Blog Archive

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

The Infinite Jest Challenge: Week 8

Published in Blog Archive, Infinite Jest.

Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace

Eight weeks down. For newcomers to the blog, this is the ninth 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 3 3/4 gallons of 2% milk. 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 (averages do not include Thursday as the YMCA was closed for Thanksgiving and I was unable to complete the day’s exercises):

  • This week I read 84 pages of main text, for an average of 14 pages per day. (Last week’s average was 11.86.) 
  • This week I biked an average of 21.89 miles per day while reading (up from 17.61 last week), for a total of 131.31 miles, and 1041.04 miles overall thus far. 
  • Last Sunday morning I weighed in at 195.8, and yesterday morning I weighed in at 197, for a gain of 1.2 pounds this week. Total weight loss thus far is 19.4 pounds. 
  • Last week I started on page 656, and this week I’m kicking things off on 740. (Also, I’m on page 374 of Elegant Complexity.) 

Stray observations from the week’s reading:

  • “Chess on the run.” Interesting way of looking at tennis. (659) 
  • “‘AIYEE!‘ cries the man, rushing at the nun, wielding a power tool.” This line came completely out of the blue. David Foster Wallace: Wildcard. (701) 
  • “For the first couple blocks the Creature had shouted for Help and to Stop The Bitch, and Poor Tony, then with a decent lead, had countered by also yelling Help! and For God’s Sake Stop Her, flummoxing any would-be citizens.” Note to self: If I ever become a professional thief and find myself being chased by someone I’ve wronged, utilize this technique in escaping, yelling Stop! as if I, too, am in pursuit of someone. (720) 
  • “Can you ever say pitted without some kind of against in there someplace later in the sentence?” Fun point, but it doesn’t make up for the seven page endnote that it was included in. I’m starting to get tired of these things. (1061) 
  • Non-reading related note: At 42:32 of my ride on Saturday my concentration nemesis reappeared at the YMCA. I don’t know this man, but I hate him. He’s a rather big guy when he rides the elliptical he starts huffing and puffing like a wild horse neighing, alternating with no consistency between what sounds like deep asthma-ridden gasps and wildly gassy, loose-cheek mouth farts. Only making matters worse, I’ve never once seen his sweaty ass wipe down a machine after he uses it. I hate this person, and even seeing him around me throws my concentration off. At 42:32 of my ride on Saturday I put my bookmark in and moved to the other side of the gym. 
Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Pages Read: Monday 10, Tuesday 16, Wednesday 18, Thursday -, Friday 12, Saturday 16, Sunday 12.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Miles on Bike: Monday 19.12, Tuesday 21.76, Wednesday 22.61, Thursday -, Friday 17.18, Saturday 20.68, Sunday 29.96.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Calories Burned (Reading on Bike/Other Cardio): Monday 575/450, Tuesday 662/700, Wednesday 679/1123, Thursday -/-, Friday 519/600, Saturday 644/1050, Sunday 905/573.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Weight: Monday 198.8, Tuesday 198.4, Wednesday 198.6, Thursday 197, Friday (no reading), Saturday 197.4, Sunday 197.