EppsNet Archive: Anger

Why Do We Have Pessimistic Brains?


From my notes on Coursera’s Positive Psychology course: The most recent geological epoch that we lived through, the Pleistocene, was the Ice Ages. Famine, flood, ice, drought, more ice. Now, imagine a primate mentality that thought, “What a lovely day today out there. I bet tomorrow is going to be really lovely as well.” That mentality got crushed by the ice. The mentality that survived, the brains that we have, are bad weather brains. They’re brains that say “looks like a nice day out there, but tomorrow the ice is coming.” And that is the way we process, automatically, information about a good world. Depression, anger, paranoia have served us very well. In the Ice Ages, it was a very good idea to think that bad stuff was coming. But consider the possibility that human progress actually exists, and that prosperity, a good world, living well, not having a tragedy… Read more →

I Need to Acquire a Quirky Personality Defect


My great uncle died recently . . . of the people who spoke at his funeral, the thing that everyone seemed to zero in on was that he didn’t like to have to tell people how to do something more than once. He told you once and if you didn’t get it, he got angry about it. I wonder what people will say at my funeral? I don’t know that I have a distinguishing trait that everyone knows. In any case, I’m going to start telling people things once and once only and then yelling at them if I have to repeat myself. Read more →

Turning Away Wrath


There are answers which, in turning away wrath, only send it to the other end of the room, and to have a discussion coolly waived when you feel that justice is all on your own side is even more exasperating in marriage than in philosophy. — George Eliot, Middlemarch Read more →

Can You See the Real Me, Doctor?


I decided to get off meds for a while . . . Things That Are the Same I start every morning thinking about how great it would be to just stay in bed the rest of the day. Repeatedly hitting the snooze alarm — does life get any better than that? I live in fear of negative judgment. I dread being around other people. (May be just a restatement of #2). Things That Are Different I don’t feel like I’m in as much of a fog all the time. I feel sadder, angrier, happier, more scared, more alive for better or worse. Read more →

Angry Illiterates Shouldn’t Work at Bookstores


There’s no one behind the customer service counter at Barnes and Noble but there is a woman doing something with the books in front of the counter . . . “Do you work here?” I ask. “Yes,” she says, but not in a friendly way . . . more like yes, I work here but I regret it. ‘I’m looking for The Book of Holiday Awesome,” I say. “I’ve never heard of that,” she says. I don’t care if she’s heard of it. I just want to know if they have a copy of it on hand. “Do you know the author?” she asks. “No.” She types a couple of things into the computer. “Nothing is coming up,” she says. It’s a popular book so something should be coming up, even if it’s just to say they don’t have it in stock. I lean over the counter to see what… Read more →

Why I’m Angry


I believe in a world where I can set something down and it will still be there in the same place the next time I need it. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a dangerously optimistic notion about what the world and other people are like. Read more →

I’m Easily Annoyed


I’m easily annoyed. My wife knows I’m easily annoyed and that one of the things that really annoys me is when people ask me to fix something that isn’t really broken. So when she asks me to fix a problem with her browser and I close it, reopen it and it works fine, she exclaims, “It’s scared of you honey! The King of IT! It sees you coming and it’s afraid to not work!” That’s good talking. I couldn’t even get mad after that. P.S. I just thought of Mel Gibson for some reason. To clarify, I’m not easily annoyed like Mel Gibson. He’s off the charts, like a fire-breathing dragon. I’m more like “doesn’t suffer fools gladly, especially in his own house.” Read more →

Just Saying Hello


I have great anxiety, hope, desperation, regret, anger, joy, shingles and insight. I balance all of these just saying hello to someone. — Eddie Pepitone Read more →

Angered by Trivia


people are strange: they are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice . . . — Charles Bukowski, “wandering in the cage” Read more →

What Makes Me Mad


You know what makes me mad? People asking me, “Are you mad about something?” If I’m mad about something, I’ll tell you I’m mad about something. When someone asks me if I’m mad about something, it makes me think they know something I should be mad about. From now on, when someone asks me if I’m mad about something, I’m going to say yes. And when they ask what I’m mad about I’m going to say, “You know what I’m mad about.” Read more →

Getting Pissed Off


My son tells me that when he has a hockey game, he’s now going to start getting pissed off as soon as we leave the house so he’s in the right frame of mind for the game. I can’t see how being pissed off is going to help anyone play better, but I think he’s sort of kidding. Anyway, we’re leaving for the rink . . . his mom made him a bowl of beans and rice to eat on the drive over. He takes one bite and says, “This meal SUCKS!” “Is this part of your new ‘get pissed off’ strategy?” I ask him. “The rice is SOGGY!” His phone buzzes. “Who is sending me a friggin’ TEXT message?” Read more →