BJ Shea
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BJ Shea

 BJ Shea

BJ'S BLOG 01/30/15 "Lazy Coworker"

I'm sure you're all SUPER BUSY with your Friday workload, but we'd really appreciate you helping out a fellow Rock-A-Holic with some Group Therapy!

We heard from Kevin, who has a coworker is constantly complaining that he can't help out, or take on new projects…but whenever he passes the guy's desk, he's surfing the net or playing a game.

I think we all know this coworker; unfortunately, mine is my son! I guess we should save that nugget for a very personal Group Therapy session, and focus our efforts on helping Kevin. He says that the lazy guy's duty-shirking is a pretty open secret, but no one seems willing to confront the issue. Kevin is pretty tired of everyone else picking up the slack, but he's worried about being perceived as a snitch if he takes this matter to the boss.

What kind of advice do you have for Kevin, friends?

(Oh, and let's not forget this very important parting wish: GO HAWKS!)
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BJ'S BLOG 01/29/15 "Super Bowl Commercials"

There are people in the world who don't love football, but still tune into the Super Bowl for the incredible commercials. Big companies, charitable organizations, and film studios all come together to maximize their advertising reach, and they usually try their best to bring the goods to the viewing public.

One company that has definitely raised its profile via a run of sexy Super Bowl commercials is Go Daddy Dot Com. This is definitely an organization that focuses their marketing on the male audience.

This year, Go Daddy is already courting controversy with an ad that parodies a very popular Budweiser commercial featuring a sad puppy who gets adopted at the end. In Go Daddy's version, the puppy is sold online to what appears to be a dog breeder! I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that animal activists have already started howling about this one, and Go Daddy ended up pulling the ad.

Look, I love animals, but some of these people really irritate me, and I'm not just talking about the animal rights folks. I thought the commercial was funny, and completely harmless, but someone always has to red-line the Outrage Meter. Do whatever you'd like to white males in your ads, but if you even make a joke about pets, women, children, non-white ethnicities, or ANYONE who isn't a straight white guy…you're in trouble.

How do you feel about this, gang?

P.S. – No animals were harmed in the making of this blog. We promise.
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BJ'S BLOG 01/28/15 "Kids Clothes"

Hey, gang! Take some time out of your busy day to enjoy some Group Therapy! Someday, the Rock-A-Holic who needs help may be YOU!

We're hoping to offer some assistance to Kim, who has a boyfriend with a 7-year-old son. The kid's mom insists on dressing the young man in shirts that say things like COOL DUDE COMIN' THROUGH, and Kim thinks it's just ridiculous.

For her part, Kim buys the kid some "cooler" clothes when she and his father have custody of him – half of each week – but those clothes go back to his mom's house when he leaves, and they never seem to come back. Kim wants the mom to step up her dressing game, and she also wants to see her own purchases return. If not, she thinks the mom should pay up to make up for it!

Kim, you're heading into dangerous territory here. Like it or not, the kid's mom is his mom, and she's just doing her job. You're not even his stepmother! This is NOT YOUR KID. It's great that you want to be involved with your boyfriend's son, but you make it sound like more of a Cool Kid Contest that you're desperate to win.

Competitive Girlfriend Comin' Through!

Let's hear it from you, cool kids! Is Kim overstepping her boundaries, or is my attitude just out of fashion?

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BJ'S BLOG 01/27/15 "NFL Hypocrisy"

Hey, kids! Do you like a sporting organization that openly practices double standards, and demonstrates hypocrisy on a regular basis? Look no further than the National Football League!

While the New England Patriots seem to be avoiding trouble, despite the controversy over their saggy balls, our own Marshawn Lynch was recently fined $22,000 for grabbing his crotch during a game, with a warning that the Seahawks will be penalized in game yardage (15 yards per offense) if Lynch does it doing the Super Bowl.

