As I near the final sprint of “Infinite Jest” (well past the Infinite Summer deadline, alas), I of course felt compelled to do the thing I do with all things that affect me all intense-like–I made a playlist about it. I don’t know how to actually upload it or anything, but here it is. Some of it is more literal to plot elements, but most of the songs are just mood-based. I know it’s kinda long. DEAL WITH IT.


• “How to Embrace A Swamp Creature” – The Mountain Goats
• “The Sporting Life” – The Decemberists [for E.T.A.]
• “Lola” – The Kinks [for Steeply]
• “The Way We Get By” – Spoon
• “Wake Up” – The Arcade Fire
• “Miss Misery” – Elliott Smith
• “Road to Nowhere” – Talking Heads
• “Late Night Radio” – David Gray [for Madame Pyschosis]
• “A Peak You Reach” – Badly Drawn Boy [for Schtitt]
• “My Alcoholic Friends” – The Dresden Dolls [for Ennet House]
• “Happy Again” – Longpigs
• “Black Eyed Dog” – Nick Drake
• “The Bar is a Beautiful Place” – Ryan Adams
• “On the Bus Mall” – The Decemberists [for Matty Pemulis]
• “Mistake” – Fiona Apple
• “Best Imitation of Myself” – Ben Folds [for Hal]
• “Pissing in the Wind” – Badly Drawn Boy [for Mike Pemulis]
• “I Turn My Camera On” – Spoon [for Mario]
• “Roadrunner” – Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers [for Gately]
• “The Lovecats” – The Cure [for Randy Lenz]
• “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” – The Smiths
• “Fakin’ It” – Simon & Garfunkel [also for Hal]
• “Lucky” – Radiohead


Listening to: “Honeymoon” – Bombadil

Life is stories that you fake
And rake like leaves behind you….

Hiya, blog. Don’t be pissed that I’ve been MIA. I still care. I do. I’m popping in again because, well, I’m BLOCK’D. You know, that thing. Where I need to write shit, and the shit is not getting written no matter how many hours I sit a’plopped in front of my computer screen. Otherwise, I’d just be putting shit on my totally unnecessary new Tumblr account.

I’m trying to write an ad for a varicose vein treatment center. Here’s what I’ve got so far: Hey, 50something ladies! Get yer legs cut open here! Not catchy? No? It’s a work in progress.


I have an interview tomorrow morning at my neighborhood bagel joint. Just imagine, this guy up before the sun every morning, arranging foodstuffs inside starchy rounds. Sleep schedules will have to be drastically, painfully altered. But I can deal with it.


Listening to: “Fluorescent Half Dome” – Dirty Projectors

And now, a word from Gilbert & George, everyone’s favorite weird British art guys:

We are only human sculptors in that we get up every day, walking sometimes, reading rarely, eating often, thinking always, smoking moderately, enjoying enjoyment, looking, relaxing to see, loving nightly, finding amusement, encouraging life, fighting boredom, being natural, daydreaming, travelling along, drawing occasionally, talking lightly, tea drinking, feeling tired, dancing sometimes, philosophising a lot, criticising never, whistling tunefully, dying very slowly, laughing nervously, greeting politely and waiting till day breaks.


SCARY UNFINISHED PROJECT NEWS: I think somebody else may have finished my story before I did. It doesn’t sound exactly like “World’s End,” but it’s uncomfortably similar. End of days, British slackers, drinking the apocalypse away. Will probably have to give it a quick perusal the next time I’m at the Booksmith.

Listening to: “Skullcrusher Mountain” – Jonathan Coulton

So I’ve been diving whole-hog into this Infinite Summer thing. Have you heard of it, blogs? Basically it’s a summer-long, communal reading of David Foster Wallace’s giant, giant book, Infinite Jest. I mean 981 huge pages, tiny lettering, plus 96 pages of endnotes, written in even tinier lettering. And it’s full of passages like this:

So on 1 April, Y.D.A.U., when the medical attache is (it is alleged) insufficiently deft with a Q-Tip on an ulcerated sinal necrosis and is subjected at just 1800h. to a fit of febrile thrusive pique from the florally imbalanced Minister of Home Entertainment, and is by high-volume fiat replaced at the royal bedside by the Prince’s personal physician, who’s summoned by beeper from the Hilton’s sauna….

