BJ Shea

 BJ Shea

BJ'S BLOG 08/18/14 "Whistling"

By the time you read this, we will have been a week deep into a very dark place, a place void of laughter, quick-thinking, brilliant-funny, and sometimes heart-breaking emotions, with the loss of Robin Williams and his cast of characters, including Mork from Ork, sitting on his head in a chair, and John Keating, a professor taking a stodgy, aristocratic school of boys and helping them see the world differently by standing on his desk whistling the "1812 Overture" in Dead Poets Society.
Sometime around 1978, I was living on Beacon Hill in the fine aristocratic city of Boston. I have never been one to engage in an outpouring of vocal belly-busting laughter, but on one particular day (and for decades to come) Robin Williams was able to invoke that behavior in me. Then in 1989, he brought me to tears in theDead Poets Society as a professor bringing humanity and real learning to a brain-numbing line-stepping school. I know how that can be, having spent two years in such a place until I convinced my father I would get thrown out if he didn't take me out. Good old dad decided I would indeed disgrace myself in private, so he figured it was better I do it in public, and I was released from those gates, and off to public school I went. Fifty years later I am still marching my own line-step and to my own beat. John Keating was that type of true Teacher. Mork from Ork, John Keating, and other memorable characters have left us, but fortunately for us all the memories remain.
People ask why such gifted people end their own lives--by drugs and alcohol in a slow death or more quickly. Personally, I think the powers-that-be do not always give great gifts and an unconquerable soul. The mind and heart are often veiled behind the gifts they give us. Emotionally, I am standing on my desk, whistling the "1812 Overture."
Speaking of whistling, we also lost Lauren Bacall to a massive stroke this week at age 89. Lauren Bacall had the level of sophistication and sensuality I look for in every woman I have ever known. Just check out the film To Have and Have Not and the "whistling" exchange between the characters played by Bogart and Bacall. From the voice to face no one will take her place.
There is so much spinning around in my head right now, and this blog has only touched the surface. Our learning to lock-step in blind obedience starts in the first year of school. Somewhere, I hope there are a lot of students who, if not now, will someday stand on their desks on their own two feet. I'm going out now to do what I have been doing all my life: whistle into the wind and hope someone catches the tune.
I have no idea what we may find on the shores of Rambling Harbor this week, but join me there and give a listen..
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Locations : Boston
People : John KeatingLauren BacallRobin Williams


BJ'S BLOG 08/15/14 "The Five Dumbest Things Doctors Have Heard From Patients"

A new list details the five dumbest things doctors have heard from patients. Prepare to shake your heads along with me, my friends…

1. A young woman visited her doctor for an STD check. She only has one partner, but claims that everything should be perfectly safe, anyway. After all, he uses a condom every time, and makes sure to wash it after every use.

2. One doctor had to explain to a 27-year-old woman that her monthly bleeding was totally normal. You might think she's simply naïve and uninformed…but this woman has two kids.

3. Another woman was asked by her friends why she was so nonchalant about losing her foot. She explained that she knew the situation was serious, and that surgery was inevitable, but she wasn't worried. After all, she also knew that her foot would grow back.

4. A young couple was irate because their birth control pills weren't getting the job done. It turns out that the pills were negatively affecting the woman, so her boyfriend started taking them instead.

5. Finally, a doctor had to break the bad news that Band-Aids don't actually treat any kind of illness or injury. This revelation was delivered to a woman who covered her body in bandages in an attempt to fight off the problems caused by her Type-2 diabetes.


We need more education in this country, and that's a fact…but in these cases, I have to wonder if it would even make a difference.

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BJ'S BLOG 08/14/14 "Robin Williams and the Depression of Our Times"

The great Robin Williams is no longer with us. That's hardly breaking news at this point, but it's certainly a topic that you're seeing and hearing everywhere. We know now that Williams took his own life, but I guess I was holding out hope that we'd learn a different truth.

I've never been to that depth of pain in my own mind, and for that, I'm very thankful. It's not hard to see how beloved Robin Williams was, by fans and fellow entertainers alike, but it seems almost certain that he couldn't see that affection for himself. It's a real loss for the world of entertainment, and just one more strike against our society at large in regards to the care and handling of depression and mental anguish.

If you're depressed, or just uncertain about the path your life is on, don't be afraid to speak up and ask for help. Talk to friends, family members, co-workers, or even a caregiver at your local hospital. Pick up the phone, send a text, write an email, or just reach out for some human contact. Someone will be happy that you did…and that little bit of personal honesty and self-awareness might just help you realize that you're not alone.

Maybe it's not everything you need all at once, but it can definitely be a start.

If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
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Topics : Human Interest
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People : Robin Williams


BJ'S BLOG 08/13/14 "When Your Partner Doesn't Want to Get Married"

It's time for some Group Therapy, folks! I hope you're as committed to this as I am!

Today's topic comes from Dawn, who knows her man wants to get married, even though he hasn't specifically asked her yet. Dawn has no interest, but she hasn't made it clear to her boyfriend. Her friends say she should tell him now, but it hasn't come up, and she's not sure when she should make her feelings clear. Dawn says she's having fun, and she doesn't want that fun to end yet!

