BJ Shea

 BJ Shea

BJ'S BLOG 10/02/15 "Is It Cheating?”"

Hey there, Rock-A-Holics! Let's get into some Group Therapy before the weekend starts, shall we?

Mark plays on a coed soccer team, and he ended up having dinner with a female teammate after their game was canceled. He has a girlfriend, but she was out with her friends that night, so Mark decided to carry through with the dinner plan; after all, he is NOT attracted to this teammate, so he didn't see the harm in it.

Unfortunately, a friend of Mark's girlfriend secretly spotted the two soccer chums at dinner, and sent a picture of them eating to Mark's girlfriend. Naturally, the girlfriend was furious, and has now accused Mark of "emotional cheating" with this other woman.

Wow, this is some serious drama…and strangely enough, the females in this situation have generated it all. Hell, the chief architect of this nonsense isn't even "in this situation" – she's just a nosy friend who wanted to get in on some trouble. Just a reminder, folks: people are stupid. Give 'em a chance, they'll prove it every time.

Mark says he's innocent, but the girlfriend says that dinner with someone of the opposite sex is cheating, plain and simple. Do you subscribe to that notion, or do you side with Mark? Your opinions are welcome, so fire away…
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BJ'S BLOG 10/01/15 "Best Friends with the Ex"

It's time for Group Therapy, folks!

Alexis needs some help with her ex-boyfriend…because he is now her best friend. They have no interest in getting back together; in fact, the ex-boyfriend is now dating someone new.

Alexis wishes him well in his new relationship, but she's not too happy with his request that his relationship with Alexis remains a secret when she meets the new girl next week. He begged her to carry through with this deception, and even went so far as to ask her to rope their mutual friends in on the deal!

I realize I'm famous for my stance on women and men having post-relationship friendships (DON'T DO IT), so nothing I have to say about this will come as a surprise. That's why I'm turning it over to you, the Rock-A-Holics who offer up advice to their own. Should Alexis let her ex-boyfriend (and current best friend) drag her into a lie for the sake of his new relationship?
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BJ'S BLOG 09/30/15 "Wedding Money"

Do you hear wedding bells, gang? Maybe that’s the sound of a cash register. It’s so hard to tell sometimes…
A Rock-A-Holic named Will is trying to tell the difference between “bing-bong” and “ka-ching” at the moment, because he gave his daughter some money for her wedding, and she spent it…on something else. Did we mention that the amount he gave her was FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS? No? Well, now you know.
Will’s daughter was supposed to spend the money on a lavish wedding, but the happy couple has decided to elope. Now, the dough is financing a trip to Australia that was never part of the plan. Will and his wife disagree about the situation, with the wife defending the daughter and her husband-to-be; Will feels like he’s been the victim of a swerve, and he wants his money back!
This is a tough one, folks. I can really see both sides of the coin here, so let’s hear what you have to say! What would you do if this was YOUR hard-earned money?
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BJ'S BLOG 09/29/15 "Babysitter"

Hey-ho, Rock-A-Holics! Today’s session of Group Therapy almost feels like it should start with the classic line: “I can’t believe this happened to me…”
Needless to say: this one’s for the grownups…ironically.
We heard from Candace, a 19-year-old babysitter who recently had a concerning encounter with her customer. The couple she was sitting for came home from a wedding, exhausted and partied out. The wife passed out in bed immediately, leaving Candace to wrap up the transaction with the husband. Just as the man was about to pay her, he suddenly kissed her on the lips. Candace doesn’t deny that she kissed him back. He seemed to suddenly snap out of it, and then said “we’ll call you if we need you.”
Now, Candace feels bad about the whole thing. She usually deals with the wife in this couple, and now she feels like she can’t work for them again. The problem is having to explain exactly why she feels compelled to stay away, and she’s not sure how to handle that,
Candace, I suppose you’re okay in my book, especially because you admitted to kissing him back. There was alcohol involved on the man’s part, and this was certainly an uncomfortable event. You were sober, and you liked it, so there IS that aspect. Maybe staying away from that situation is the best idea. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth ruining the guy’s life over a stupid little kiss, but that’s just me.
Who has advice for this kissy-face babysitter?
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BJ'S BLOG 08/28/15 "Spooky October"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

