Where can I scream?
September 24, 2010 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I live in an oldish (1920s) apartment building, in a studio. A while ago I tried the time-honored "scream and rant to an empty room" method of anger management--and got a visit from a dozen cops my neighbor called, and who went through my place to check that I wasn't axe-murdering someone or anything like that. This is, of course, not sustainable, but if I can't rant at home, where can I rant?

The "dozen cops" statement is not an exaggeration--I counted, twelve of San Francisco's finest to rescue my nonexistent victim, and in the Tenderloin at that. Naturally, I can't have this happening again, as it's not fair to my neighbors to disturb them, and it's not convenient for me to have to show the police around my place every time I want to blow off some steam.

That means that I don't really have any places to do this, though. Anywhere public is right out, including the gym, stores, and definitely the library. (I considered "Seeking the Anti-Library" as the title, actually.) Ditto for outside, since such behavior in, say, Golden Gate Park is possibly even more likely to draw the police's attention, and definitely more likely to land me in jail or a psych ward.

So where can I go to basically lose my shit for a while? Can you rent padded rooms? Where, and at what cost? (I'm only half joking.)

Anything else? Are there free options? (Part of my anger is that I've been unemployed for some time, and while I'm holding on financially, I'm light-years from "flush.")

As I said, I'm looking for San Francisco resources. I don't have a car, but I do have City CarShare, and ranting in a car only solves half the problem, as I'd have to find somewhere to park it where a screaming man in a car wouldn't incite thoughts of foul play or psychosis, and it's impossible to do any real moving around inside a car.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (40 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Um, I've been known to scream into pillows. Looks crazy, but feels almost as good as screaming into an empty room. Added bonus of feeling silly during but *not* after.
posted by pammeke at 10:28 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I once read that there was a thriving Japanese industry that would let you rent a room for an hour or so specifically in which to just lose it in the way you describe. Including smashing up the fake expensive furnishings.

No idea if there's such a place in San Francisco, but if not, perhaps you've stumbled on a business plan.
posted by Naberius at 10:30 AM on September 24, 2010 [5 favorites]

I would tell my neighbors I'm going to be taking up opera lessons, and want to know what times are generally best for your off-key caterwauling. Then I would pad the HELL out of a room with sound dampening equipment to create a homebrew anechoic chamber. And then I go into it and scream when the neighbors say they're not around.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:33 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could rent some time in a small recording studio or, like, a music instrument practice room at a university or something?
posted by Ouisch at 10:33 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yeah, interesting problem. I'm approaching it like a serial killer... if I had to dump a body and not get caught, where would I go? (that's a joke)

i'd say car, as you just look crazy, not dangerous, but you don't have one. The steering wheel can take much abuse.
I'd say phone booth, but they aren't many left.
Borrow a friend's storage unit once in a while?
Empty part of a car park?
Roof of building? They are usually empty.

i have a punching bag that I beat up but I only mutter at it under my breath so I'm not very loud.
posted by acheekymonkey at 10:34 AM on September 24, 2010

I'd still go with the car option. Back in the days when I was really angry/depressed this is what I would do. I think you're way too worried about what random passers by *might* think. Honestly, I barely look at people in their cars as long as they are not moving. And I've never once had anyone stop and stare, let alone say anything to me.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:36 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Apparently this place rents practice rooms for $10 an hour.

Just tell them you're doing avant garde vocal work and scream your fucking head off.
posted by Ouisch at 10:37 AM on September 24, 2010 [14 favorites]

Seconding Ouisch, but a recording studio would be too expensive. There are likely lots of band practice spaces in SF that can be rented hourly (maybe $20 an hour?), and people there will be making a hell of a lot more noise than you will. Maybe you can get in to a screamo band.
posted by InfidelZombie at 10:38 AM on September 24, 2010

Practice rooms at a music or theater school? (I'm imagining you saying "oh, no, it's for an audition!")
posted by aimedwander at 10:38 AM on September 24, 2010

Go down to the tracks and wait for a train to go by.
posted by jgirl at 10:39 AM on September 24, 2010 [8 favorites]

How about a music rehearsal room? Lennon Studios in SF rents soundproofed rooms in three-hour blocks.
posted by zombiedance at 10:39 AM on September 24, 2010

Stand next to the train tracks of your choice and scream as much as you like as the train is passing by. If you're concerned about looking stupid, it doesn't have to be a passenger train.
posted by corey flood at 10:40 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maybe you could try this Japanese Shouting Vase?
posted by jacquilinala at 10:41 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]

a friend of mine used to do this in elevators when he was alone.
posted by lester at 10:44 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ocean Beach is often pretty deserted, especially on weekdays. It's also separated from houses by a wide street and the surf is often pretty loud, so I bet you could go scream at the ocean without bothering anyone. Have a cover story just in case - you're practicing the vocals for your Norwegian death metal band, or something.
posted by Quietgal at 10:53 AM on September 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

Karaoke box (if you have them in SF).
posted by modernnomad at 10:55 AM on September 24, 2010

Try subletting practice space from a band who's already paying for it. You don't have equipment, you don't need it at the same time every week, you dont need it for hours, you won't be running late when the next band shows up. To me you'd be a dream tenant and you'd get the space at less than I was paying.
posted by micawber at 11:16 AM on September 24, 2010

"So where can I go to basically lose my shit for a while? Can you rent padded rooms? Where, and at what cost? (I'm only half joking.)"

