Difference between revisions of "Pages 343-379"

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Latest revision as of 23:52, 1 November 2018

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November 8th, YDAU - Interdependence Day - Boston AA

(The longest chapter in the book)

Page 343

GAUDEAMUS IGITUR
"Let us rejoice"

singular
unique

polysterene
a plastic made of polymerized styrene, if gas is entrained, it is called styrofoam

ziggurats
an ancient type of Mesopotamian temple tower

fiberboard
board made of small fibers of wood, plastic, or some combination of these and other materials

Concord
Concord is about 20 miles northwest of Boston and is the site one of the first battles of the American Revolution.

Page 344

rotary
a traffic circle or, in the U.K., a roundabout

plywood
material made of thin layers of wood glued together

'12th-Step Work'
The twelfth and final step of AA is this: "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

epigrammatic
of or pertaining to the use of short and pithy statements

pay it forward
(jeu de mots or wordplay on 'pay it back'), thus the title of this movie

nip
drink of alcohol

Dick Cavett and Truman Capote
Richard Alva "Dick" Cavett (born 1936) is an Emmy-award-winning television talk-show host. Truman Capote (1924-1984) was an American writer and novelist, best known for writing In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Both men were remarkably short.

Endnote 133

variegated
of diverse hue

esoteric
understood or recognized by few people

Page 344 (cont'd)

piping
This is a tubular band of ornamental material; Nodie is probably a brand name.

imbricate
(of scales, sepals, plates, etc.) having adjacent edges overlapping.

tailor's notch
Notch in a tooth one gets from repeatedly biting thread to cut it (or from holding a sewing needle between one's teeth)

incisors
front top and bottom teeth, in humans eight in all (right and left, upper and lower, central and lateral)

Page 345

insipid
without interesting qualities

AA Preamble
You can read it here.

empathy
one's ability to feel the emotions of another person

what he is
i.e., an alcoholic

Endnote 134

nonpunitive
not intended as a punishment

nitro
nitroglycerin, used for cardiac attacks

Page 345 (cont'd)

145 kph
a hair over 90 miles per hour

litany
a prolonged or tedious account

Page 346

self-regulations
an allusion to a similar deliberately ludicrous list in Chapter 3 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, read aloud at the start of many AA meetings

waxing
growing in size, as for the first half of a lunar cycle

peritonitis
inflammation of the serous membrane lining the abdomenal cavity

cirrhotic
pertaining to hardening of liver tissue

nephritis
inflammation of the kidneys

Page 347

compadre
a close friend or companion, from the Spanish for "godfather"

ravening
voracious

maw
mouth

Black Mass
a Satanic ritual based on the Roman Catholic mass

Page 348

"...something whimpery instead of banging."
a reference to the last line of T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men

garish
loud and flashy

Balaclavan
a reference to Balaklava, Ukraine, and the suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade

prognathous
having one's lower jaw project beyond the upper part of one's face

thermal
a warm, rising air current

arbitrage
simultaneous purchase and sale of the same assets in different markets

compound
i.e., a compound fracture, where the bone protrudes through the skin

Svce
Service

Unitarian
Though the term refers to Unitarianism, here it suggests a kind of hippyesque, wishy-washyness.

Page 349

Hindenburg
Named for Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg (1847-1934), the German field marshal, hero of World War I, and last President of the Weimar Republic, the Hindenburg was a hydrogen-filled zeppelin that exploded over Lakehurst, N.J., on May 6, 1937.

nonuremic
so as not to appear in one's urine

foamer
beer

Page 350

beatific
blissful or angelic

Zippo
a brand of lighter made in Bradford PA

saccharin
A play on words. "Saccharin" is the artificial sweetener in Sweet & Low (coffee is being discussed); "saccharine" means "overly sweet."

flummoxed
confused or perplexed

burnished
rubbed smooth

squalid
foul and repulsive

Page 351

terse
using few words

imperative
a tense of verb implicating a command or directive

zealotry
fanaticism

green-card Irishman
an Irishman who is a permanent resident non-citizen of the U.S.

meal
ground grain

metal-pedalled
i.e., "with the pedal to the metal," i.e., at top speed

chemical psychosis
Psychosis (called "speed psychosisis") a not uncommon side effect of amphetamine abuse.

