Thursday, September 03, 2009

birthday, vegas, labor day

ugh, guys.

so much to write with so little time. spoiler warning: i finished infinite jest. my thoughts on the ending of my infinite summer are at the end so stop reading if you don't want to know anything about it.

the gay's miley video made MSNBC which i think was the absolute final mainstream media appearance. i mean, this country is trying to pass healthcare reform! there are more important things than this.

my birthday was a total surprise and really super awesomely fun. justin picked me up at work, whispered a destination to a cabbie and we ended up at extra virgin which is one of my favorite west village spots and home to the crack-like gorgonzola fondue that i have dreams about bathing in. i run to the bathroom and when i head out to the street to meet the gang they're all standing in front of a white stretch limo. HOLLA! we have champagne in glasses waiting inside and we go to pick up some other friends who also have champagne with them. justin asked julie for the "props" and so julie put her hands in the air in a "giving you props!" signal when justin really wanted REAL props. things like a jasmine princess tiara and plastic blinking lightup rings. ted gets handed his and yells, "these will be perfect for the bowery electric!" which was our next stop. they'd all wanted it to be a surprise so immediately his hand flies to his mouth and an "oops!" pops out. it's better that way though because otherwise i'd have been doing nothing but tracking our direction, trying to figure out where the hell we were headed. because i'm an annoying virgo like that.

so bowery electric is tons and TONS of dancing with gina, our very favorite DJ. and we danced there till 3:30am when i headed back to justys, showered, and sat up and chatted till i had to leave at 4:30 for my flight. i met colin at the airport and we headed to the palms place which i thought was super swank, but he assured me it wasn't as nice as the wynn and kept threatening to move us over there all weekend. we slept in, lazed around, ordered room service breakfast, tried hanging by the pool but it was ridiculously windy the whole time. like, so windy that you had to keep holding your frozen mojito and you also had to put a hand over the top of the glass or else the wind would come and swoosh all the liquid out of it. we're talking minor tornado here.

we ate at carnevino, mario's steak place and it was phenomenal. one of the best meals i've had in ages. the ribeye for two was super crispy and charred on the outside while being almost meltingly tender and red on the inside. perfection, people. perfection. we drank phat wine out of glasses that were, no joking, pretty much bigger than my head. but it's amazing how much more you smell the wine at every sip when your whole face fits inside the globe as you tilt to drink.

we had a bathtub in our bedroom so, naturally, we threw a whole thing of body wash in, put on our swimsuits and made hats out of bubbles and took pictures of ourselves in the bath looking crazy. naturally.

there was a mixology contest thingy where i feel in love a little bit with a dude named daniel victory who is a mixologist in new orleans at a hotel that i can't remember. anyhow, he was so pretty. i may have sat at gazed at him for longer than was appropriate. possibly.

re: the ending infinite jest, i might just ask "what fucking ending?!" DFW spent an awful lot of time building an intricate story, tying things together and when i realized i had only 50 pages left i knew i was screwed in the resolution department. and sure enough, i finished and stared at that last page, kind of flipping to the next over and over hoping that the next time i did that, that some more text would be there. but no. he literally leaves unanswered what seems like half the point of the damn novel. the novel starts in the present and spends the next 1100 pages or whatever looking backwards. and we end in a flashback. after all my flipping back and forth i started at the beginning again, to try to see if there were any clues there as to how the story actually does end. the conflict that exists in that first section (i.e. what the F is wrong with Hal) just doesn't get answered. there are a series of guesses as to what happened, all plausible. he mentions his brother plays football, not played football so you assume he's alive somewhere. he mentions the other main character, gately, digging up his father's head while john wayne watches wearing a mask. which means gately lives long enough to get out of the hospital and that wane is probably doing some service with/for the AFR because theyr'e the ones wearing masks all over the place. but john wayne has legs...??

basically, though "infinite jest" means a dozen things, a multi-layered meaning title, my on personal interpretation is that it's a huge joke on the reader that never ends. the minute you finish, you have the desire to start all over again. and had i read it all over again, i'd probably finish and want to read it yet AGAIN. reading the message boards, i saw that almost every single person there mentioned having done the same thing. naturally turning back towards the front to read the first 30 pages again. who does that??! who finishes 1100 pages and then immediately starts over?! therein lies the genius of david foster wallace. DFW has hidden throughout the book, not solutions, but suggestions of answers to all the clues and puzzles and mysteries that he didn't explicitly solve. which, for a person (virgo!) who needs answers at all times, would make me totally crazy. and as much as i was left hanging, i do want to read it again to try to glean a few more morsels out of the thing, get myself a little more closure.

the message boards have been both enlightened and banal. you really have to scour to get any logical suggestions as to possible explanations for things amid the stupidity of people who didn't read closely enough or who fly off the handle with conspiracy theories when their basic premise makes no sense. so this ends up being kind of a "choose your own adventure" book, the rest left up to your imagination with a sort of rough sketch of possible outcomes hidden in toss-off sentences scattered throughout the text. you have to make up quite a bit of middle stuff to get to the things you know happen while most of the main issues are left for you to guess on your own.

that being said, even though hal is left with isses from something, he's alive a year after what we see as a huge rising, scary, dangerous situation so you assume he did save the world, though with dimished capacity, poor test scores even though he's brilliant, less tennis skills and zero capability to communicate to the outside world. you assume the assassins were unsuccessful. you assume that the ONAN has a hold of the master copy of the entertainment. you pretty much know what the entertainment was when it was filmed but not what it ended up as, and why it's so deadly/entertaining. you have to hope mario ended up okay because nobody would hurt such a kind soul, also, he always ends up okay.

so anyway. i'll probably read it again. but only when i have a plethora of quiet time on my hands. i think i loved it but it's hard to tell so soon after the, "you are fucking kidding me he ended this here" moment.

upstate with the crew for labor day.

1 people who played with me:

Blogger Infinite Tasks said...

Glad you made it through! You're right that the forums are "democratic" in that folks sometimes head off in funny directions, but there is some incredible thinking there, too. And in the blogroll, where I and others have worked very hard and successfully to show what a fully coherent and beautiful text it is. Now that you've read the book, don't leave frustrated, but keep scouring a bit. The year between the end and the beginning is fully warranted.

9/21/2009 7:00 PM  

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