August 28th, 2016

Sally Salt Disgusted

Attitude is everything (anatomy of an annoying day)

Yesterday looked like a good day. It didn't feel like one.

My mood was grouchy to the point of poisonous. I realized that and worked to counter it. I did good things: got out, got to Bridge City Comics to pick up recent issues and a trade I wanted, got to run into good person Merrick as we both walked N. Mississippi Ave., got to a CD release concert by other good people the PDX Broadsides.

But it was a day where I got more easily annoyed at loud people on the bus. It was a day where I kept seeing people online quoting and re-blogging a particular meme and claiming it was from someone it wasn't in fact from, and I was bothered by that. It was a day where I found that for some reason, an electronic book copy I'd borrowed from the library wasn't staying downloaded, so I had to keep re-downloading it when I'd get back to somewhere with wifi.

In other words, I kept finding, to quote Douglas Adams, "reasons to be miserable." OK, that's overstating it; more accurately I kept finding ways to get rubbed the wrong way.

(I sort of admitted that to Merrick. I told her I was worried I'd "inflict" my bad mood on others, and she understood.)

Also, without being specific because it's not my story to tell, I'd learned that earlier that day, some random asshat mistreated a good person whom I like. It's the sort of anecdote that makes you want to hate people.

Knowing I was in a difficult mood, I made sure to end the day with something nice. That nice thing was the concert I mentioned, by the local band the PDX Broadsides: fun music about geeky stuff and pirate stuff by Jessica Hebert, Hollyanna Smith McCollom and Christian Lipski (all three of whom are also in PDX Yar, the pirate cosplay-and-educational group I'm acquainted with). The show was at a fish-and-chips place that, rafaela will be delighted to know, is called The TARDIS Room, done in Doctor Who decor (plus more general geek culture stuff; Star Wars is well-represented, too). The place is very warren-like, with several rooms and with nooks and crannies; I like places like that, though I made sure to walk through it carefully. Unexpected steps and ramps, is the thing. The PDX Broadsides played outside on the back patio, so I got there early, sat back there, and had dinner. No drink, especially not anything alcoholic; since alcohol tends to enhance whatever your current mood is, I try only to drink if I'm in a good mood. I wasn't going to push it.

Good idea, as my bad mood was lingering. The TARDIS Room is right next to where a burned husk of a building stands, in a fire this month that's being investigated as possible arson; the remains are visible from that patio. I didn't like seeing the damage next door, nor the possibility that it was deliberate. As much as I love Beavis and Butt-Head, I KNOW SETTING FIRES WHERE THERE SHOULDN'T BE FIRES IS BAD. But once again, I was finding a negative thing to focus on, when a positive thing, the concert, was preparing to happen.

Happily, at least one "off" thing last night got corrected: one of the three foods I ordered didn't come. I ordered fried haddock, chips (British for fries, of course), and a corn dog. Missing: the chips. I later went back in and checked with the person at the front counter, and she was surprised and apologetic; later, the shop sent me the errant chips. Yay, more food! (Before I asked, I looked again at the menu to make sure that, say, haddock wasn't the shop's one fish dish that didn't come with chips.)

Mood is powerful. I've heard a bad mood described as "revving a car at 6,000 rpm in neutral": lots of energy getting you nowhere. And oy, was I revving. I enjoyed the concert, which also had local comedian Caitlín Weyerhaeuser as the opener and a clever, funny magician as the mid-show act, but I'd gotten in the way of my own enjoyment. So I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. At best, I prevented my bad mood from poisoning other people's moods; I didn't visit with people, though several people I also like attended, so that I could keep from saying something that'd bother them. Like I said, I don't want to make others feel bad, even when I feel bad. I can control that. I did.

Today, I've deliberately had a quiet, be-by-myself day; it seems to be helping. I've been unpacking why my Saturday mood was so curdled; I'm figuring out some reasons. The fight to be and stay better goes on.