wax lyrical
to speak poetically

"'d been a confarmed..."
I'd been a confirmed bowl-splatterer for years beyond counting. I'd been barred from the facilities at all the truck stops betwixt here and New York for years. The wallpaper in the loo at home hung in these curled sheets from the wall, I tell you. But now one day . . . I'll remember it always. It were a week to the day after I stood up for my ninety-day chip. I were three months sober. I were there on the throne at home, you know. Not to put too fine a point on it, I produced as usual and . . . and I were so amazed as to not believing my ears. It was a sound so unfamiliar at the first I thought I'd dropped my wallet in the loo, do you know? I thought I'd dropped me wallet in the loo as god is my witness. So down I bend betwixt my knees and had a look in the dim of the loo and couldn't believe my eyes. So good people I do then I drop to my knees by the loo and had a real look. A lover's look, do you know? And friends it were a lovely past my poor powers to say. It were a turd in the loo. A real turd. It were firm and tapered and ever so gently arched. It looked . . . constructed instead of sprayed. It look as I felt in my heart God himself made a turd to look. My friends, this turd of mine practically had a pulse. I stayed down on my knees and thanked my Higher Power, which I choose to call my Higher Power God, and I been thanking my Higher Power on my knees ever since, morning and nighttime and in the loo as well, ever since.

ninety-day chip
In AA, medals, or chips, are awarded to commemorate certain lengths of sobriety

Page 352

Enuresis
involuntary loss of bladder control, if while awake, pants-wetting; if while sleeping, bed-wetting

Priapism
a penile erection that won't go away

Projectile-incontinence
inability to hold one's bowels to the extent that feces shoot out of the anus

Autocastration
castration of one's self

fringe-Birchism
Birchism is adherence to the principles of the John Birch Society, an ultra-right-wing political organization

National-Socialist-Bundtism
The National Socialists were the Nazis, and bund is German for bunch, but it's unclear why Wallace uses Bundtism with the t rather than simply Bundism. This could refer to something like the German-American Bund of Fritz Julius Kuhn.

Coprophilia and -phagia
sexual excitement brought on by feces and eating of feces, respectively

candelabrum
a holder for more than one candle

Page 353

vitriolic
something highly caustic or severe, as criticism; the phrase prodigy of vitriolic spine must refer to someone with an impressive and courageous capacity (talent?) for scathing criticism

orevwar
i.e., au revoir, the French for "goodbye"

fremitic
characterized by tremor vibrations in any part of the body

Page 354

verdant
green with vegetation

varicose
having veins that are visible through the skin

shamanistic fiat
A shaman is a priest or religious official, usually of an indigenous religion. A fiat is an order, based on the Latin for the imperative form of the verb "to be."

30 kph
18.6 miles per hour

talismanically
in a way suggesting something having to do with a magic charm or amulet

Lord's Prayer
from Matthew 20:9-13

ballast
meaning an electric ballast, which is used to regulate and stabilize the current in fluorescent lights

Page 355

gnarled
knotty and misshappen

Sixers
the short name for the Philadelphia 76ers

MCI-Walpole
This is the Massachusetts Correction Institute at Walpole, about 25 miles southwest of Boston.

raisin jack
an alcoholic drink fermented from raisins, commonly made in prisons

spectral
looking like a ghost

Page 356

LeSabre
the Buick LeSabre

jack-legged
a slang term meaning "always screwing up"

dash
short for "dashboard"

abject
sunken to a low position, as in "abject poverty"

regs
regulations

sub-rosa
The Latin phrase sub rosa means "under the rose" and is used in English to denote secrecy or confidentiality

autonomy
control or rule over one's self

Page 357

fibrosis
scarring

Endnote 139

entomologic
of or pertaining to the study of insects.

Page 357 (cont'd)

Mr. Rogers
The Reverend Frederick McFeely "Fred" Rogers (1928-2003) was an American minister and children's television show host.

rhapsodize
speak in an extravagantly elegant manner

fisticuffery
fist-fighting

invectives
abusive expressions of opinion

Sergeant at Arms
an officer appointed to keep order

Page 358

apothegm
a short, pithy statement

head
bathroom

spuds
potatoes

nocturnal
happening at night

crook
a shepherd's staff

French-curled
You can see French-curled jewelry here.

demurely
in an affectedly modest way

Page 359

circumferences
distances around the edge of a circle

cuticles
dead skin at the bottom of the fingernails

astringent
a chemical that tends to dry something else out; here it probably means "severe, austere, stern" (OED)

onionlight
You can see onionlights here.

isopropyl
2-propanol, a type of alcohol, comprising rubbing alcohol ('surgical spirit' in the U.K.)

reek
to smell very badly

A.D.A.
Assistant District Attorney

Page 360

fumigated
permeated with gas to kill insects or other vermin

idiosyncrasy
a peculiarity of personality

rattan
material taken from the rattan plant, a climbing palm with very long stems

Big Book
This is the AA "bible," so to speak, and can be found online here.

