A not so infinite playlist

2013 wasn't the best year for me as far as reading is concerned. I blame this on moving (and The Sopranos*). I used to spend two hours a day commuting, which is when I did most of my reading. Now, I'm lucky if I can average a book a month. In 2013 I read a measly 13 novels. And it does feel like a curse. 

Aside from the latest by Percival Everett, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, The Time of the Doves, and The Flamethrowers, I was completely underwhelmed by most of the books I read, though a couple times, earlier in the year, I was highly entertained, at least. The Patrick Melrose Novels (technically that's 4 books, but I'm counting it as one) titillated and tortured, and most of & Sons was fun. There were so many great things about V. including this line, "As spread thighs are to the libertine, flights of migratory birds to the ornithologist, the working part of his tool bit to the production machinist, so was the letter V to young Stencil," but ultimately, reading Pynchon is akin to being in an abusive relationship with someone you really respect, and therefore can't leave.

Instead of going through my favorites, which I guess I just did, I want to focus on one very special novel that I read for the third time, and as of last year, I made reading it at the end of every year a holiday ritual. From T-day to NYE, I lived and dreamed this book. 

I've already written an Infinite Jest review elsewhere, so now I present a playlist that has more to do with me than Hal or Don or Avril or Erdedy. Sometimes, it's the lyrics, but mostly it's the mood. Regardless, the following music makes me think of the book as I experienced it, and vice versa. 

In no particular order, not really. 

Scared Straight, The Long Winters

Reckoner, Radiohead

Watching the Wheels, John Lennon

This Must Be the Place, Talking Heads

Any Fun, Coconut Records

Big Stuff, Billie Holiday

Janacek String Quartet No. 1

And to be useful, here are some words that I learned: 

1. the distal or terminal segment of the wing of a bird consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges.
2. the wing of a bird.
3. a feather.
–verb (used with object)
5. to cut off the pinion of (a wing) or bind (the wings), as in order to prevent a bird from flying.
6. to disable or restrain (a bird) in such a manner.
7. to bind (a person's arms or hands) so they cannot be used.

1.decay, as of bone or of plant tissue.
2.dental caries.

Of or relating to the period of puberty or adolescence.

–noun Slang .
confusing or generally unintelligible jargon; gobbledegook: an insurance policy written in bafflegab impenetrable to a lay person

A firm or individual engaged in the loading or unloading of a vessel.

To remove or dissipate by melting, vaporization, erosion, etc.:to ablate a metal surface with intense heat.

1.a pendulous fold of skin under the throat of a bovine animal.
2. any similar part in other animals, as the wattle of fowl or the inflatable loose skin under the throat of some lizards.

1.a sortie of troops from a besieged place upon an enemy.
2. a sudden rushing forth or activity.
3. an excursion or trip, usually off the main course.
–verb (used without object)
7. make a sally, as a body of troops from a besieged place.
8. set out on a side trip or excursion.
9. set out briskly or energetically.

To produce or discharge pus, as a wound; maturate.

A congenital or acquired persistent, rapid, involuntary, and oscillatory movement of the eyeball, usually from side to side.

1.a crosspiece separating a door or the like from a window or fanlight above it.
2.Also called transom light, transom window. a window above such a crosspiece.
3.a crossbar of wood or stone, dividing a window horizontally.

A disease of plants characterized by restricted, discolored lesions,caused by a fungus.


A disorder of vision due to a deviation from normal orientation of one or both eyes so that both cannot be directed at the same object at the same time; squint; crossed eyes.

Of or pertaining to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it.

1. belonging or pertaining to the Sauria,  a group of reptiles originally including the lizards, crocodiles, and several extinct forms but now technically restricted to the lizards.
2. resembling a lizard.

Having protrusive jaws; having a gnathic index over 103.

