I saw, I think, a vision of health the other night that reminded me that there's a way out of my current existential malaise. (I have an existential malaise - have I mentioned?)
My brother, a musician, is cat-sitting for a musician friend of his, staying in his big rambling house in little Italy while he and his family (his wife, an artist, and his daughter, apparently a small genius) go off and do family things.
Two things happened:
1) I stayed up way too late and drank too much, and have decided not to drink anymore for at least one month, because eww.
2) I remembered that I really like doing art all the time. This guy's house was crammed to the rafters with art - mostly things the family had made, together or alone, and all of it great, one way or another. They'd done things like bought cheap landscape prints and then drawn all over them, stick-people and boats and animals, or painted triptychs of ponies on cut-up cardboard boxes. It was an exuberant, stimulating place; it made me want to do stuff again.
And it reminded me of something I read somewhere, some kinda-dorky, kinda-plausible pseudo-Darwinian theory about art and humour both being advantageous because they represent a surplus of resources - you only paint a pony on a cardboard box if you've got way more energy than the bare minimum you need to survive. And then other people admire your pony and offer to nurture you or breed with you, depending on what's appropriate for your age and station in life. Whatever, it's true as far as it goes I reckon.
So the upshot is that I'm going to pursue the construction of small, dangerous robots with renewed vigour. And maybe quit one or two of my jobs...