As Bill Sees It
a book by Bill W., one of AA's founders, first published in 1967

Came To Believe
another AA publication, this one published in 1973

Page 361

joggling
shaking slightly

Demerol
a brand name of meperidine (USA) or pethidine (UK), a synthetic narcotic 'painkiller'

photic
having to do with light

Page 362

copperheads
one of five species of poisonous snake

tongues
The reference is to glossolalia.

larynx
voice box

requisite
essential or necessary

venulated
The word means "able to see the veins"; this condition of the nose is very common among advanced alcoholics.

'Volare'
This is a song whose title is from the Italian for "to fly." The song was written by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci. Modugno went on to be a member of Italy's parliament

Page 363

pupil and iris
The pupil is the black circle at the center of the eye, while the iris is the colored part (blue, green, brown, gray, hazel).

cognito
which is to say, in Lenz's case, unsuccessfully incognito

Ferragamos
an Italian brand of shoes

periphery
an external boundary

selvage
the edge of woven fabric finished so as to prevent raveling, often in a narrow tape effect, different from the body of the fabric.

11-Step
recalling the 12th step on page 344, UHID must lack this step, or perhaps one of the others

Page 364

Rémy
Rémy-Martin, a brand of cognac

Tiparillo
a brand name of cigar with built in holder, more or less

Year of Dairy Products From the American Heartland

defib paddles
the paddles used in defibrillation, the application of electric shocks to the heart to re-start it

divot
Normally a golf term, a divot is the chunk of turf whose ejection leaves a hole in the fairway when one strikes a golf ball.

rankness
the quality of being offensive

proprietary
Usually referring to an owner, here it refers to feeling as if one has a sense of ownership.

Page 365

rectum
the very end of the large intestine

hubristic
having exaggerated pride or self-confidence

7-iron
a type of golf club

tenth rough
off the fairway on the tenth hole of a golf course

Page 366

flats
women's shoes without heels

subjunctive
relating to or denoting a mood of verbs expressing what is imagined or wished or possible. Compare with indicative.

counterfactual
at variance with what really happened

indicative
According to Merriam-Webster, "indicative" means "of, relating to, or constituting a verb form or set of verb forms that represents the denoted act or state as an objective fact."

transposition
exchanging the positions of two things

Radarange
The name of the original microwave oven by Amana

pass
NOAD: 13. a state or situation of a specified, usually bad or difficult, nature • this is a sad pass for a fixture that used to crackle with excitement.

allude
NOAD: suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at

Page 367

velour
a piled and nappy material resembling velvet

caparison
an ornamental covering for a horse, or just rich clothing

gavel
a small mallet or hammer with which an auctioneer, a judge, or the chair of a meeting hits a surface to call for attention or order.

NNYC's Statue of Liberty

Page 367

huge photo album
The book held by the statue reads, "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI [1776]."

product
as opposed to the torch it currently holds

pitons
spikes used by mountain climbers for support

Boston AA, cont.

Page 367

deprecate
to express disapproval

Page 368

conundrum
something puzzling

cunctations
delays

chagrin
embarrassment at having failed

aphasiac
neologism, or misspelling of aphasic, unable to speak

Filene's
former department store in the Boston area, now owned by Macy's, famous or perhaps notorious at one time for the sales held in its basement

Page 369

unironic
not ironic, i.e., totally expected and not at all a surprise

disingenuous
lacking in sincerity, pretending to be naïve

schlepping
carrying something awkwardly or slowly

deprogramming
from the deprogrammer's point of view, reversing the brainwashing that induced someone to adhere to a religious cult

Page 370

Naked I Club
a real strip club mentioned here

Route 1
U.S. 1 runs from Fort Kent, Maine, at the Canadian border, down to Key West, Florida, largely hugging the Atlantic coast

Saugus MA
a suburb of Boston about ten miles north of the city

etiology
the cause or source of a medical problem

prolix
extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy.

Mud-Bug
a Southern term for a crawfish

invertebrate
an animal without a spine

chordate phylum
the phylum of the animal kingdom containing all animals with spines

Page 371

Campfire Girls
former name of organization when it was just for girls

Lancôme
one of France's largest cosmetics manufacturers

lurid
gruesome or shocking

ubiquitousness
the quality of always being present everywhere

Aetna
a real insurance company

Doric column
columns of buildings built according to the Doric order

pliability
the ability to be easily bent

Page 372

Ramparts and Commonweal
Ramparts was a magazine founded for a Catholic leadership but eventually found its niche with the New Left. Commonweal was and still is a publication by and for lay Catholics.

