For anybody else reading Ulysses for the first time and struggling with OotS, just don't worry about it too much. The most important thing is that you do not give up. As soon as you start Circe the pages begin to fly by. I've fallen in love with the book all over again. Same goes for Proteus, the other "difficult" chapter, or Scylla and Charybdis--wade through. Read the annotations on those chapters if you have the right version, but get through them somehow. It is so worth it.
I wish I had some friends who could be James Joyce nerds with me. I want to tell everyone about it but when I try to explain why I love it, I can hear myself sounding so pretentious. I mean my friends are wonderful and very intelligent people but they wouldn't really like Ulysses. I just want to have the kind of conversations people have about their favorite TV shows and stuff, like "how amazing was that part where [...]!" "oh i know and what about [...]!?" "yes!!!"
But I only have one friend who's read Ulysses and he hated it. Oh well.
This guy I share a house with saw me reading it and said "Oh, is that, like, based on that cartoon about the dog?"