Miscellaneous

Rebirth of an alcoholic

I’ve struggled with alcoholism for almost twenty years now. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs: periods of sobriety and periods of pure chaos. When things are bad, I’ll drink a full 750 ml bottle worth or more of cheap vodka a day. There are even times I’ve kept a pint bottle in my pocket at work. I could go on, but that’s not the point. I’m just trying to provide some context as to the magnitude of my problem.

I’ve tried all sorts of things: counseling, AA, Rational Recovery, SMART Recovery, antidepressants, and on and on. Nothing has provided long-term relief from debilitating cravings—until now.

My wife came across a documentary on Netflix called One Little Pill. The namesake pill is naltrexone, an opioid antagonist. Essentially it blocks the brain’s opiate receptors, so when you have a drink, the subsequent surge of endorphin no longer provides that euphoric high. Over time, your brain unlearns years of drink-reward reinforcement and your desire to drink diminishes through a process called pharmacological extinction.

What that means for myself is that when I take a swig of vodka, there’s no explosion of pleasure. It’s no different than drinking water. In fact it’s much worse, because cheap straight vodka is disgusting. Where I used to get butterflies of anticipation in my stomach at just the thought of drinking, now the taste makes me nauseous.

In the months since I started down this road, my desire to drink has vanished completely. What’s more, I have been able to once again enjoy beer and wine for their taste, without worrying about not being able to stop. It’s amazing and has changed my life.

Miscellaneous

The more I have to say, the less I write

I still haven’t gotten around to writing that comprehensive review of Horizon Zero Dawn. And if you look at my ranked list of video games, you’ll notice reviews for 9 out of the top 10 games conspicuously absent. It’s not that I don’t want to write them; I love those games and have a great deal to say. The problem is that writing the kind of review those games deserve is a significant endeavor and quite frankly, I’m lazy. =(

Miscellaneous

Battlestar Galactica (2004) Season 1 and 2 review

I hesitate to call this a review. How would I even begin to breakdown and analyze such a sprawling masterpiece? The scope is too large. And how much point really is there for a show that aired over a dozen years ago? Be that as it may, I feel compelled to document and honor, in my own small way, this amazing series.

My wife and I finished watching the second season just now, and I’m still reeling. So much ground was covered, unexpected twists and retwists, and so many possibilities going forward. It was an absolutely brilliant conclusion to what has been two amazing seasons.

If you have never watched the show, do it. There is something here for everyone. It is action-packed, drama filled intensity, with twists, turns, romance, and humor. It is also the most intellectually challenging TV series I have ever watched. Beyond the overall metaplot, which has its own broad philosophical questions, it gracefully brings countless other personal, moral and societal issues under the lens of scrutiny.

The quality of a TV series is the sum of a hell of a lot of things, and the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica fire on all cylinders, propelling every episode forward in a very powerful way, but never in a straight line, and never without asking difficult questions about how and why we arrive at each point along the journey.

Miscellaneous

As I sit in the waiting area of Townfaire Tire (courtesy of a ninja pot hole), I’m subjected to daytime television. The show that’s currently on is Right This Minute, where four people sit around a table and comment on video clips.

I don’t even know what to say… People watch this? I honestly feel insulted by the stupidity of it. Like, how could you possibly put forth such a weak effort to entertain me? This is half-assery of the highest order.

If you’re watching this of your own free will, snap out of it friend. You’re better than this.

Miscellaneous

The First World War documentary series

This is a really fantastic series. I’ve watched all ten episodes in full and highly recommend it. It provides as comprehensive insight into the war as you can possibly cram into 10 hours. My only complaint regarding the content, and it’s not really a complaint, is that it doesn’t go into a lot of detail about how specific battles were fought. I would describe it as more of a historical documentary than a military documentary. On the technical side, I found the music way too loud in the mix and rather annoying, but it certainly wasn’t going to stop me watching this incredibly interesting and informative series about one of history’s most important events.

*I made my own playlist because the original uploader’s includes an unrelated video and has an episode out of sequence.

If you have any thoughts on the series or recommendations for other documentaries let me know in the comments.

Miscellaneous

You’re here right now

Imagine sitting on the moon and staring down at the earth. All of its vast oceans, towering mountains, and nearly 7 billion people trying to live their lives. Some happy, sad, depressed, overjoyed, running, sleeping, fighting, making love, dying, being born.

Imagine the wonder of all that is, and that you’re here right now. Alive on earth, and able to experience it. Whether things are going great or going to shit, the fact that we’re here, conscious, and able to experience things and have emotions is incredible.

Everything that happens to you, all the ups and downs; all the things you feel, think, say and do; the people you meet; the good times and bad all go into making you who you are. They are all vital components of what makes you unique, special, and important amongst all 7 billion of us.

There is wisdom to be gained from all experiences, savor them, learn from them, and become better for what you’ve gone through. Be at peace with yourself.