BJ Shea

 BJ Shea

BJ'S BLOG 05/05/15 "Your Sibling's Spouse"

Welcome back to another Group Therapy session, ladies and germs! It's all about Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics, so let's get right down to it!

We heard from Carrie, who is more than a little bit scandalized by the fact that her sister's husband made a pass at her recently. They're both happily married, and have a good friendship, but the brother-in-law crossed a line with his advance during a recent visit to Carrie's house. The spouses had gone to bed, there had been some drinking involved, and Carrie's brother-in-law sat down right next to her and rubbed her leg. Nothing happened beyond that, and the sister and her husband left the next morning without anyone bringing it up. Now, Carrie's wondering what to do, and who – if anyone – she should tell about this.

Gosh, what a surprise it is to hear that alcohol was involved. Adding liquor to the idiotic impulses that drive humans forward on a biological level is usually a recipe for disaster. Also, it's hard to sort these stories out when we don't have both sides, especially when drinking plays a part in the proceedings. Personally, I just wouldn't hang out with someone else's wife alone if we'd been drinking. That's never a good plan for anyone, because alcohol can lower your inhibitions and change your behavior…and that's just a fact.

Let's hear it from you, gang: what do you think about Carrie's situation?
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BJ'S BLOG 05/04/15 "Burning Bras, Jimmy Carter, Palm Trees, and Keith Richards"

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

As you read the title, you might have thought, what the ???? is this all about? Well, welcome to my brain, or at least a skosh of it.

You see, many different things threaded their way into my brain in the last week. Jimmy Carter and bra-burning are related subjects, and I'll explain. Burning bras conjure up images of warm tropical breezes and palm trees, and where there are palm trees, there once was Keith Richards, falling out of one.

Last week, an article written by former president Jimmy Carter and published on July 15, 2009 but missed by many, went viral. In the article, Carter ended his 60-year relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention. The convention's leaders, citing bible verses claiming that Eve was created second to Adam, declared that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors, or chaplains in the military, and Carter felt he had no choice but to cut his ties. He could no longer support a group who believed in the subjugation of women. As women struggle for equality in almost all areas of life, Jimmy Carter made a difficult, "unavoidable" decision, opting to try to improve the lives of women everywhere. Way to go, Jimmy Carter!

Before the 1960's, most women were housewives and mothers and not much more. During the 1960's, women ramped up demonstrating for equal rights, and some women, ticked off by the stereotypes, took action to create change. One of the most legendary protests by feminists took place on September 7, 1968, when nearly 400 women protested the Miss America pageant outside the Atlantic City Convention Center. Though this was called a bra-burning, there was never any fire. Organizer Robin Morgan wrote that the group was protesting the pageant's promotion of the "ludicrous beauty standards we ourselves are conditioned to take seriously." As the pageant was taking place, feminists marched around the Freedom Trash Can and tossed in their bras, high heels, girdles, makeup, and even detergent, items they perceived as symbols of feminine oppression. Way to go, women!

On a lighter note, April 29, 2015, marked 9 years since the Keith Richards–palm tree incident during his holiday on Fiji. Legend has it the Rolling Stone had been swimming and climbed a tree. When he grabbed a branch, his wet hands slipped, and he fell seven feet, resulting in hospitalization for a mild concussion. However, there is another report. I read somewhere that after falling, Keith jumped up and took off on a jet ski. While this report, as far as I know, has never been confirmed, I believe that he fell from the tree and landed on his coconut then saw a bra floating on the water and took off on the jet ski to rescue it.

There's more on the shores of Rambling Harbor, where all are equal and bras are optional. Join me there.
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BJ'S BLOG 05/01/15 "Break Up Or Wait?"

Listen, Rock-A-Holics…it's just not working out. Don't worry; I'm not talking about OUR relationship, which is just fine. I'm referring to the subject of today's Group Therapy.

Brian and his girlfriend are approaching the two-year mark, and he's just not feeling the love anymore. In fact, he's reached the point of being ready to break up with her! Unfortunately, her grandfather just died, and she's not taking the loss very well. Brian is trying to be there for his girlfriend, but the turmoil has definitely confirmed to Brian that he doesn't have feelings for her anymore. He feels like it would be insensitive for him to leave her during this rough time in her life, but he really wants out.

Sometimes, you have to put yourself first. Is this a tough situation? You bet it is. Unfortunately, you can't make choices about your life based on the events going on in someone else's…especially if your own happiness is tied to your relationship with that person, for good or for ill. It will suck, but my advice is to rip off the bandage and be done with it.