With the beginning of the so-called season of the witch, I thought I would recount an old and true tail of spirits. I like the term spirits instead of ghosts.
The old one stands proud and beautiful in the moonlight. Such great beauty often hides deep secrets. Softly she rocks on the water, her bones groaning but still strong. The very bones are the timbers that rejected the British cannonballs in the war of 1812, defeating four of their best warships, the timbers on which 308 sailors lost their lives and gave their bones to mingle in Old Ironsides forever. The voices of those long gone have been heard to speak in whispers, and visions of a young cabin boy have been seen. Do souls still linger on the ship they loved and died for? Many say they still walk the planks of Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution. It is reported that some sailors refuse to descend into the lower decks at night, fearing that would send them hurling through time and space into her resting past—or is it resting?
While sailors may be reluctant, I have a group of friends who went running hell bent (pardon the expression) to investigate these bumps in the night and disembodied voices, the vision of the boy and the eerie knowledge that these souls were indeed still protecting their beloved ship. My friends are well known as S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England and are the only crew who has been allowed to spend the night on Old Ironsides.  While investigations of this type never contain absolute proof, I know this group well enough to believe they have probably experienced what the sailors who would rather stay above deck fear. You can check them out here:
My friends believe that the souls they encountered were as curious about them as they were about the spirits. Curious about them, hmm, curious about them—it makes me wonder if there is truly overlapping time. Are these souls people just living in their own space and place in whatever grand design there is? Could it be we are the spirits and don’t know it? Is our time being visited by those from some distant future or past world? Are they paranormal investigators, hundreds of years into tomorrow, trying to understand why there are voices from the 21st century? Are we the present, the past, the future, or all of these at once?
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells was instrumental in moving the concept of time travel to the forefront of the public imagination, but it is well known that Einstein, in his theory of relativity, cited that time travel was possible. Einstein said he wished he could ride a lightning bolt, and then he would move fast enough to travel through time.
Perhaps there are no so-called spirits, just different people living in different periods in the illusion of a man-made system of counting minutes, hours, and days called time.
I hope you will spend a little time on the shores of Rambling Harbor with me as we continue to explore spooky October and other scary stuff like life.
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Locations : New England
People : Dan Sanders


BJ'S BLOG 09/25/15 "Seahawks Tickets"

It’s a real team effort here at Group Therapy, but we know you’re all in it for the love of the game…right?
Michelle recently learned that her best friend’s boyfriend is only in the relationship for one reason…SEAHAWKS TICKETS. That’s right: Michelle heard, from a friend of the boyfriend, that the guy doesn’t really care about her friend; in fact, he would have broken up with her already, if it wasn’t for her family’s club level season tickets for Seattle’s one-and-only amazing football team.
Michelle isn’t sure what to do, because she’s afraid that her source of evidence (second-hand friend information) won’t seem legitimate enough to convince her friend that this guy is only after one thing. She doesn’t want to risk their friendship over this jerk, but she doesn’t like knowing that her friend is being used.
This is tough one, Michelle, because your friend doesn’t seem to have enough self-awareness to catch on to her boyfriend’s secret motivation…but what if she does? You don’t always know what’s at play on the inside of someone else’s relationship, so this could be more complicated than you realize. Then again, maybe not…
Let’s hear a 12th Man level of feedback for Michelle. Should she be a team player, or interfere with this guy’s contract situation? 
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Topics : Human InterestSports
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Locations : Seattle


BJ'S BLOG 09/24/15 "Letting Someone Else Take The Fall"

If you have a problem with Group Therapy, just remember: it wasn’t MY fault. Blame Migs…or Vicky…or Rev…or literally anyone else. I’m not taking the heat.
Okay, I’m obviously joking about that. Honestly, I’m trying to lighten the mood in advance; because today’s Group Therapy case is the kind that really bugs me.
Roger wrote to say that he really screwed up, and his buddy’s kid has ended up taking the blame for his mistake. There was a party at the buddy’s house recently, and Roger snuck off with his girlfriend to fool around a bit. They ended up in the master bedroom, but nothing happened…because they knocked over a lit candle, which ended up burning the carpet. There was not a serious fire, and Roger and his girlfriend quickly got back out into the party, leaving not long after.
A few days later, Roger spoke to his buddy, who said that he had grounded his son from attending a birthday party “because he burnt the bedroom floor with a candle.” Yeah, that’s right – this class act not only damaged his friend’s home, but a kid has been forced to take the blame. Apparently, the son had previously been caught sneaking in and taking a little something from the change jar, so he was deemed guilty because of his past misdeed. Great work, Roger!
Roger, you’ve set some nasty crap in motion here. Not only did you act like a juvenile (what adult sneaks around to play grab-ass at a friend’s house during a party?), but you’ve caused a rift between a parent and a child, not to mention damaging trust within a family. That’s not to be taken lightly, and only a jackass would let it happen.
Act like an adult, and fix this. When you’re done, make a personal policy to act like you have some sense, and stick to that policy.
Back me up here, Rock-A-Holics!
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People : Roger


BJ'S BLOG 09/23/15 "Threesome"

