Posted by: Mark | June 7, 2017

Finnegans Wake : Chapter 16

I couldn’t go the extra five pages yesterday to finish the chapter, but I made it through today.

All that’s left is Chapter 17, the entirety of Book 4. It starts on page 511 and ends on 540. I could finish it in days or months.

Posted by: Mark | June 6, 2017

Finnegans Wake : 500 Pages

On May 11, I reached page 400 of Finnegans Wake. Today I made it to 502, with 38 pages to go. There’s only five pages left in the chapter but I just didn’t have it in me to finish. It took about 90 minutes to slog through 12 pages. No wonder it took Joyce 17 years to write.

Posted by: Mark | June 4, 2017

Resolution Update : Resolution 3

My third resolution for 2017 was to lose 35 pounds. I lost 18.2 pounds from December 29, 2016 to January 5, 2017 (almost all of it water weight). 

Since then I gained 12.8 pounds  (still down from December but not good).

This resolution looks dead but I’ll try to at least not gain any more.

Posted by: Mark | June 3, 2017

Resolution Update 23

The year is almost halfway over but my resolutions aren’t even close:

1. Run 730 miles – Again nothing, still 65.1 miles.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – 687 push ups and 675 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – I had a physical and I know I gained weight but I can’t find how much I weighed on January 1. This could be a problem.

4. Support 24 local artists – still two.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – 19 submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 20,016 words and four completed stories.

7. Read all the New Testament – Complete.

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – On page 486, 54 pages to finish.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 92.

Posted by: Mark | June 2, 2017

20,000 Words

Compared to previous years, 20,000 words of fiction in short stories and novels isn’t so good but I’ll take it. My annual goal is 40,000 so I’m slightly above schedule.

I actually hit 20,016 words tonight by forcing myself to expand on a story that I doubt if I’ll ever finish. I guess it was pointless but I  just want to keep myself in the habit of writing.

Posted by: Mark | June 1, 2017

Finnegans Wake: Chapter 15

How lost am I with this book? I finished what I thought was Chapter 14 only to have it be Chapter 15. It didn’t cause it to make any more or less sense.

Back when I was in grade school, I read the original Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting and, by original, I mean the version that contained racist language. I had never encountered the word “niggeress” before and thought the characters had lost their minds. Lofting’s grandson claimed that Hugh didn’t know what words were offensive and what weren’t. I wouldn’t have believed him but (1) he was overjoyed that Eddie Murphy was taking the role, thinking it would help balance out the books, and (2) Robert Browning believed the word “twat” was a synonym for “hat,” causing one of his poems to focus on an old nun’s twat.

A few chapters ago in Finnegans Wake , I was surprised that Joyce casually used the word “nigger” but this chapter he used “niggeress.” I honestly thought that Lofting made that up but apparently it was standard for English and Irish (and most likely American) speakers.

The world was a sadder, stupider place than I imagined. With 63 pages left to go, I have to wonder what will be next.

Posted by: Mark | May 31, 2017

Completion List : Malcolm in the Middle

It used to be that you needed years of waiting to watch every episode of an older series. Thanks to Netflix and my sinus infection, I finished one fairly quickly.

I watched a little of Malcolm in the Middle when it first aired but started up again a few months ago.

It’s impossible not to focus on Bryan Cranston. He never got credit for it at the time but his depiction of Hal was as rich as Walter White. Plenty of other actors could have taken either role and some could have been funnier or more intense but I can’t think of anyone who could take such a range of behavior and make it cohesive and believable.

The overall show was good but crueller than I remembered. Some episodes seemed like rejected scripts from Married with Children.

Many shows would have pushed beyond seven seasons but Malcolm ended well. Some plotlines were starting to fray but it never went full Dexter. Finishing the show was definitely the best thing to come out of my sinus infection.

Posted by: Mark | May 28, 2017

Sunday, Snotty Sunday

Thanks to the fish bacteria, I’m still oozing pus out of my eyes, ears, and nose, but I noticed I posted every Sunday in May so far. I’m not doing much besides hoping my eardrums don’t burst so I’ll have to leave it with this.

Posted by: Mark | May 27, 2017

Resolution Update 22

The week started strong but I came down with some sort of infection. I hope to recover soon.

1. Run 730 miles – Nothing this week, still 65.1 miles.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – 663 push ups and 650 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – No weigh in again.

4. Support 24 local artists – still two.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – 19 submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 19,016 words and four completed stories.

7. Read all the New Testament – Complete.

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – On page 440, 100 pages to finish.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 87.

Posted by: Mark | May 26, 2017

Finnegans Wake : 100 Pages to Go

Another minor milestone: I’m up to page 440 of Finnegans Wake, struggling to reach the end on page 540 (actually the end of Finnegans Wake is its middle but I’ll pretend not to care).

In other news, I was sprayed in the face with diseased fish water at the pet store. I haven’t died but my head is killing me, the sides of my neck are swollen, and the rest of me feels wrung out. I recommend against exposure to bacteria-ridden aquarium water.

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