Tommy Carrico: Week Five of Infinite Winter

Monday, February 29th
Leap Day… my week to guest blog is soon. It’s this week. I need to see how far behind I am.


I can probably catch up by Wednesday. I’ll just wake up early and read a little bit more than usual each day.

Reflections on accomplishments not accomplished yield to the realization that I won’t understand how Reddit works.

Tuesday, March 1st

Snooze button.

I have to finish conference paper abstracts, proofread, and submit to the proper committee by 5.

I can probably skip the gym to read Infinite Jest since it’s de-load week and I’m still five weeks and four days out from competing in the “Chocolate Thunder USS Strongman Contest” that is being held in tandem with Lewisburg, West Virginia’s 10th Annual Chocolate Festival. Plus my elbow has a small twang.

“Huhl. Huhl. Gwwwwwwww.”

Wednesday, March 2nd

I check email as part of the annual ritual which culminates with my being digitally assured by the conference committee that my scholarship is insightful, but the other proposals were not only large in number, but really, really good.

The local brewery has half-priced growlers1 every Wednesday which will hopefully aid in the speed of catching up on Infinite Jest.

There was something about “second-order vanity” in DFW’s Broom of the System that seems relevant to Infinite Jest. Reminder to look it up for the blog post.

Thursday, March 3rd

It strikes me that, in another example of DFW’s prescience, Infinite Jest‘s format closely follows the most common and widespread mode of contemporary reading exemplified by our literary interactions on social media like twitter, facebook, and probably reddit. This is to say that it’s become very common to read a wide variety of different snippets of different stories from different voices and assume that they are connected somehow by our own particular network or personal act of literary consumption, and thereby place one’s self at the nexus from which the world makes sense while contributing to the mysteriously-arranged world of others. In my world, this is how Egyptian politics, the lyrics of “In the Night” by The Weeknd, an article about Stephen Curry in a French newspaper, and a picture of PC Principal from South Park yelling “check your microaggressions, bro” are linked in the same storyline.

A one shot Americano compared to a double is like a Bud Light nightcap at the end of a night of craft beer tasting.

Friday, March 4th

“Now a second-order vain person is a vain person who’s also vain about appearing to have an utter lack of vanity. Who’s enormously afraid that other people will perceive him as vain. A second-order vain person will sit up late learning jokes in order to appear funny and charming, but will deny that he sits up late learning jokes. Or he’ll perhaps even try to give the impression that he doesn’t regard himself funny at all…also obsessed with the desire that no one know of his obsession.” – David Foster Wallace, The Broom of the System page 23

A person who wants to read Infinite Jest so that people will know that he’s reading Infinite Jest without people knowing that he wants them to know that he’s reading Infinite Jest.

1On March 5th, 2012, Virginia Senate Bill 604 passed the senate and required only the signature of then-governor Bob McDonnell (who, along with his wife, will have arguments heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in April of this year regarding their being convicted of corruption charges in 2014 stemming from the reception of gifts in excess of $165,000 from Jonnie Williams, Sr. – “the father of laser eye surgery” according to the Washington Post – in exchange for political favors having to do with Williams’ vitamin company) to become law. SB 604 amended §4.1-208 of the Code of Virginia dealing with various types of beer licenses to include the provision “Such license shall also authorize the licensee to sell beer at retail at premises described in the brewery license for on-premises consumption and in closed containers for off-premises consumption” in the rights granted to those receiving state-issued “brewery licenses”. In legal vernacular, a “growler” is a 64-ounce closed container for off-premises consumption of beer procured at an officially sanctioned brewery.


Tommy Carrico is a stay-at-home-dad/grad student who tweets from @tjcTBA and blogs sporadically at

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