Monday, September 27, 2010

Infinite Jest

I've been reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace for some time now. Months really. It's the second time I've started it. I'm only 219 pages in. There's a good 981 pages total. Plus a good 100 pages of footnotes.

Anyhow, I was back on page 199 a few days ago. It's really taken me that long to understand the significance of a throwaway conversation he just kind of threw in to the background of one of many threads within this story. It's a perfect argument/anology for just kind of getting off your ass and doing something without fearing failure. Accepting failure. To somewhat paraphrase.

"Suppose I were to give you a key ring with ten keys. With, no, with a hundred keys, and I were to tell you that one of these keys will unlock it, this door we're imagining opening in onto all you want to be, as a player. How many of the keys would you be willing to try?"

"Well I'd try every darn one."

" Then you are willing to make mistakes, you see. You are saying you will accept 99% error. The paralyzed perfectionist you say you are would stand there before that door. Jingling the keys. Afraid to try the first key."

How perfect is that?

The Amazing Race

A year or two back, I would never have admitted to anybody that I was an Amazing Race fan. I mean, it seemed kind of ludicrous that this would be something I would be interested in. And it's not something that really hangs around in my brain. I don't even remember who won the last installment and that was only a few months ago. But there's just too many perfect moments on this show and it makes it one of the greatest things on television. *Examples:

S17 - Episode 1 - Yes. Just last night. A chick gets hit by a watermelon IN THE FACE! Not even gently. just could not believe how hard this thing hits her. IN THE FACE! Beyond awesome.

S14 - Episode 1 - The Cheese Rolling Challenge. Magical, magical television. I don't know how people didn't die.

S13 - Episode 9 - The weird little Frat Boys attempt to do a Russian March and they defy physics. It's like the Elaine Seinfeld dance except real. And better.

S12 - Episode 1 - There are a lot of terrible couples in the Amazing Race. I think it was Nathan & Jennifer in this one. Entertaining throughout. He argues with a donkey in this episode. It's like the entire world is out to get him and his girlfriend is leading the charge.

This really is the ultimate show for laughing at others misfortune. I urge you to watch.

*Ya, ya. I know. These are kind of spoilers. And I hate spoilers. I hate it when anybody talks about anything even remotely involved with a show. I don't care what you think. I want to find out by watching the show. But many of these probably showed up in the promos for these very shows. So they're not really spoilers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fine. FINE.

OK, a post. Lord.

I'll keep this simple. That 15 albums meme has been going around facebook, and I posted mine there. I took the assignment to mean "post the 15 albums you've done the most listening to." So they were mostly older, or at least the intensive, repeated listening happened years ago.

But here are 5 albums I've been listening to a lot lately. They're not necessarily new. I might do this again in a month or so. Meanwhile, you all should post 5 of your own. Or talk smack about these in the comments. Whatever, biters or haters, up to you.

Robyn, Body Talk 1. She's everything I've ever wanted in a girl. This one's more subdued than her last album, but still pretty perfect pop. Just grabbed Part 2, which sounds okay, if a little more disco. I like the triple album strategy a lot. Who else does such a thing? Oneida. That's about it.

Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970s Funky Lagos. I'm late to the African jazz/funk/rock thing. The Robert Christgau site and a totally amazing Nova Box Set I downloaded a while ago convinced me that it was more than a fad built up by Pitchfork and Vampire Weekend. This album is amazing.

Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot. Really solid, even the skits, which are thank christ kept short.

Primal Scream, Screamadelica. I totally missed this the first time around. Well, I pretty much skipped all of British rock in the 90s. But in my defense these guys always got lumped in with Stone Roses. They're not Stone Roses. They're actually listenable.

Queens of the Stone Age, s/t. I didn't miss this one the first time around. But it's been years. In the meantime they got a big, non-Kyuss following, and I stopped bothering because they were on the radio. Whatever the reasons, it took me this long to remember that I really like this record. It's sort of like if shoegaze did meth instead of E.

Also been listening to new Walkmen (good - but Hamilton's ennui sounds more forced than before); Black Mountain (I like them darker than this); Ratatat (good background music when I need to get something done); Best Coast (I don't get it); Flying Lotus (I think I'm starting to get it); LCD Soundsystem (I've decided I like hearing James Murphy talk about music more than I like hearing him play it).


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Videos

The Ken Block Gymkhana videos are pretty awesome. Here's the new one, plus Jalopnik talking about it a bit.

As well, this video of close calls is just amazing to watch.


Travis Pastrana Mount Washington Hill Climb, raw footage and Red Bull Video. Crazy.

Monday, September 13, 2010


We've been drinking a lot of cider lately. We've tried so many different ones. American ciders. British ciders. Canadian ciders. We keep going back to Strongbow, honestly. Blackthorn is pretty good too. Most of the boutique American ones have something a bit off. And Canadian cider is just generally weird.

Anyhow, this link to make your own cider seems very interesting. If you've ever brewed your own beer, it sounds similar. A bit easier really. I would do more of this sort of thing but I'd like to figure out a cheap way to filter and carbonate. Oh, I'd ferment in a carboy as well, which they leave out. And sterilize, sterilize, sterilize. God...I used to really hate dealing with old bottles. Need to figure out a way to keg this stuff. Actually, it sounds pretty easy.

Update - Boingboing is now talking about moonshine. I like it.