Blog Archive

Posts, photos, podcasts and videos (2005-2020)

The Infinite Jest Challenge: Week 7

Published in Blog Archive, Infinite Jest.

Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace

Seven weeks are behind me. For newcomers to the blog, this is the eighth post in a series documenting the process of completing a challenge of reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest while losing the approximate weight of an industrial-sized mayonnaise jar full of pennies. My intentions are to read the entire book while on a stationary bike, and then continue with a full workout after each ride, with my eyes set on reading 1085 pages and losing 31.4 pounds in 100 days. (Well, that AND the 500 or so pages of Greg Carlisle’s Elegant Complexity, “A Study of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest“.)

This week’s numbers:

  • This week I read 83 pages of main text, for an average of 11.86 pages per day. (Last week’s average was 12.14.) 
  • This week I biked an average of 17.61 miles per day while reading (down from 17.86 last week), for a total of 123.26 miles, and 909.73 miles overall thus far. (I previously made an error somewhere along the way and incorrectly recorded overall miles.) 
  • Last Sunday morning I weighed in at 201.2, and yesterday morning I weighed in at 195.8, for a loss of 5.4 pounds this week. Total weight loss thus far is 20.6 pounds. 
  • Last week I started on page 573, and this week I’m kicking things off on 656. (Also, I’m on page 336 of Elegant Complexity.) 

Stray observations from the week’s reading: 

  • “Gesticulating.” Gross. (589) 
  • “He had an idea for setting up a Dial-a-Prayer telephone service for atheists in which the atheist dials the number and the line just rings and rings and no one answers. It was a joke and a good one…” Correction, it was a great joke. (592) 
  • “The newest guy’s still sitting in the linen closer claiming he’s comfortablest there with the door open and the new ‘helpless’ A. Johnson hasn’t come back yet.” My friends and I knew a girl by this name (which I abbreviated) who claimed to have slept with Eli Manning in college. While that can generally be filed under: Things that under no circumstance will ever make a difference in our lives, we’ve never looked at Eli Manning quite the same. (595) 
  • “I miss being told things were filmed before a live studio audience.” Pretty sure NBC’s recent ploy to bring this warm feeling back with shit-shows like Whitney doesn’t quite quench this sort of thirst for nostalgia. (599) 
  • Flesh-wound.” (616) 
  • “Moist noises.” Even grosser. (628) 
  • “Troeltsch’s so dumb he thinks a manila folder’s a Filipino contortionist.” Ha! (633) 
  • This week a story spread about a young girl who, much like Mario Incandenza, cannot physically feel pain
Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Pages Read: Monday 11, Tuesday 12, Wednesday 14, Thursday 10, Friday 12, Saturday 14, Sunday 10.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Miles on Bike: Monday 17.35, Tuesday 18.62, Wednesday 22.33, Thursday 13.35, Friday 18.34, Saturday 18.2, Sunday 15.07.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Calories Burned (Reading on Bike/Other Cardio): Monday 514/1072, Tuesday 572/500, Wednesday 689/610, Thursday 398/603, Friday 571/508, Saturday 576/1122, Sunday 461/1141.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Weight: Monday 199.4, Tuesday 195, Wednesday 199, Thursday 197.4, Friday 198.2, Saturday 195.8, Sunday 195.8.