Architecture noting or pertaining to one of the five classical orders, developed in Greece and altered by the Romans. The Greek Doric order consists typically of a channeled column without a base, having as a capital a circular echinus supporting a square abacus, above which come a plain architrave, a frieze of triglyphs and metopes, and a cornice,the corona of which has mutules on its soffit. In the Roman Doric order, the columns usually have bases, the channeling is sometimes altered or omitted, and the capital usually consists of three parts: a thick, bandlike necking, an echinus with an ovolo outline, and a molded abacus.

The running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break.

1. knit with a reverse stitch.
2. to finish with loops or a looped edging.
3. to flow with curling or rippling motion, as a shallow stream does over stones.
4. to flow with a murmuring sound.
5. to pass in a manner or with a sound likened to this.

1. Usually, fantods. A state of extreme nervousness or restlessness; the willies; the fidgets (usually preceded by the): We all developed the fantods when the plane was late in arriving.
2.a sudden outpouring of anger, outrage,or a similar intense emotion.

1. Also called corselet. defensive armor for the torso comprising a breastplate and backplate, originally made of leather.
2. either of the plates forming such armor.
3. any similar covering, as the protective armor of a ship.

1. the gape of the mouth of a bird.
2. the gaping or opening of the mouth.

1. well-being, prosperity, or happiness: the public weal; weal and woe.
2. Obsolete . wealth or riches.
3. Obsolete . the body politic; the state.

1. a furrow or track in the ground, especially one made by the passage of a vehicle or vehicles.
2. any furrow, groove, etc.
3. a fixed or established mode of procedure or course of life,usually dull or unpromising: to fall into a rut.
4. to make a rut or ruts in; furrow.

1. shaped like the letter C.
2. shaped like the letter S.
3. of, pertaining to, or situated near the sigmoid flexure of the large intestine.

1. insincere, especially conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.
2. the private language of the underworld.
3.the phraseology peculiar to a particular class, party,profession, etc.: the cant of the fashion industry.
–verb (used without object)
5. talk hypocritically.
6. speak in the whining or singsong tone of a beggar; beg.

1. to shake slightly; move to and fro, as by repeated jerks;jiggle: She joggled the key in the lock a couple of times before getting the door open.
2. to cause to shake or totter as by a sudden, slight push;jostle.
3. to join or fasten by fitting a projection into a recess.
–verb (used without object)
5. to move irregularly; have a jogging  or jolting motion; shake.

The shattering effect of a high explosive.

1. the investment of emotional significance in an activity,object, or idea.
2. the charge of psychic energy so invested.

1. firmly twisted yarn or thread spun from combed, stapled wool fibers of the same length, for weaving, knitting, etc. Compare woolen.
2. wool cloth woven from such yarns, having a hard, smooth surface and no nap.

1. incised carving, as opposed to carving in relief.
2. ornamentation with a figure or design sunk below the surface.
3. a gem, seal, piece of jewelry, or the like, cut with an incised or sunken design.

A localized area of tissue, as in the heart or kidney, that is dying or dead, having been deprived of its blood supply because of an obstruction by embolism or thrombosis.

1. belonging to, or partaking of the characteristics of, both sexes: Fashions in clothing are becoming increasingly epicene.
2. flaccid; feeble; weak: an epicene style of writing.
3. effeminate; unmasculine

to cry in a thin voice; whine; whimper.

a woman's headcloth drawn in folds about the chin, formerly worn out of doors, and still in use by some nuns.


1. Anatomy, Zoology .
a. middle ear.
b. tympanic membrane.
2. Architecture 
a. the recessed, usually triangular space enclosed between the horizontal and sloping cornices of a pediment, often decorated with sculpture.
b. a similar space between an arch and the horizontal head of a door or window below.
3. Electricity . the diaphragm of a telephone.

1. being at leisure; idle; indolent.
2. ineffective or futile.
3. superfluous or useless.

1. a county in the N Republic of Ireland. 124,783; 1865 sq. mi.(4830 sq. km). County seat:  Lifford.
2. Also called Donegal tweed . a plain or herringbone tweed with colored slubs.

