Just over a week ago, I began my summer of David Foster Wallace with Infinite Jest. It is definitely a tough book to get into with chapters taking place in different periods of time, with characters that aren’t always named. There is a bit of mystery to reading it and discovering who is actually speaking.
Often, the psychological turbulence of those first days or weeks is so debilitating that recently incarcerated people can’t even navigate public transportation; they’re too frightened of crowds, too intimidated or mystified by the transit cards that have replaced cash and tokens. In a recent study, the Harvard sociologist Bruce Western describes a woman who ‘‘frequently forgot to eat breakfast or lunch for several months because she was used to being called to meals in prison.’’ I met one man who explained that, after serving 15 years, he found himself convinced that parked cars would somehow switch on and run him over. So many years inside can leave people vulnerable in almost incomprehensibly idiosyncratic ways, sometimes bordering on helplessness: ‘‘Like that little bird, getting his wings’’ is how one man described himself on Day 1.
David Foster Wallace has been an indirect influence on my writing for as long as I have been writing a blog. He was and still is a major influence on some of my favourite writers, primarily Bill Simmons and Jason Kottke, with how they phrased things and their generous usage of footnotes. 1 The unfortunate thing for me has been a lack of reading the original source.
You are going to die in an hour and a half.
You are going to die at the end of the play.
— Queen Marguerite, Exit the King
My real introduction to theatre1 began with Eugene Ionesco’s, Exit the King. It was a small production at The Guild, in the early part of 1997, in Whitehorse, Yukon. I remember the time and year distinctly, because it was one of the first assignments to be done for my first semester in the MAD program.
You need the practice of mindfulness to bring your mind back to the body and establish yourself in the moment…
Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.
Serene He stands among the flowers
And only marks life’s sunny hours
For him dark days do not exist
The brazen-faced old Optimist
— George Allison1
In preparation for the coming summer season, I have been taking some time to explore the Okanagan more. Partially to satisfy my own natural curiousity about the historical background of the region, but also to provide ideas of things to do for the guests of the vacation rental. When I first arrived in the valley five years ago, I thought the history was to be fairly basic: the valley was discovered to be a perfect climate to grow apples, peaches, and other fruit, and then slowly grew up to be a bustling city based on tourism and the environment.
Ever since purchasing my new iPhone, I’ve been discovering that playing games on the larger screen is a much better experience.
Alto’s Adventure came out this week for iPhone. It’s an endless snowboarding game1, meaning the level only finishes when you crash. The game play is incredibly simple: a tap is a jump, pressing down causes you to flip. That’s it.