MEANWHILE, the NFL online shop is currently sold out of a framed picture that includes a shot of Marshawn's fineable grab; that's right, the NFL was more than happy to profit from the crotch-grab, to the tune of $150 a pop!

I have no love for the grabbing of one's crotch as a public gesture, but I'm also not a fan of people profiting from hypocrisy. The NFL says the photo collage was an oversight, which is just a lame excuse for being caught out in arrogant, morally deficient behavior.
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BJ'S BLOG 01/26/15 "Oreos, Deflated Balls, and Justin Bieber"

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

Why do those three totally unrelated topics seem to fit together so well? Let us start with Oreos. Red Velvet is here, a red-tinged chocolaty cookie with a cream cheese-type filling instead of the traditional filling. These cookies are set to hit stores nationwide on February 2, Groundhog Day. This does not mean I'll make a hog out of myself, but I am planning on following the delivery truck and stockpiling since the Red Velvet Oreo will be sold only for six to eight weeks. While much to the horror of many, I'm sure, I have never been a big Oreo fan, but this one I will try.

Before we get to Justin Bieber, let us speak for a minute about deflated balls (now stay with me and don't get confused. I mean footballs, of course). Even non-sports fans must have heard about this story. The NFL discovered that 11 of the 12 footballs the Patriots used to trounce the Colts were underinflated by 2 pounds. Imagine 32 ounces of pigskin making a 45-7 win possible when in fact the Patriots would have won 21-7 if all they had were LeGarrette Blount's 3 rushing touchdowns. That's rushing, not throwing and catching, but rushing, as in running and running. In high school our coach use to throw what felt like rocks at us in practice because it got us ready for regulation footballs, which were somewhat softer and easier to catch than the hard ones in practice. Softer footballs, which are also easier to intercept if you can get your hands on them, wouldn't explain this 38-point difference. Cheating is cheating, though, and there will be more on that in the podcast.

Now from deflated balls to no, er, what is the word? Hmm. Ah, nuts. Comedy Central is going to roast Justin Bieber. It's unclear whether he will be skewered first, but one can always hope. It seems the Biebe has always wanted to be skewered, I mean roasted, and Comedy Central said the only reason it hasn't been done yet is there was not enough material until now. The date has not been set, but I have a line for the roasting: when Justin lays an egg, he throws it at his neighbor's house (crowd erupts with laughter, Bieber cackles).

I have no idea what else will be on the shores of Rambling Harbor, but join me there and we'll find out together.
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BJ'S BLOG 01/23/15 "A Daughter's Secret"

Group Therapy is all about Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics!

We heard from Will, who recently learned that his daughter has been keeping a secret: she's a stripper!

Will's daughter lives with a friend, and she told her parents that they both work at a bar as servers. On a recent night out with the guys, Will learned the truth in the worst way possible: he actually saw his daughter performing at the strip club that he and his buddies had chosen for their evening entertainment. Will immediately departed, and he managed to make it out before his daughter spotted him.

Will didn't say if his friends stayed at the gentlemen's club or not. Personally, if I saw a friend's daughter stripping in a club, I would evacuate at a high rate of speed. An enemy's daughter…well, that's a different situation, but let's stay on topic.

Speaking as a father, my own daughter has been independent since she was fairly young, and I love her for that, but there have definitely been times when I wondered if she might take that path, if only to prove that she could make her own decisions. If things ever went that way, I would love her regardless; that being said, I think most parents would prefer a different life path for their children.

Here's the problem: Will hasn't told his wife about their daughter's secret, and the daughter doesn't know that he found out in the first place. Heck, we're not even sure if Will's wife is aware that he was at a strip club with his buddies.

Rock-A-Holics, this guy needs some serious advice, so let's hear what you have to say! I'm especially interested in hearing from strippers who have struggled with telling their family the truth!
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BJ'S BLOG 01/22/15 "Dog Custody"

Group Therapy is going to the dogs! Well…okay, it's going to the dogs on a shared custody basis, so that's one-week-on-one-week-off. I hope that's an agreeable plan for all you Rock-A-Holics out there.