People don't have to get married, I suppose. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have been together forever, but they've never seen the need to make it official. They sure seem happy.

Personally, I'm a little bothered by Dawn's position. I'm assuming that she just doesn't want to marry THIS guy. Maybe I'm wrong, but it sure sounds that way to me. I believe in love, and I've made my relationship decisions based on the idea that people get together in the hopes that they'll STAY together. I realize I'm occasionally the odd man out with this line of thinking, but there it is.

What do you think? Should Dawn tell her boyfriend that she doesn't want to marry him, or wait until he pops the question? It seems to me that there might be less heartbreak for the guy if she's upfront about it now, but we all know that I'm old-fashioned…
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Topics : Human Interest
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People : Goldie HawnKurt Russell


BJ'S BLOG 08/12/134 "More Interested in Dating Your Partner's Sibling"

Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! We're back from an amazing jaunt to Chicago! I had a great time with my fellow radio-heads, but I'm always happy to be reunited with all of you fine folks.

Here's a request for some Group Therapy, courtesy of a 30-something named Laura. It seems that Laura has a boyfriend, but she's been getting closer to his older brother over the last three years…wait, what?

Laura goes on to say that she and her boyfriend's brother have some many things in common, and they both know that they're a better match than the current configuration, but neither one of them wants to hurt Brother Boyfriend by telling him the truth.

Let's stop for a minute here. Laura didn't specifically reveal that she and the brother have been doing anything inappropriate, but I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this. I suppose I can't judge her if I don't have all the information, so let's just move on to the advice she's specifically seeking…

Laura wants to know if she should break up with her boyfriend, and give the situation a little time before moving on to a relationship with his brother. On the flip side, she wonders if the guilt will have a negative effect on the new coupling, and leave them doomed to failure.

I could go on and ON about this one, but I'd love to hear it from you. I think Laura needs to experience a wide range of responses, and I'm sure you're all just dying to help her out with your personal advice. What do you think about Laura's relationship dilemma? Sound off!

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Topics : Human Interest
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Locations : ChicagoOntario


BJ'S BLOG 08/11/14 "Radio, Budweiser, Facebook, and Ice Water"

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

As you know, I have been a big critic of one Mr. Kanye West—and Jesus knows he has given me plenty of reason—but I do give credit where credit is due.

On August 30 in Philadelphia and August 31 in L.A., the Budweiser Made in America Festival will take place. Held to benefit the United Way, Kanye, who had previously been confirmed as the Saturday night headliner of the flagship fest in Philly, now entering its third year, will perform alongside main stage acts like The National, Steve Aoki, J. Cole, and Chromeo. After his performance, he'll head to L.A. to headline with John Mayer and Juanes on Sunday.

The inaugural event was held on September 1–2, 2012 at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia and attracted nearly 80,000 people, grossing $5 million in ticket sales.

Philadelphia city officials reported that the festival generated at least $10 million for the city and covered all municipal costs associated with the event. While I will hold my breath and hope the West Wind doesn't blow in a preacher's direction, leaving that to the rapper slapper in sandals from Galilee, it's good to see Kanye and all the excellent stars involved in this going out to help people.

Remember the giant sinkhole in Siberia that suddenly appeared? It seems my speculation that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were going to break out in a fiery fury and head hell-bent for the Westboro Baptist Church is not going to happen. Scientists are convinced, though, that the sinkhole opened up because of global warming, the phenomenon that 21% of all Republican politicians refuse to believe. In fact, the pols probably won't change their stance until they are standing in freezing glacier water up to their Yoo-Hoos. Now that's real numb nuts for you, the opposite of fiery fury but perhaps scarier.

Speaking of ice water, Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC commentator I particularly like, did the water bucket thing—you know, where you accept a challenge to allow a bucket of freezing ice water to be dumped over your head in exchange for a donation to one of your charities. I'm all in favor of giving, but I'm not sure self-flagellation with ice water makes my charity more worthy. It does make the dumpee more human, though, at least for that moment, and maybe that's the appeal.

In the blog last week I promised a story in the podcast about Linda Ronstadt "maybe" being the first person I ever played on the air, and I forgot to do that. But there will be that and oh so much more, including a few words about Bob Rivers, B.J. Shea, and Mark Zuckerberg, in this week's get together on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there and give a listen.
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BJ'S BLOG 08/05/14 "Asking a Bridesmaid to Shave"

Hello again, folks! Fair warning: today's Group Therapy might get a little hairy.

There are wedding bells ringing for a Rock-A-Holic named Rebecca, but not everything is blissful. Rebecca has a bridesmaid with hairy armpits and legs, and she's not quite sure how to ask her to shave before the big day.

This says a lot about certain types of women, if you ask me (and Rebecca actually did ask, so pardon me while I finish my thought). We're supposed to be an accepting society, and some women don't equate the removal of body hair with the idea of beauty. On the other hand, other kinds of women can be extremely judgmental in that regard.

We're two weeks away from the wedding, and the bridesmaid dresses are revealing in ways that make the hair issue a big concern for Rebecca. She also claims that her husband-to-be has a problem with the bridesmaid's grooming habits, too.

