Infinite Jest: the playlist

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

Spider veins, anyone?

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.

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We are what we walk between

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.

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