I’ll stop there, because the sentence goes on for another half-page paragraph. You get the idea. It’s tough going. But in between all this jargony gobbledegook (which may be some people’s thing, but not mine) are wide swaths of real brilliance, and those are what it’s worth pressing on for. In any case, I know I’d never finish this book in my life if I wasn’t adhering to  Infinite Summer’s bi-weekly page count deadlines, with a whole interweb’s worth of blogs and tweets to bolster my reading.


I want to post more excerpts, because this book is just….wonderful. But here’s a couple:

Two adult unmentionables–both of them male–busied themselves feasting upon the flesh of the household staff. How two zombies could have killed a dozen servants, four maids, two cooks, and a steward was beyond Elizabeth’s comprehension, but she knew precisely how they had gotten in: The cellar door had been opened to let in the cool night air and relieve the oppression of the woodstoves.

“Well, I suppose we had ought to take all of their heads, lest they be born to darkness,” she said.

Mr. Bingley observed the desserts his poor servants had been attending to at the time of their demise–a delightful array of tarts, exotic fruits, and pies, sadly soiled by blood and brains, and thus unusable.

“I don’t suppose,” said Darcy, “That you would give me the honour of dispensing of this unhappy business alone. I should never forgive myself if your gown were soiled.”

“The honour is all yours, Mr. Darcy.”

Elizabeth thought she detected the slightest smile on his face. She watched as Darcy drew his blade and cut down the two zombies with savage yet dignified movements. He then made quick work of beheading the slaughtered staff, upon which Mr. Bingley politely vomited into his hands. There was no denying Darcy’s talents as a warrior.

“If only,” she thought, “His talents as a gentleman were equal.”


Elizabeth and Darcy merely looked at one another in awkward silence, until the latter reached both arms around her. She was frozen–“What does he mean to do?” she thought. But his intentions were respectable, for Darcy merely meant to retrieve his Brown Bess, which Elizabeth had affixed to her back during her walk. She remembered the lead ammunition in her pocket and offered it to him.

“Your balls, Mr. Darcy?”

He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, “They belong to you, Miss Bennett.”

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down concert at T.T. the Bear’s: $10

Drinks at the Cellar: $19

Drunk guy trying to make out with my chin at Noir, leading to a near-bar fight: Priceless.

Listening to: “Dance Dance Dance (live)” – Lykke Li & Bon Iver

FYI: For those readers (do I have readers? WHO CAN SAY) who are not content with my sporadic blog posts or would like their updates in frantic miniature form, I now have a Twitter account. Lord help us all.

I’ve spent most of this week Moritzinterviewing theatery types for preview articles. I now know more about Spring Awakening (the play and the musical both) than I ever dreamt possible. I’ve been a little obsessed with the whole thing since I saw the musical on Broadway a few years back, so it was cool to actually get to talk it out. For those who live in Boston, there are two productions afoot: the Frank Wedekind 1891 original from Zeitgeist Stage Company at the BCA, and the touring Broadway musical at the Colonial. If Wedekind were pulled out of his grave today, I think he’d be laughing his ass off at how much play his oft-censored baby is getting in the Cradle of Puritanism. Chatting with musical lyricist/book writer Steven Sater yesterday, he had some pretty interesting stuff to say about the changes he made to the story. I guess amorality and musical theater don’t mix too good. Maybe one day they will.

Anyways, Blog, I’m tired of staring at my computer screen. I’ve been breaking up the time with egg parties, pub trivia, and concerts (Of Montreal tonight!) but my ass is starting to fuse to my desk chair. Enough. But you do what you gotta do, and I’m happy for the work.

Anyway, umm…WEBCOMIC!!

Hark! A Vagrant is for totes my new favorite time-waster. History is funny, fuckers.