerily, this passage seems to describe our very own sanctum!
Quimby's Bookstore NYC knows that some books are best lit by a cloven-footed lamp. Owner Steven Svymbersky writes: "Just got in a fine selection of the esoteric and amusing books by Prof. Oddfellow. Special."
In the second photo, our display table is on the right.
This fine indie bookstore welcomes heart-clicks over at Instagram: