They won’t call him Shirley again

Posted in Moving pictures on November 29th, 2010 by bill

The great Leslie Nielsen has departed this realm at the age of 84, and we shan’t see his like again, surely. He will mostly be remembered for the world-class deadpan he showed off in Airplane and the Naked Gun movies, but he had a long career before that….

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 9

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on November 26th, 2010 by bill

The Advanced Basics chairperson looks like a perfect cross between pictures of Dick Cavett and Truman Capote.

Begin: Page 352 (“Gately’s biggest asset as an Ennet House live-in staffer…”)
End: Page 398 (“…which audiences never even got to hate, for a-priori reasons.”)

Start Date: 11/26/10
Finish Date: 12/2/10

Note Profile: 18 notes, including one two-and-a-half pager

We’ve got some momentum now. Can you feel it? I’m feeling it.

Dr. John’s tangerines

Posted in Dancing about architecture, Somebody's birthday on November 21st, 2010 by bill

Want a tangerine?

According to my records, the great Mac Rebennack – better known to the world as Dr. John the Night Tripper – turns 70 today. I actually got to meet the Dr. a few years back when he and his band (including the wonderfully named Renard Poché) stayed at the hotel where I was posing as a desk clerk. He was very gracious and his people gave me free tickets to the shows; it was a real bright spot in an otherwise less than stellar period of my life.

In his honor, here’s an excerpt from his autobiography Under a Hoodoo Moon where he describes how he finally kicked heroin after many, many, many years. There’s something striking and poetic about it, if’n you ask me:

…that happened again and again during my halfhearted rehab attempts: I straightened up for a while , but sooner or later I ran into some Chang Moi rocks and it was off to the races, another four years of getting strung out like a fucking guinea pig.
Read more »

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 8

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on November 19th, 2010 by bill

His father knelt beside him on the ceiling in a well-rended sleeveless tee-, extolling the Red Sox of Rice and Lynn.

Begin: Page 312 (“The first birth of the Incandenzas’ second son was a surprise.”)
End: Page 352 (“A certain Message had been Carried.”)

Start Date: 11/19/10
Finish Date: 11/25/10

Note Profile: 18 notes, all short except for a two-pager that looks to be involved but not especially crucial.

Keeping the page count slightly on the shorter side this week; hope that suits everyone’s sense of momentum. I’ve read ahead just a little and it looks like Wallace is starting to Get to the Point.

Question: Do they have Thanksgiving in O.N.A.N.?

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 7

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on November 12th, 2010 by bill

"See, Spiro Agnew here has two little arms: they point, they suggest."

Begin: Page 298 (“Poor Tony Krause had a seizure on the T.”)
End: Page 312 (“…the first tangible evidence of an anti-O.N.A.N. ill will way worse than anything aroused by plain old historical Separatism, up in Québec.”)

Start Date: 11/12/10
Finish Date: 11/18/10

Endnote Profile: 9 notes, including #110, a 16-pager with its own notes

This week I particularly envy those of you with iPads and such, as I am not relishing the prospect of 16 pages of tiny type. An audio version would be nice, but none seems to exist; how would that work, anyway, with the notes? Never mind, I’ll get through somehow. See you on the other side.

Back to the 80s, Part 3

Posted in Audio transmissions on November 9th, 2010 by bill

The third installment of anything is usually a mistake (see: Godfather III, Spider-Man 3, Return of the Jedi, etc.), but I can’t help myself from taking one more trip back to the place where I grew up. This suite of songs continues more or less on the theme of the previous installment, i.e. disconnection, alienation, getting lost, etc.

As so often happens, this thing started out small and rapidly grew out of control. But it certainly sounds good to me. You may feel similarly, you may not, how am I to know? In any case, here it is:

PLAY Destination: Lost

Playlist and notes after the jump. Read more »

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 6

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on November 5th, 2010 by bill

“I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God.”
— Teresa of Avila

“The punter never made her feel quite so taken care of, never made her feel about to be entered by something that didn’t know she was there and yet was all about making her feel good anyway, coming in. Entertainment is blind.”
— David Foster Wallace

Begin: Page 258 (“White halogen off the green of the composite surface, the light out on the indoor courts…”)
End: Page 298 (“Of particular interest are the eyes.”)

Start Date: 11/5/10
Finish Date: 11/11/10

Footnote Profile: 15 notes, including one 2.5-pager (#90)

Introducing a new feature this week: the Footnote Profile, a preview of the number and length of notes in the upcoming stage to help us get mentally prepared. This week’s is moderate to annoying, with a bunch of shorter ones and one real humdinger. In recognition of this, along with a general feeling of mercy and benevolence brought on by balmy weather and other euphoriating factors, this week’s page count is short.

I’m impressed by the fortitude of the remaining Marchers and feel like we turned a corner this week where it actually feels possible we’re going to conquer this thing. I admit I was having my doubts there for a minute but at the moment I feel…in the immortal words of HST…just sick enough to be totally confident.

I love this story

Posted in Whatever Else on November 2nd, 2010 by bill

Cafe awning saves baby in seven-story fall

By Vicky Buffery

PARIS | Tue Nov 2, 2010 9:48am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) – A 15-month-old baby girl survived a fall from a seventh-floor apartment in Paris almost unscathed after bouncing off a cafe awning and into the arms of a passer-by, police said on Tuesday.

The infant had been playing unsupervised with her four-year-old sister on Monday when she somehow fell out of the window, a spokesman for local city police said.

A young man saw the baby starting to fall and alerted his father, who raced to get into position, arms outstretched, to catch her after she hit the awning, the daily Le Parisien reported.

“He must have played rugby for years to have developed reflexes like that,” a bystander who saw the incident told the paper.

Police said the girl appeared to have no serious injuries and was under observation in a nearby hospital.

The owner of the cafe, located at the foot of the block of flats in the northeast of Paris, said it was a stroke of luck he had decided to leave the awning open that afternoon.

“I usually close it to stop it catching fire as people tend to throw their cigarette butts onto it,” he told the television station i-tele.

The police spokesman said the circumstances behind the accident were unclear. “The parents were absent, and it’s a bit difficult questioning the two girls, given their age.”