Apathy

I’m having a bad day.

I feel drained, apathetic, and am just generally beating myself up. I feel like I have wasted moments of my life that I’ll never get back. I feel like I’m not living up to my potential. I feel like I piss away opportunities. The hours and days fly by me and I didn’t take advantage of them… instead I just burrowed into my blankets and sucked down another beer.

It seems like all my friends are doing great things. They are starting businesses, traveling the world, creating and inventing a better future. I am filled with all types of ideas and interests. I want to learn German. I want to start a children’s book series about our bicycle travels. I want to do some modifications to my bike trailer. I could exercise. It goes on and on and on… but I can’t seem to find the motivation. I often feel like it is too late to start or it will just be something that I fail at. Sometimes it feels like trying isn’t worth the effort because my history shows that I’ll just give up. I’ll get one super productive day in and then just spend the rest of the week dicking around on Facebook, wasting time on Hearthstone, and napping my life away. I can start a thousand projects and never finish one. Hell, I don’t even get 15% into one. My passion and drive just disappears after a day or two.

I know I am being irrational in a lot of ways, but that doesn’t make it feel less real or painful or depressing. I know that I see my friends doing a lot simply because I have ~2,500 Facebook friends. The law of large numbers virtually guarantees that something awesome is happening every day to a friend of mine. And I know we are kind of encouraged not to share the bad news in our lives. Everything is supposed to be fucking happy all the time… but damn it, sometimes I’m not happy.

I know that part of the problem is chemical. I’m recovering from overuse of serotonin after rolling this weekend. It always drains me for a couple of days. It always passes. But it still fucking brings tears to my eyes as I think about the time I’ve wasted… how much better my life could be if I stopped slacking. My hormones are already on a monthly cycle with periods of moodiness, insomnia, and near depression hitting every month.

Logically, I know my life is pretty awesome. My multi-year bicycle ride is starting up again soon and with it comes greater health, the three months of laziness burning up and firming my body and mind. With that health comes greater happiness as well. With that adventure comes the feeling that I am actually doing something of value in my life (even if I am the only one that gets any value from it).

I don’t know. I’m just having a shitty day. I just kind of feel alone.

 

 

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TV Shows

A friend of mine on Facebook requested (I love requests!!!) that I share my TV shows and book recommendations. Both of those lists are probably pretty long so I am breaking it into two parts. First, the TV shows.

Television or, more accurately, Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu tends to serve three purposes for me. I watch it actively, passively, and for sleeping. Active shows are the ones that I watch without distraction because I love the show, they cover deep issues, and they tend to require information about previous episodes to follow the story lines. Passive shows are the ones that I have on in the background while working, they provide white noise and the occasional break from work, but they aren’t distracting enough to make me unproductive. Sleeping shows are the ones I put on at night before bed, they are shows I am familiar with and provide a certain level of comfort and consistency to me. So, here we go…

Active:

Black Mirror – I’m completely in love with this show right now. I like it when television shows make you think and this show consistently lead to deep conversations with my partner about technology, transhumanism, human nature, philosophy, political institutions, and where we, as a society, are heading. There are going to be a lot of new ethical questions in the coming years as technology advances. I also really like that each episode is a stand-alone episode, you don’t need to commit to the show to get a lot out of it. It is a universe focused show instead of a plot or character focused show. I can’t recommend it enough.
See also: The 100, The Man in the High Castle

Six Feet Under – This show is representative of the “new tv” that has come from cable television (and later online providers). Without worrying about censorship from the government or commercials they are able to tackle more mature and serious issues. Some shows use this as an excuse to show lots of tits, but Six Feet Under doesn’t do that. There is some nudity and sex, but it is very real and appropriate to the story lines. The show takes place in a mortuary and makes you think about serious issues like family, love, mortality, and how our society views death. The characters are very real and human, there are no good guys or bad guys, everyone has moments of good and evil, they are all flawed people who are just doing their best.
See Also: Hannibal, Sense8, The Wire, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Transparent

Face Off – One of my guilty pleasures (okay, it isn’t a “guilty” pleasure, I don’t feel any guilt for the things I enjoy) is reality tv competitions. My favorite is Face Off. I am not a very creative person and it amazes me when I see the creativity and talent that some of these artists show. I love that we live in an age where people can pursue their passions and have opportunities that didn’t exist a decade ago.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – I know this is blasphemy but I think DS9 is my favorite Star Trek series. It is a little slow moving but having a series on a space station allows for some long story arches that tackle issues there were ahead of their time. It was made from 1993-1999 but talked a lot about terrorism and how to combat it, religious conflict with secular societies, military occupation, and the proper role of the military and government. It also was one of the first shows on primetime to show a lesbian kiss, which was highly controversial at the time (1995).
See also: The X-Files, Modern Family

Jessica Jones – I love just about everything that is happening in the Marvel universe right now. The use of TV and movies to create a cohesive universe is an amazing evolution for the art and would likely be impossible just a few years ago. Jessica Jones is my favorite in the series, likely because it is very adult. It definitely isn’t for children and tackles subjects like rape, PTSD, and how society treats those who are different. This is definitely a show that causes you to say “just one more episode” at 2am.
See also: Arrow, Flash, Gotham

 

Passive: 
The Biggest Loser, Pit Bulls and Parolees, Top Chef, Ancient Aliens, American Ninja Warrior, The Voice, Shark Tank

Sleep:
The Office, Parks and Recreation, Star Trek: The Next Generation, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Firefly, The League