Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

Pynchon and pastries

I sit in the mall’s food court, reading Gravity’s Rainbow while Paul Young whines out Every Time You Go Away. I take a last absent-minded bite out of a cinnamon bun (thinking as I do that I really must start in on that whole “exercise” thing) and read on. The piss-poor music’s winning out over Pynchon, which is less of a tragedy than it sounds. Suffice it to say that I’m not exactly burning through the seven hundred or so pages; having only managed a few pages in thirty minutes, I opt to blame the musak rather than my rabbit-on-meth attention span.

A brisk walk out of the mall and a not-so-speedy bus ride later, and I sit here in my favorite coffee house. The music is marginally better — I think it’s the Magnetic Fields’ baridrone — but I’m still having trouble focusing on the page before me: a man bicycles past the café’s window, a comically large fishing pole slung over his shoulder as he pedals the wrong way down a one-way street; laptop-enabled geeks behind me natter on about version numbers and home-rolled kernels; at the table across from mine, an old woman mumbles quietly, angrily to herself. She twists a brass key furiously between index finger and thumb as if unlocking her hand, pausing to vehemently cross herself each time a bus rolls past on the street before her.

I take a sip from my coffee, and admit defeat by firing up the laptop. There’s apparently an open wifi network nearby. I sigh inwardly, and say a silent prayer — for my attention span, for my unread novel, and for the rest of my afternoon.

Hello, internet.


Hooray, technical difficulties.

There’s a WordPress issue that’s currently preventing old comments from displaying correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully we’ll be back online soon.