As always, we're anxious to hear from you. I'd really love to get some feedback from the ladies, especially those of you with strong feelings on either side of the argument. Does Rebecca have the right to ask this friend to smooth out her appearance?
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BJ'S BLOG 08/04/14 "Lucid Moments"

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

I was having a lucid moment this morning. Going lucid by yourself is not a good idea because you can never be sure about the reality of it at all, so a guide into lucidity is always recommended.

In those early morning hours, just after waking and the sun is not quite up yet, you can see lucid in the sky with her telescope and parasol. So you lie there all alone, it's summer, the windows are open, you can hear the birds singing, softly in the distance at first, a song you've heard before, as the singing becomes a little louder, yes, singing birds in the morning, yes, there it is, The Byrds, singing something about being born not to follow.

As I said, I was having this moment of lucidity, and then I remembered that Heidi Klum's house is on the market for $25 million, and I thought to myself I would not pay that for her house, even if I had the money, not even if Heidi Klum went with it. It was at that time I realized I had slipped back in to lucidity, maybe? I could not be sure without my Native American guide, Brave Tune, who is away writing a song about Ted Nugent called "I'd like to stick my arrow in your nuggets, Nugent," this after he called Native Americans vermin and less than human.

I learned last week 33-year-old supermodel Gisele Bundchen earned a whopping $47 million in 2013, according to Forbes Magazine, which the New York Post broke down to $128,000 a day, or $5,333 per hour! Life is so much fun in America.

Oops, lucid again, and no diamonds, not even on the soles of my shoes. In November 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau said more than 16% of the population lived in poverty, including almost 20% of American children. Guess they will not be able to afford to see an L.A. Clippers game (I'm glad Donald Sterling is history!) or a Rolling Stones concert. Something hurts about this vision.

To end on a happy note, happy birthday to Mick "let no moss grow on me, Rolling Stone" Jagger. The skinny kid with the big talent turned 71 on July 26. I wish I had moves like Jagger, and I hope he rocks till he drops somewhere around age 100.

In the favorite female category, I have to admit it's always been a neck-and-"necking" competition between Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. Linda was born July 15, 1946, and is now unable to sing because of Parkinson's disease, but she told her own story in her recently published memoir Simple Dreams. Linda Ronstadt was possibly one of the first people I played on the air (and I'll explain that possibly in the podcast). Happy Birthday to Linda Ronstadt.

There's more on Big Money, birthdays, Rock and Roll, and highlifes and lowlifes in the podcast. Grab a piece of driftwood and take a seat.
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BJ'S BLOG 08/01/14 "Bad Parents"

Sometimes, I just have to shake my head and be thankful that I'm not the kind of person who ends up being the star of news items like this:

A man with a head full of acid opened fire on a pizzeria because it wasn't open for business.

Go back and let that sentence sink in for a second.

Are you insane with confused anger yet? Well, there's more to the story.

27-year-old Philip is a Michigan father of three kids, all under the age of 7. Responsible parent that he is, Philip took some LSD with the kids in his custody. Naturally, this candidate for Dad of the Year decided to get some pizza with the kids, so he loaded them into the car and headed out to satisfy his craving.

Did I mention that he was wearing nothing but a towel? Sorry, I guess it slipped my mind. I'm pretty sure you already guessed that Philip had a gun, though.

When Philip reached the pizzeria, he discovered that the place was closed, so he freaked out, and banged on the window so hard that the gun went off and shattered some glass.

As it happens, Philip's brain was so drug-addled that he didn't realize that the pizza place was actually open after all. It was 7:30 at night, and there were two employees inside. Thankfully, no one was hurt! Philip was arrested, the kids were taken away from their crazy dad, and no pizzas were harmed during the making of this insane story.

I'd love to hear some responses that restore my faith in humanity, my friends…

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Topics : Human Interest
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Locations : Michigan
People : Philip


BJ'S BLOG 07/31/14 "No Hitting"

Sometimes, I feel like sports entertainment – and the associated media -- has turned into nothing more than “anger and stats”. In my opinion, ESPN doesn’t need to talk about domestic violence unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
That kind of thinking might have produced a better result for ESPN’s Steven A. Smith. I consider him an extremely smart, well-spoken broadcaster, but he really went off track on the topic of Ray Rice’s alleged assault of his wife in an elevator. Smith took the obvious stance against domestic violence, but he also suggested that people need to avoid provoking these kinds of physical altercations. It wasn’t hard for most people to reach the conclusion that his advice was aimed at women.
I really don’t think that Steven Smith was trying to be a jerk, but he definitely ended up looking like one. Smith released a very eloquent apology, and has accepted his short-term suspension from ESPN with what appears to be a sincerely penitent attitude.
Whoopi Goldberg also made some similar points on “The View” about provoking physical assault, but she boiled it all down to a basic idea that everyone can agree on:
It’s pretty simple, right? Could it just be that easy to figure out how to deal with our fellow human beings without resorting to violence?
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Topics : Social Issues
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People : Ray RiceSteven A. SmithWhoopi Goldberg


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