Maybe I'm the insensitive one, though, so let's hear it from you, good people! Should Brian get this breakup out of the way, or should he wait until her personal wounds have healed up a bit?
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BJ'S BLOG 04/30/15 "Alice Eve"

As you know, I’m a big Star Trek fan, but I was disappointed to hear this story about Alice Eve, who played Dr. Carol Marcus in the J.J. Abrams-directed reboot sequel Into Darkness. It seems that Alice – who was a guest on our show while she was out promoting the movie -- launched some criticism at Bruce Jenner via an Instagram comment, saying:
“If you were a woman no one would have heard of you because women can’t compete in the decathlon. You wouldn’t be a hero. You would be a frustrated young athlete who wasn’t given a chance. “Until women are paid the same as men, then playing at being a ‘woman’ while retaining the benefits of being a man is unfair.”
I don’t know that much about decathlons, but I find it weird that she brought that up. There are some amazing female athletes out there, but I can’t recall seeing any fervor about their lack of inclusion in the decathlon. It just seems like she’s pulling an argument out of thin air, for the sake of targeting Bruce Jenner.
Not surprisingly, Alice Eve has pulled her comments down, and has started defending herself against a mountain of transphobia accusations. I love Star Trek, but I don’t love this ridiculous woman right now. Stick with acting, Alice. 
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BJ'S BLOG 04/29/15 "The 35 Year-Old Virgin"

Welcome to Group Therapy, fellow Rock-A-Holics! If this is your first time, don’t worry…we promise to be gentle.
Today’s patient-in-need is Brian, who has an interesting problem. He’s been dating his girlfriend for about four months, and they haven’t been intimate yet. He told her at the outset that it usually takes him a while to sleep with someone, and that was fine…but now she’s growing impatient, and has really been putting on the full-court press to get Brian into the bedroom. What she doesn’t know is that Brian is a 35-year-old virgin, and his girlfriend has no idea.
The virginity is a side-effect of Brian’s religious upbringing. Faith is no longer an obstacle, but he’s still holding on to the idea that he wants to save himself for someone special, and he is definitely speeding toward a crossroads in that regard.
I’m actually disappointed by the deception behind Brian keeping this secret, because this is exactly the kind of thing that people withhold because they know it’s a potential deal-breaker! There’s no moral high ground when it comes to lying to your partner. Brian says he’s worried that she’s going to freak out about the virginity, but I think he should be far more concerned with her reaction to the fact that he lied to her.
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BJ'S BLOG 04/28/15 "Secret Bank Account"

Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! It’s time to help out one of our own with some Group Therapy!
A big fan named Eric wrote in to show some love, and ask for assistance with a problem. After years of having shared finances in a single account, Eric recently discovered that his wife has been keeping a secret bank account.  He’s not too happy about it, as you might guess. He says his first instinct was to blow up at his wife, and dig in deep to find out if she’s been keeping anything else from him over the years, but he’s decided to seek a more civilized path to enlightenment…from us.
We don’t have all the facts, of course, but I see two big possibilities: either the wife has chosen to deceive her husband for unpleasant reasons, or Eric isn’t financially responsible, and she has taken the necessary steps to maintain the day-to-day functions of their life without his interference.
If you have any advice, or some direct experience with this type of situation, we’d love to hear from you! Eric needs some feedback that he can take to the bank…
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BJ'S BLOG 04/27/15 "Robert Downey, Jr., Interviewers, Gravediggers, & Paparazzi

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

I’m going to start this with a standing O and three bravos for Robert Downey, Jr. Downey walked out on an interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, and I say, as the British might say, grand for him.

I have very little respect for what I call “past gropers,” interviewers who want to dig up bones. The actor Downey was furious when the line of questioning suddenly turned personal in a chat with Channel 4 in London to promote his new film Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I saw the video of the interview, and Downey was fine when the show started. As arranged, he would talk about his experiences on the new hit movie, which premiered in Britain on Tuesday, April 21. It should be noted that Downey’s son was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon, April 12, and you could see he was getting very fidgety when interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy began asking about his long-conquered personal demons, prompting Downey to ask, “Are we promoting a movie? What are we doing?” The gravedigger Krishnan Guru-Murthy kept digging, and Downey walked out. I will say he handled it much more politely than I would have. I would have walked off but might have thrown my chair at him on the way out. There are just some issues you leave alone.

Interviewers who use trick questions or gimmicks to get into a fiery debate are only one level above my distaste (my polite word) for paparazzi, which I wrote about in September: “I’ll be Watching You, Paparazzi” Now on to other things.

