Saturday, April 17, 2010

You're a Mean One, Mr. Lantern

All right, time to reach into the Movie Tavern Mug and see what mystery I need to solve today.

"Write an Ikea Sex Scene!"

Dammit, how does that one keep getting back in there? Next!

"I'm feeling grumpy. How do I fix it?"


Yeah, I'm just as confused as you are that I'm being asked this question. I mean, I am a grumpy old man. So much so, that many of my friends say I was born to play Giles Corey in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. You're seriously asking ME how to de-grump? What, is everyone else dead?

Well, a trained therapist would probably try to get you talking, and try to get you to confront the root issues of your grumpiness, and attempt to resolve them. It would take time, and a lot of soul searching. However, I'm not even remotely a trained therapist (nor have I played one on TV). Everyone de-grumps slightly differently, but in my experience, distraction is the best way to go to de-grump yourself. Try some of these.

Video Games

Sometimes, you just need the cathartic release of violence, and what better way than digital cartoon violence? Less likely to get arrested, and far less likely to have a mess to clean up afterward. Now, there are plenty of different genres of video game out there, but for de-grumping purposes, I tend to go for platformers like Mario, Megaman, or Sonic (there's very little as satisfying as putting in some Guns N Roses, and destroying robots as a hyperactive blue hedgehog). Sure, I'll play plenty of other games, but if I'm grumpy and really don't feel like thinking, I tend to go simple, bright, colorful, platformer.

Of course, sometimes you don't even need to play the game to de-grump. Need a distraction the night before a test? Hook up the second controller, call a friend over, and start playing as Tails. Or go over to your friend's apartment and watch him play Left 4 Drunk. They're games, after all, and what is a game without other people involved?

Or, if you're particularly malevolent, try to trick a friend into downloading and playing I Want to Be the Guy, and watch as your mood lifts.

I'm such an asshole.


For centuries, people have used music in order to lift one's spirits. With the invention of the internet, this is now easier to do than ever! (Who says the internet is only for porn?) The question, I suppose, is what music to listen to? Well, it all depends on individual tastes. I could do an entire post on my favorite songs, but then, we'd be here all day, and even my favorites aren't always the ones that cheer me up. But, I've got a couple silly ones that do a good job, whether they're campy, hopeful, or catchy. And of course, there are plenty of songs that remind me of happy times with people, but that's another blog post.

What happens when none of your usual cheer up songs are working? Ask someone for suggestions. Sure, we all can have wildly different tastes in music, but you never know when you might come across something new that you'll like.

Of course, for a good portion of history, listening to music wasn't wildly available, so to lift spirits, people did the next best thing; they sang what songs they knew. Sure, you may feel stupid singing, but if you get the right person or people to sing with you, before you know it you'll be drunkenly singing "Hey Jude" in no time, your troubles a world away.


So you're feeling grumpy. Well, sitting around in the same spot doing nothing probably isn't going to cheer you up. Come on, stand up, ye lump. That's it, there ya go. All right, now put some clothes on. We don't want you grumpy AND arrested. Okay, now your shoes. Got 'em? All right, now start walking. Where, you ask? Doesn't matter. We're just walking until you find it. You'll know what "it" is when you see it.

Y'see, sometimes, all it takes to get rid of the grumps is a little change of scenery. So get up and start walking. Who knows what you might find? It could be a new favorite secluded spot to read a book, or it could be a tiny shop you never noticed before, or it could be a demonically possessed house that wants to pick a fight with you, or it could be someone who is dying to get a Wawa Gobbler with you. You'll never know until you wander on down the road a piece.


Well, crap. You would get up for an adventure, but it's too rainy outside. What do you do now?

Hey, who says all adventures have to be a place that you go? Why not try making something? Whip up some fudge for someone you care about, write a play about a video game villain, draw a picture, get in touch with your inner stereotype and build a dream catcher, whatever. It's your call. Just get your hands and mind moving with something, to keep your mind off of those pervasive negative feeling that are permeating every part of your person.

And while you're at it, why not recruit a minion? After all, some projects are better tackled as a group. A cook could use a sous chef, a writer can always use a proofreader, and an artist needs a muse.

Find a Friend

You may have noticed a pattern in the past couple recommendations: they all eventually end up better with companionship. From time to time, we all feel alone in a world far too big for us. It's healthy to find people to remind us that, hey, there's someone there to help pick you up when you fall, whether it's the guy who keeps a bottle of bourbon in his desk to give out in case of emergency, or the girl who can ease the raging tempests of the soul with her winning smile. Misery loves company, after all. Go out there and find someone you can talk to, that you can play with. You'll be glad you did.


Well, now that I've given you all a terrible case of the dia-beetus once again, this is J. K. Lantern, signing off for now.

1 comment:

  1. Some cool recommendations; I'll keep them for my next darkly mood!

    Since it appears you're winging some of these (not sure about this Movie Tavern Mug you're discussing but it sounds like a quick fix for blogger's block of some kind), I guess you wouldn't mind suggestions for future posts?
    I'd be kind of curious to read about your move from Spotsylvania, for one thing. How did you say goodbye to the area? How did you spend your last hours?
    Your thoughts on old classmates?
    What was the arrival into your new environment like? Just a thought.