Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Let’s be honest. Everybody has their bad days. We all have those days when somebody is being a jerk to us at work, those drivers are idiots, that item is sold out, the device isn’t working. We all have those days where we just want to…
There are some great ways to alleviate this stress. One of my oldest and surest ways to deal with angry days actually involves two activities. First, I love going on long drives. There is something very calming about driving far enough to get out of the city (which is usually the reason that I’m angry in the first place) and just drive. No traffic lights, few other idiot drivers, just coast and let my mind work the frustration out. And frankly, the weather conditions (as long as they’re not overly hazardous) don’t concern me. Rainy, sunny, night, day, it’s all good if I can just drive.
When I’m truly upset about something, I also play loud music. There are some genres of music that, frankly, are just superb for negative feelings. I myself like hard rock on days like that, and I don’t necessarily sing along with the songs so much as scream. Throw on some angry rock and just go. It’s astounding. If I’m particularly angry, I’ll “sing” along until my voice starts to hurt.
Not that angry rock is the only option. It depends on my mood. If I’m more depressed than I am angry, then I’ll still drive, but I’ll listen to depressing lonely songs, which often will draw a tear or two. Sometimes I call these drives “quests” if I have a purpose. The purpose is usually minor, such as this little fast-food joint that is literally fifty miles from my house. I love that place, but let’s face it, it’s fast food. It’s not a desperate need to eat there when I go, it’s the fact that it’s a two-hour round-trip drive. It puts me behind the wheel and moves me from my city to the next adjacent one through some nice country. I get to be in isolation and listen to the music that fits the mood that put me on the road in the first place. What could be better?
Recently, I did that ridiculous thing that I do where if I can’t make up my mind, I’ll get multiple items. This time, it was with gaming systems. I have a habit, when I have a game system, of playing it entirely too hard for about a month, then forgetting that I have the system for years on end. But, since I had to reboot my life, I lost my old gaming systems and have been thinking about getting a new one. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, chips are hard to come by (except those produced by the companies Potato and Chocolate), making it extremely difficult to find game systems to buy. In fact, I’ve been told the major manufacturing companies have even given up on letting stores stock up on them. So, the other day, I was in a large chain store that I do not associate with technology and was shocked to find that they had not one, but two different brand game systems in stock. Can you imagine?
I asked my friends on my social media feed about their recommendations for gaming systems, and of course received a lot of feedback. The two gaming systems are a traditional style, and a virtual reality, and as I stood there, I just couldn’t make up my mind. But they were also less expensive than I expected (although the true cost is in the games), so I bought both. These gaming systems are great for working out frustration as well.
The style games I like are puzzle, and violent. I usually don’t like dropping names in my blogs, but the two in particular that I’m becoming reacquainted with are old games that I, frankly, didn’t even expect would still be on the market, let alone on modern gaming systems. In VR, I have been replaying Myst, a great puzzle game set in a nightmarish reality. It’s slightly updated from the one I used to play, but has the same feel and same style, so I don’t even know how to solve it yet. The other is Diablo (specifically Diablo III). This is the same game, and I love to play it when I’m angry. Every time I kill a Succubus I think of my ex.
Last night, for example, I played Diablo until six in the morning. Yes, I did go to bed, just as the sun was waking up. This is a danger for me. Being single, nobody is here to say, “listen, dummy…” To be fair, I wasn’t upset last night so much as I enjoyed catching up with the old game. If you’ve never played it, Diablo is set up in “chapters”, with different types of realms, and I made the (dumb) decision to finish the first one before going to bed. This is the kind of idiotic thing I do on game systems, so even as I was reaching the point where I was just tired and ready to call it an end, my OCD kicked in and kept me online. Sad, really.