1. any hairy plant belonging to the genus Heliotropium,  of theborage family, as H. arborescens,  cultivated for its small,fragrant purple flowers.
2. any of various other plants, as the valerian or the winter heliotrope.
3. any plant that turns toward the sun.

The omission of one of two similar adjacent syllables or sounds in a word, as in substituting morphonemic  for morphophonemic  or in the pronunciation  [prob-lee]

1. Pathology . an abnormal forward curvature of the spine in the lumbar region, resulting in a swaybacked posture. Compare kyphosis, scoliosis.
2. a posture assumed by some female mammals during mating, in which the back arches downward.

Characterized by or given to extreme optimism, especially in the face of unrelieved hardship or adversity.

A narrowing or stricture of a passage or vessel.

A substance that, because of the reactions it causes, is used in analysis and synthesis.

Of, pertaining to, or situated in the groin.

a set of kettledrums, especially as used in an orchestra or band.

1. a very strong wind.
2. Meteorology . a wind of 32–63 miles per hour (14–28 m/sec).
3. a noisy outburst: a gale of laughter filled the room.

1. to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one's knee or in one's arms.
2. to pet; pamper.

1. having the form of a wedge; wedge-shaped.
2. composed of slim triangular or wedge-shaped elements, as the characters used in writing by the ancient Akkadians,Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and others.
3. written in cuneiform characters: cuneiform inscription.

1. Pathology . continuous, usually nonsexual erection of the penis, especially due to disease.
2. prurient behavior or display.

A cannon having a comparatively short barrel, used especially for firing shells at a high angle of elevation, as for reaching a target behind cover or in a trench.

1. the club carried by a police officer; billy.
2. a staff representing an office or authority; baton.
3. the shattered shaft of a spear.

perception governed by proprioceptors, as awareness of the position of one's body.
“couldn’t tell his ass from his elbow.”

   [shuh-ley-lee, -luh]
–noun (esp. in Ireland)
a cudgel, traditionally of blackthorn or oak.

1.Television . a pattern of scanning lines covering the area upon which the image is projected in the cathode-ray tube of a television set.
2. Computers . a set of horizontal lines composed of individual pixels, used to form an image on a CRT or other screen.

1. the forepart of the skull.
2. the upper part of the skull.

An ornamental pattern or border, as in architecture, consisting of paired ribbons or lines flowing in interlaced curves around a series of circular voids.

1. Architecture .
a. the part of a classical entablature between the architrave and the cornice, usually decorated with sculpture in low relief.
b. any decorative band on an outside wall, broader than a string course and bearing lettering, sculpture, etc.
2. any decorative band at the top or beneath the cornice of an interior wall, a piece of furniture, etc.
3. Furniture . skirt ( def. 6b ) 

1. Also, piaffer. a cadenced trot (horse) executed on one spot, with a well-elevated leg action.

The bony protuberance on either side of the ankle, at the lower end of the fibula or of the tibula.

Loss of coordination of the muscles, especially of the extremities.

Death of a circumscribed portion of animal or plant tissue.

1. Architecture . a semicircular or polygonal termination or recess in a building, usually vaulted and used especially at the end of a choir in a church.
2. Astronomy . an apsis.

1. sooty; smoky: the fuliginous air hanging over an industrial city.
2. of the color of soot, as dark gray, dull brown, black, etc.

1. a small lump or stunted piece; stub.
2. a small or imperfect ear of corn.
3. an undeveloped fruit.

Psychiatry . (not in technical use) nervous debility and exhaustion occurring in the absence of objective causes or lesions; nervous exhaustion.

A long, slender cigar, usually with straight sides and tapering to a point at the closed end.

1. serving to indicate or point out; stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation.
2. encouraging a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error: a heuristic teaching method.
3. of, pertaining to, or based on experimentation, evaluation, ortrial-and-error methods.

*As for The Sopranos, I watched all 6.5 seasons for the first time over a month this summer. Each show was a short story, that moved me more than most of the books I read this year. It made reading really, really hard, especially the episode "Whoever Did This."

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