Tonight was the premiere of the final season of one of my favorite shows — Six Feet Under, on HBO. It’s really brilliant, this show. I can’t get over how every episode is just so freaking fantastic. I’m going to be a bit sad when it’s gone.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how I used to never watch television. For the first twenty-five years of my life, if you had asked me, I would have said that I didn’t consider myself a tv-watcher, even that I didn’t really like tv (except for football, of course). In the last five or six years, though, I’ve become addicted to quite a few shows: Law & Order, West Wing, CSI: Miami, the Sopranos … I honestly think that some of the best production/writing/acting in media is on these shows, but I am also wondering if it’s really TV that’s getting better or if it’s just that I am getting older.
It feels like I’m struggling to read these days. I used to be voracious — three, four, even five novels each week all through high school and college. Now it seems like a shock if I manage to get through a book in a month. I certainly am not actually reading less — I spend all day reading … it’s just that my eyes are glued to a computer screen instead of paperbacks. Every time I blink it is as if I have less and less time to just relax, and when I do I am more apt to “veg out” playing a video game or watching television than reading.
I am thinking all day, every day. It’s basically what I do for a living. The computer programming stuff is sort of tangential — what I really get paid to do is think all day. And there’s a fair amount of pressure to it. A pretty large gaggle of people is depending on me to be thinking correctly. If I play college football on my Playstation 2 — using Florida to beat Ohio State 135 – 0 — then I’m not thinking at all, really. It’s serious brain-off time.
That being said … I’m currently about a quarter of the way through Bill Bryson’s wonderful A Short History of Nearly Everything, two stories into The Best American Science Writing of 2003, and almost done with David Sedaris’ Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. And I rip through Discover, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health, and Scientific American magazines the day they arrive each month. So maybe I’m just not reading as much fiction as in my past. Hmm.
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