It’s time for Group Therapy! Bring a friend…and tell them to bring a friend, too!
Speaking of which, it’s the subject of an extra warm body that is currently on Olivia’s mind. She and her boyfriend were out at a bar recently, and the alcohol loosened up their lips, as it has a tendency to do. They hit the “bucket list” topic, and the boyfriend mentioned that he had accomplished his Top Five already…including a threesome with two women.
This was years before Olivia got together with her man, but she’s feeling more than a bit uncomfortable with this revelation. They have a great sex life, and their relationship is strongly committed, but she worries that she’ll never live up to the thrill of that kind of memory.
We live in an age where everything is documented in one form or another, so the past is an open book for most of us. That kind of information availability can lead to some harsh judgments, especially as we move into higher age brackets. As a serial overreactionist (is that even a word), I can definitely teeter-totter on Olivia’s reaction: maybe she’s totally within her rights to be insecure about this, or maybe she should take a deep breath, live in the now, and let the past be the past. Everyone has their own comfort level.
What advice do you have for Olivia, gang? Is this something worth getting worked up over, or should she let it go? Bonus Honesty Points if you speak from experience on this topic…
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BJ'S BLOG 09/22/15 "Mom's Punishment Goes Viral"

Here’s some news for the whole family…and I have to tell you: I LOVE IT.
A 13-year-old Australian boy recently told his mother to stop treating him like a kid, and her response was a real doozy; in fact, it’s gone viral, leaving a trail of divided opinions in its wake.
My wife and I, and our parenting peers, created the Entitlement Generation because of the way we raised our kids. You know the drill: every kid is special, and should never have to know how tough life can be. This Australian mother isn’t going to raise a softie, though; she wrote her son a letter that made his expenses and responsibilities clear.
Her son is a wannabe YouTube star, and has bragged about the money that he’s been making off his channel, so Mom is giving him the full grownup experience, charging him for everything down to the lightbulbs in his fixtures! She’s also insisting on room & board, and a fair docket of chores around the house…and if he doesn’t follow through, she’ll slap him with a fine! (Which is, I suppose, probably better than the slap that some parents would give this kid.)
I’d give you the short version of the letter, but I’m sure I couldn’t even begin to do it justice. You can read the whole letter here:
It’s worth noting that the mother has made it clear that she’s willing to negotiate, if her son would like to resume a traditional parent-child relationship (with the respect that comes along with it.)
What do you think about this one, gang
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Topics : Human Interest
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BJ'S BLOG 09/21/15 "Ignoring It Is Not an Option"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

Welcome to the last full week of the ninth month of the year 2015. Two things will happen this week. One that always happens is the beginning of Fall. The other is still and always will consist of raw emotions and that is the death of my wife. September 25 will mark four years.

September was never a favorite month. It always meant a return to things I didn’t like. I use to get queasy just thinking about going back to school. Queasy, hell! I got downright sick. Fall also meant that soon I would have to dress like Dan-Dan of the North to even try and stay warm. I love being outside in hot weather.

In 1966, I saw The Endless Summer, a surf movie that follows Mike Hynson and Robert August on a surfing trip around the world. Its title comes from the idea, stated at both the beginning and the end of the film, that if one had enough time and money, it would be possible to follow the summer around the world, making it endless. I’ve never had a chance to do that, but if I had a bucket list, it would be very near, if not at, the top.    

Night is a lonely time, and I hate it. My favorite time to be on the ocean was always the evening. I would sit next to the sea, sun fading behind me, waiting for the ocean to erupt into a massive, raging wall of water that would be so demanding of my body and mind that I would have no time to feel alone or dread the night, and I would ride it. Dying was always a possibility. Ignoring it was not an option.

The ocean scared me and yet lured me back again and again and still does, especially at dusk. As the night grows darker, the ocean and its mysteries grow deeper and more daring, daring me to stay a minute longer and wait to see what danger there might be. To me, life was made solid, tangible, won or lost on a quick ride. Like the mysteries of life, as I sat there alone, I could absorb the loss of certainty, almost touch it, hold it, and I could sink or swim, no longer a metaphor but a fact. If a wave came, I could rise or fall, retaining some control, always a choice I liked.

On September 25, I will ride the most dangerous waves of all and will see the face of death. I will again gently bring my palm across my wife’s face and close forever the eyes that looked once so lovingly into my own, never to be seen again except in the darkest corners of my mind.  I will be spun and slammed and hurt but will rise to the top because ignoring it is not an option.


“A Jackal on My Grave”

The curtain falls

Too soon

In the middle

 Of the third act

The lights dim

Darkness hiding

A good actor

In a bad play

Smothering his final words

He bows

Expecting no roses

No standing cheers

No Encore

No Bravo

The early dark of fall

Shadows dancing

 Way too early

   And Mistress of Light

 Will have her way

To dance in the yard

Like a jackal on my grave.

There are more thoughts on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.
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People : Dan SandersMike HynsonRobert August


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