QUICK THOUGHT ONE: I have two Facebook accounts, one as Dan Sanders, the other as Dan Sanders from Rambling Harbor, and I’m thinking (operative word here is thinking) that second one will become my primary site for posting blogs and podcasts and staying in touch with those who want to be in touch with me. I have 495 friends on regular Facebook, and 111 have accepted my request to join Rambling Harbor. When I explain this in the podcast, it will make sense, I hope, and your thoughts will be welcome (and no, I will not save it for 3 hours into the podcast. This isn’t The Longest Most Meaningless Movie in the World, a real movie. You can look it up).

QUICK THOUGHT TWO: 87 days! As of April 23, it has been 87 days since NFL commissioner Roger “not as quick as a rabbit” Goodell said he would hand down a decision on the Patriots’ deflated balls, footballs, of course. As I said in a blog and podcast in February, the Watergate investigation took less time.

I’ll have more to say on all of this (if I can remember what it was), and as always there will be some musical notes on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.
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BJ'S BLOG 04/24/15 "Teenage Privacy"

It’s a head-shaker of a day here at Group Therapy, folks. Let’s get right into it…
Tricia’s 13-year-old daughter was told that she couldn’t have a Facebook account at her age, but her parents were willing to discuss it again after she turned 14. Recently, they discovered that she had broken the rule, thanks to a monitoring program that Tricia’s husband had installed on the daughter’s computer, but didn’t tell his wife about until it detected that she’d been using Facebook. This led him to the conclusion that she must have an account of her own.
The dad says he doesn’t care that their daughter knows that he spied on her, and he’s pushing for a surprising level of punishment: he wants to remove the computer from her room, take the locks off the doors, and has even considered removing her door entirely. He claims that she doesn’t deserve privacy at all, and that’s just too far for Tricia.
Let me be clear, Tricia: this is a man who has gone off the rails. Your husband’s reaction is completely disproportionate, and I have some misgivings about the fact that he kept the computer monitoring from you. Parents need a united front, but that can only be accomplished through rational discipline, and honesty between adults when it comes to raising a child.
Let’s hear it from you, Rock-A-Holics: do you agree that Tricia’s husband is taking this whole thing too far, or do you think that he’s on the right track? Sound off!
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BJ'S BLOG 04/23/15 "Sexual Harassment"

Lookin’ good, Rock-A-Holics! I love it when you wear your sexiest Group Therapy outfits.
What? I’m just being playful. There’s no need to tell Human Resources about this! You know I don’t mean anything by it, right?
Let’s see if we can help out Mary, who contacted us with a concern about something that happened to her boyfriend at work. He came home and shared the news that he had been written up at his job…for sexual harassment. The boyfriend of four years insists that he was just joking around with a female co-worker – to an adult degree, that he says is completely normal around his workplace - and the new Human Resources rep overheard it.
Mary wants to talk to the female coworker to verify this story, but the boyfriend says that such a conversation would only complicate an already awkward situation. Naturally, Mary is wondering what she should do about this.
Confession is a natural human instinct, but it’s rarely handled correctly. We don’t know if he’s just a forthright kind of guy, or if this is a half-truth to serve as damage control before Mary hears about the incident through other means. Honestly, I’m getting a sketchy vibe from this whole deal, but maybe that’s just me.
Should Mary follow up on this revelation, or is she overstepping? We need some advice from you, gang!
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BJ'S BLOG 04/22/15 "Leave it in the Past"

Hello again, good people! We’re back with another topic of discussion, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Read on, and respond if you have something to say!
Ben Affleck was featured on the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” last year, but he wasn’t pleased with the results of the show’s genealogy research. Affleck requested that the show’s producers leave out the fact that one of his ancestors was a slave owner. Unfortunately, another new Sony email hack has leaked the information into the public consciousness, and the actor is catching heat for it.
Ben Affleck’s mother was a prominent fighter in the civil rights movement, but people are far too focused on the slave ownership. Believe it or not, this is not an uncommon aspect of the American experience; many of our ancestors were involved with practices that, while socially acceptable in their time, may be completely abhorrent in our modern society. I think there might be some perspective that we could all keep in mind when we’re reacting to things like this.
We all have shadows in our past, some more extreme than others. They say confession is good for the soul, so I’d like to hear about the skeletons in your closet. This isn’t about judgment; we live in a society where forgiveness doesn’t always come easy, and I have some real issues with that. Let’s go back to judging the balance of a man in the present day, rather than weighing his worth based on the events of yesterday. 
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