Sally Jessy Raphael M.S.W.
Sally Jessy Raphael (born Sally Lowenthal, 1938) is an American talk-show host. She does not hold an M.S.W., i.e., a Master's of Social Work

complicity
the status of being an accomplice in a wrongdoing

Wounded, Hurting, Inadequately Nurtured but Ever-Recovering Survivors
Look at the initials of the capitalized words.

auburn
reddish-brown

perimeter
the oustide edge of something

Page 373

vanity
a dressing table

limbic system
a complex system within the brain; the most primitive portion of the mammalian brain, associated with emotions

gauntlet
an attack from all sides

rasa the tabula
This is a playful inversion of tabula rasa, Latin for "blank state" and used in the philosophy of John Locke (1632-1704). The sense here is to clean the slate.

bandanna
a large printed handkerchief, typically red or blue with a white design

circumoral
surrounding the mouth

vacuole and optica
These are parts of a cell, the optica likely being some kind of "seeing" organ.

protozoan
a single-celled organism

some Catholic statue
The statue described strongly appears to be Bernini's The Ecstasy of St Theresa. This statue is also referred to by name at endnote 24, page 988 in the synopsis of James Incandenza's film Pre-Nuptial Agreement of Heaven and Hell.

Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity

prurient
causing lust

cherub
Often this word is used to denote a baby angel, but the actual connotation of the original Hebrew is of a fearsome warrior angel. A cherub guards the Garden of Eden in Genesis so that Adam and Eve cannot go back in.

lolled
dropped

Page 374

IV
intravenous, i.e., directly into a vein

lucidity
mental clarity

implicit
unspoken but implied

Six Flags Over the Poconos
Six Flags is a chain of amusement parks. There is not currently one in the Pocono Mountains.

labrynth
This is the mythological spelling of "labyrinth," meaning generically a maze, but more specifically denoting the maze built by Daedalus of ancient Greek myth.

minotaurs
Daedalus built his famous maze to house the Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull and the product of sexual congress between Europa, queen of Crete, and Zeus in the form of a bull.

aides de camp
confidential assistants to a military officer

absconded
departed suddenly and in secret

proto-Fascist
Wallace really means "quasi-Fascist" rather than "proto-Fascist"; it's not as if the rules of AA are the harbinger of Fascism to come.

decamped
a synonym of "absconded"

Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad

commode
toilet

Page 375

Endnote 143

Sic
This word means: "Thus; so. Used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

April 30th/May 1st, YDAU - More Marathe & Steeply

Page 375

shelf
a projecting ridge on a mountain

anticonfluential
see note, p. 65

spangle
a small bright spot

"...launching even one ship or vessel."
unlike Helen of Troy, whose face "launched a thousand ships" according to Homer

Himself and Lyle

Page 375

blotto
drunk

Endnote 144

Year of the Purdue Wonderchicken

Page 376

Endnote 145

More Boston AA

Page 376

brogue
American slang term for an accent – usually Irish or Scottish – from the Irish word 'bróg', meaning 'shoe'.

Eightball
an eighth of an ounce of cocaine

translucent
capable of having light pass through; but not transparent

mucronate
having an abruptly projecting point, as a feather or leaf.

Page 377

swaddled
wrapped tightly in cloth strips

fuchsia
brilliant ("hot") pink, the color of the flower of the same name

dysplasia
abnormal growth of cells or tissue

remonstrances
acts of protest

beat-cop
a policeman who patrols the streets

abstruse
difficult to understand; recondite

tungsten
a metallic element most commonly used for the filaments of incandescent light bulbs described here, also known as wolfram

Page 378

Chanel
the fashion house known in long form as the House of Chanel

reticence
reserve, restraint, inhibition, diffidence, shyness; unresponsiveness, quietness, taciturnity, secretiveness

D&C
dilation (of the cervix) and curetage (scraping) of the uterus

placenta
the tissue that nourishes a fetus and makes up the afterbirth

S.S.I.
Social Security Insurance

Page 379

Himself and Lyle, cont.

Page 379

libations
alcoholic drinks

injudicious
showing lack of judgment

chyme
This is "the semifluid mass into which food is converted by gastric secretion and which passes from the stomach into the small intestine" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

Endnote 146

L.M.P.
Latrodectus Mactans Productions


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