Take up racquetball?
posted by Mitheral at 11:19 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think you should do your screaming at an open mic night. Who knows, you might become famous.
posted by SMPA at 11:21 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

The end of the fishing piers on the embercadero can be pretty desolate.
Ocean beach, baker beach, lands end, fort funston
top of bernal
rent a kayak and go out on the bay
bike down off of 3rd street where is gets pretty deserted
inside the old ammunition bunkers up and down the coast
posted by bottlebrushtree at 11:30 AM on September 24, 2010

Is there an amusement park near you?
posted by mmmbacon at 11:50 AM on September 24, 2010

There's a reason they made pillows, yes.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:52 AM on September 24, 2010

Walk-in refrigerators are soundproof. Got any friends in the restaurant business?
posted by workerant at 12:02 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hyde Street Studios is in the Tenderloin. Rent a rehearsal room there, maybe?
posted by vickyverky at 12:02 PM on September 24, 2010


Go for a swim in the ocean, dive down[*], let loose.

[*] Don't drown.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:04 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't use an elevator...seems like someone could hear you as you passed floors.

I'm all for a good scream now and again. I do it in the car.
posted by morganannie at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2010

3rding the pillow suggestion. I found it effective. Although screaming at the ocean sounds really fantastic.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 1:06 PM on September 24, 2010

Go to the nearest college with a theatre department building. Bring a backpack. Find an isolated corner/unused room/nook. Be sure to face the wall as if you're addressing it. If you still feel weird about it, hold an open book or notebook in one hand while you rant. Tada- you're rehearsing. Try not to do this adjacent to any occupied classrooms.

(protip: lots of student actors will be wandering around and rehearsing stuff on weeknights, so you may blend in more...or stand out. A screaming, foaming rant for 30 minutes will get you some odd looks. But you should be pretty isolated on Friday afternoons and Sunday mornings).
posted by castlebravo at 1:18 PM on September 24, 2010

i think this is why people go to stadiums to watch sporting events. have you tried working out really hard?
posted by 3mendo at 1:19 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Get in touch with Kelly Dobson, see if you can get your hands on a ScreamBody. I have no idea if she's actually produced any more than the prototypes.
posted by soplerfo at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can rant in the same room, with a pillow on your mouth. Day hours and some music for your neighbors would help.

Also, consider car with closed windows in a noisy area.

I've practiced emotional clearing/release for years, screaming at the top of my lungs using the abovementioned environments with zero complaints.

Good luck.
posted by andreinla at 2:46 PM on September 24, 2010

I get that you are feeling the need to vocalize (once when I was dealing with the dying/death of a friend, I got into my car and screamed my fool head off till I was exhausted) but I'm thinking you might actually be able to get the same physical release simply by exercise.

I have worked out quite a few very negative emotions on top of a Spin bike.

Also, don't dismiss the possibility of a silent scream. Try it. If done right, you can get out just as many negative emotions and not get the cops called on you.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:56 PM on September 24, 2010

Just go down to Civic Center or 6th Street--you'll blend right in!

But in all seriousness, I think the car parked mid-day at one of the beaches or parks is probably your best bet. Also seconding St. Alia's silent screaming, which I personally find very effective.
posted by smirkette at 6:12 PM on September 24, 2010


Don't have a car sign up for Zipcar, it's like $7 an hour and they have them all over the tenderloin.

Then drive out to the beach and scream your fool head off.

And also: It's a car.

(You didn't live in the apartment below me in the T'loin did you? That person eventually was 'asked' to leave the building for screaming all the time. So not uncommon, but not neighbor friendly.)
posted by Ookseer at 6:44 PM on September 24, 2010

Do you know someone who works for a restaurant with a walk-in fridge/freezer? With the door closed, those are pretty sound proofed. When I worked at a diner, we used to use the walk- in to scream, argue, have chilly sex interludes and other lurid and not so lurid purposes.
Seeing your breath just makes screaming even more satisfying.
posted by jaimystery at 9:35 PM on September 24, 2010

or what workerant said
posted by jaimystery at 9:36 PM on September 24, 2010

You can scream at a concert or in a dance club when the music is at full volume.
posted by macinchik at 11:40 PM on September 24, 2010

therapist's office? acting classes?
posted by gillianr at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2010

Definitely supporting the car idea. You'd be surprised what people _don't_ pay attention to. Try a Wal*mart parking lot, toward the middle back on a weeknight (1 am, if your sleep schedule allows it).
posted by DisreputableDog at 8:55 PM on October 23, 2010

Previously: http://ask.metafilter.com/144347/Targets-Wanted-or-Im-a-dick
posted by simulacra at 6:41 PM on November 3, 2010

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