Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Infinite Jest

So I finished Infinite Jest yesterday. Finally, 980 pages plus over 350 footnotes, some of which spanned multiple pages and offered key plot points not found within the main text. It was both very satisfying and extremely frustrating. It's as though the whole book is setting the stage, bringing you into the characters, building connections, and setting up a singularly explosive situation, only to END just as a hand is striking a match to ignite the powder keg. It is all setup, and it pulls a Lucy football by just ENDING.

Now I must say that I did love a lot of it. The characters, the writing, the dialogue were all just amazing. There were some scenes in the book that will never leave my mind, which is a good thing. But I was left ultimately unsatisfied... And I know that was exactly what he wanted to do, to leave us on the edge, not knowing what would happen next.

As I wrote before, a lot of the book is about addiction, and what it brings people to. There's not a single fully functioning person in the book, and everyone is wounded in some way, and acting badly. It's a big love letter to AA, which counsels you to take it one day at a time and just be in the moment and not look ahead because. So ending abruptly is perhaps just right.

so I respect it. I respect what he did there.

but I still want to know - did Hal take the dmz that left him wrecked at the beginning of the book willingly, or did Pemulis dose him as he did others? Will the quebec separatists ever get ahold of the entertainment and unleash it on the unsuspecting north Americans? Will Maranthe actually seek out Joelle Van Dyne and try to work out the nature of the entertainment? Will Gatley recover? the presence of the crown at the end indicates he was more hurt than we realized, and maybe he won't be able to stay off of pain killers after all? Will Orin escape the glass cage with the roaches and tell the quebecois wheelchair terrorists where his father was buried?

Now that I write this, I guess these are pretty silly questions if you haven't read the book... But that's what I'm left with.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Croup and other things

Poor Isaac wound up with a case of the Croup this week - the barking seal-like cough started up on Friday afternoon and were lucky enough to catch his doctor by phone before the end of the day - she prescribed a strong course of steroids for him. As we all know, steroids are just a mess for all involved. When I was on them back so many years ago for fertility, I had a run of fevered creativity (leading to my sitcom script) then many days of flat out irasciblity. I was no fun. And true to form, Isaac is no fun on these things. He is weepy, frantic, loud, and shy, all within the course of a few minutes. I've been giving him extra cuddles to compensate. And on the plus side, it did knock that croup right out of the park.

Bella and I are still enjoying our Doctor Who episodes. We got to season 5 episode 4 tonight, the one about the Weeping Angels (vicious statues that attack only when you re not looking at them - creepy and excellent for low production budgets), and it was the first time Bella confessed that it was maybe a little scary.

It was a good fathers day, even with the weepy boy (and the girl who was getting a little jealous about the attention being paid to the weepy boy). We had dinner out at Pei Wei, and we discovered that Bella likes Edamame! That will be very handy when we do ago to Japan... Just in the past months she's decided she loves smoothies and turkey too, so her diet is definitely broadening.

Yes it is a few weeks later and Infinite Jest remains unfinished - I'm a tantalizing 70 pages from the end. This will be completed. This journey will end. And I'll be done wi it and can pick up something nice and relaxing. Like James Joyces Ulysses.

Other random thoughts... The not-as-busy continues to be a good thing for work, and I find myself spending evenings relaxing and not trying to cram in work in every waking minute, I did have a business trip get canceled at the end of last week, whichi didn't mind one bit except for the fact I was going to add on a dayton visit my best man Erik in DC. But we have rescheduled for July.

OH YES one last thing. I did some music this week! Two pieces of music for my neighbor Dave for a short movie he was making for his workplace. Two groovy tracks that made me happy to product, and I felt parts of my brain awaken. What was very fun was bringing up the sequencer files and showing Bella how all of the parts were played and layered and mixed. She was pretty amazed. Weepy Isaac justwantedto know when dad was goingq to be done showing things on the computer so he could watch Scooby Doo again. I cuthim some slack.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

There is one thing:

For the past 18 months I've been on projects between Cleveland and Mpls that required ALWAYS ON brain: Looking at my email inbox, I have had very important things arrive at 11pm, and get resolved by 11:45pm. The intensity level has been very high, to the point where I didn't really know how high it was.

Until I started my new project: My email volume is down to 1/5 of what it was just a month ago. Emails to my sponsors, even URGENT ones, tend to be answered in hours or days, not minutes as before. I am adjusting to the fact that that last email check at 11pm will probably NOT contain a gem I need to address for 20 minutes.

I'm having a bit of a time adjusting... but I'm also really enjoying the silence.

Yes I know.

I'm still here. Just haven't blogged.

Things are still going well: My move to the new project has been great - it affords me more time in the day to do all of the other things I apparently need to do... since Bidness is still BiZOOMing.

It's Bella's last week in 2nd Grade. I'm sort of in shock that time is moving this quickly.

I did see the X-Men movie during a business trip to St Louis... and I loved it.

I still have not finished Infinite Jest, and am starting to wonder if I ever will: It just keeps GOING and GOING. I'm still enjoying it, but let me just say I THINK I GET IT: ADDICTION IS REALLY REALLY BAD, even when it's written about in a wry, effacing manner.

I'll update more in the days and weeks to come, but I just wanted to end the drought! Life is GOOD! REALLY GOOD!