Coming Soon: More Dancing About Architecture

Posted in Dancing about architecture on January 31st, 2011 by bill

Long story short, I really need to write more. I also have on the left side of my desk a pile of CDs from 2010 that I want to give one more good listen to before filing them away. So tomorrow I plan to start writing about them. Will I have anything interesting or useful to say? Hard to predict, at this point; but that’s never stopped me before.

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 17

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on January 29th, 2011 by bill

'...out the big doors whose tympanum overhead is carved with a sword and a ploughshare and a syringe and a soup-ladle and the motto 'CONTRARIA SUNT COMPLEMENTA,' the heaviness of which makes Hal cringe so severely it's Boone who has to supply the translation Kent Blott asks for.'

Begin: Page 751 (“The whole family was lousy with secrets, she’d decided…”)
End: Page 795 (“…first one arm and then, kind of miraculously if you think about it, the other arm.”)

Start Date:
1/29/11
Finish Date: 2/4/11

Note Profile: Either 18 or 19, depending on whether you interpret #332 as part of this week’s reading or next week’s. Some of them are quite lengthy, adding up to about 10 pages of notes, not including 332, which is itself substantial. But take heart: After that, no more notes of any real size.

This thing is starting to feel really real to me; like, we may actually finish the book, in just a few more weeks. I’m enjoying it enough at this point that I’m in no great hurry for it to be over, although the unread non-IJ books are piling up in a corner.

Question for the remaining Marchers: How many people are/want to be on the Skype? It’s been suggested to me that we might want to do some kind of web conference thing sometime between now and the end of the book, so let me know (via comment or email) if that’s an idea that interests you.

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 16

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on January 22nd, 2011 by bill

'The nun's wimple is askew and soiled; the back of her hand, held out in a bladish martial-art fist, displays part of a faded tattoo, some wicked-clawed bird of prey.'

Begin: Page 702 (“Bridget Boone gives him a look.”)
End: Page 751 (“…the woman began to ask about what lengths he believed he was willing to go to.”)

Start Date: 1/22/11
Finish Date: 1/28/11

Note Profile: 27 notes (287–313), including the trés formidable #304 for those of us who haven’t read it already.

A little pressed for time today, but a quick image search turned up not one but two pieces of Blood Sister–related artwork created by people out there in the big wide world. I had to go with the one at the top as my first pick, because the casting is so perfect, but here’s the other:

Tipping the Scales

Posted in Whatever Else on January 21st, 2011 by bill

I’d like to weigh in on something that no one has asked my opinion about: this idea that somehow all of our astrological signs have changed and that there are now 13, including a new one, Ophiuchus.

Sez the Huffington Post:

Your zodiac sign may not actually be your zodiac sign anymore. Astronomer Parke Kunkle says that due to changes in the Earth’s alignment the dates of many zodiac signs have changed, according to NBC. In addition, there may be a 13th Zodiac sign: Ophiuchus.

The New Dates:

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18 – May 13
Taurus: May 13 – June 21
Gemini: June 21 – July 20
Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan. 20

At first I thought this was some kind of early April Fools joke – Ophiuchus? – but it got a lot of play and seems to have upset many people.
Read more »

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 15

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Whatever Else on January 15th, 2011 by bill

'I remember something about he seemed to believe the name of the character Burns also somehow hiddenly signified the English verb for the promise of the consuming fire of the apocalypse.'

Begin: Page 651 (“Apparently some higher-up had sent Mary Esther Thode out on her little yellow Vespa…”)
End: Page 701 (“…the cartridge’s 50-point title is still trickling redly over the credits and frozen scene.”)

Start Date: 1/15/11
Finish Date: 1/21/11

Note Profile: 22 notes (265–286); #269 is a bear at 5 1/2 pages, but otherwise painless.

I feel like we are finally rounding the corner into the home stretch, we hardy band of few who are still standing. In the meantime it’s way too nice of a day in Oakland to be sitting here in front of the computer.

Also: Frank Burns eats worms.

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 14

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on January 8th, 2011 by bill

'I miss Jeannie, Samantha, Sam and Diane, Gilligan, Hawkeye, Hazel, Jed...'

Begin: Page 601 (“As at all D.S.A.S.-certified halfway facilities, Ennet House’s resident curfew is 2330h.”)
End: Page 651 (“Day says: ‘There is no way it could feel worse.’ “)

Start Date: 1/8/11
Finish Date: 1/14/11

Note Profile: 19 notes (246–264), all short and sweet

Speaking for myself, I especially miss Samantha a/k/a Elizabeth Montgomery, one of the earliest and most powerful of my many, many TV crushes. All my adult life all I’ve been looking for is one smart, beautiful woman with magical powers – is that so much to ask for? Unlike Derwood, I would have no problem letting her whip up a nice private island for us. Mr. Tate can go screw.

Um, where was I? Oh yeah, the Deathmarch. Lately I’ve been finding this book almost too easy; I kind of miss the desperate slogging of the early stages, which was strangely satisfying in the same way as exercising until you feel like throwing up. Still, it looks like this week’s reading includes an 10-page or so discussion of M*A*S*H, so that should be fun.

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 13

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on January 1st, 2011 by bill

'The late J.O. Incandenza's Meniscus Optical Products Ltd.'s development of those weird wide-angle rear-view mirrors on the sides of automobiles that so diminish the cars behind you that federal statute requires them to have printed right on the glass that Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear...'

Begin: Page 550 (“For reasons that Pemulis couldn’t for the life of him, Ortho Stice seemed to be in there…”)
End: Page 601 (“Orin’s smile wasn’t as cool as he thought as he told the seated figure that that was a matter of opinion.”)

Start Date: 1/1/11
Finish Date: 1/7/11

Note Profile: 16 notes (230–245), including the notorious #234

It’s time to get cranking again, people, don’t you think? It’s a new year and all, hopefully everyone slept in today, there’s no time like the present, etc.

Unilaterally moving everything back a day so we can start on the 1st—makes it neater, cleaner, easier to keep track of. See you next Saturday.