Today's topic comes from Tom, who was in a serious relationship with a woman for four years. Two years into the relationship, they got a dog together. Sounds really cute, right?

Well, they broke up recently, and they were really unsure about what they should do with the hound. They arrived at a solution that has them sharing custody, with the dog going back and forth every week. As you might expect, Tom is dating other people now, and he says that the new girlfriends in his life are irritated by the canine rotation. They believe he is using the dog as an excuse to keep the girlfriend in his life, in the hope that they'll eventually get back together.

Is it weird to share custody of a pet? I know Seattle is a very animal-friendly city, but this one is a little bit beyond my own personal experience. Rock-A-Holics, we need you to sound off and give Tom some doggone* good advice!

*-I am so very sorry for that terrible joke. Really. That one was RUFF, and I know it.
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BJ'S BLOG 01/21/14 "Odd Request"

Group Therapy needs YOU, good people!

A Rock-A-Holic by the name of Monica has come to us for advice, following an odd request from her co-worker: this woman wants Monica to hit on her boyfriend to see if he'll take the bait! The co-worker and her man have been together for about four months, and she feels some kind of urge to test his resolve, and see if he's serious.

The boyfriend goes to the same happy hour every week, and the co-worker says that Monica is his "type", so she wants to find out if her boyfriend will cheat if a woman approaches him.

Oh, this makes me immediately angry, but not with Monica; she's clearly caught in the middle, and the fact that she's conflicted enough to reach out for some advice tells me that she's probably a thoughtful, decent person. What kind of insecurity leads a woman to instigate a trap like this?

I'm turning this one over to you, folks. What advice do you have for Monica?
BONUS HONESTY POINTS if you've been in a similar situation, and want to share your story…
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BJ'S BLOG 01/20/15 "Winter and the Lonely Surfer"

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

It's mid-January at Rambling Harbor, and it seems as if the sun has not shown in months. We rejoice if the temperatures break the freezing mark. Me, I've been playing surfing music, Jimmy Buffett and any other tropical tunes I can think of. A mile from my home is the part of the beach that has the best waves, and even on a 10-degree day, with colder wind chill, you will still see some lonely soul either waiting for a wave, or just waiting, and I start reminiscing.

The dark night is a lonely time, and I hate it. My favorite time to be on the ocean was always the evening, and I would sit next to the calm sea, sun fading behind me. I would sit 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. Ignoring it was not an option, and dying was always a possibility.

Many times my best surfing was when the ocean was calm. I would go out when the likelihood of good waves did not exist. I wanted the calmness. I could surf the universe in my mind, the dreams, the fears, and the unknown—sit on the water and barrel through the clouds in the sky. The ocean was and always will be the expression of the mysterious, especially at night. I wanted the depths of the darkness to talk to me, the ocean, the endless unknown ocean, where I could hear the splash of life. A porpoise? A fish? A shark? I knew there were no answers to the night sounds of the waters around me. I would feel a stir beneath my feet, a few small fish or a squid or maybe something larger out for an evening meal. The ocean scared me and yet lured me back again and again, especially at dusk. As the night grew darker, the ocean and its hidden mysteries grew deeper, 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.

What about the actual surfing? In those days most surfboards were made of Koa, a wood found in Hawaii. The original boards, called papahe'enalu in the native language, measured from 8 feet to 15 feet long and were very heavy. There is nothing like the feeling of a tube ride, hearing only the roar of the ocean as the wave breaks over your head, alone, against one of the mightiest forces ever created. You cannot control it. The best you can hope for is to ride the waves to the safety of land. Sometimes they will spin you around like a piece of cloth in a giant washer and slam your body against the bottom, knocking the breath out of you. You know at that instant that in some small way you have come face-to-face with death, but you rise to the top and let the rest of the wave carry you home.

There's more on the safe shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.
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People : Dan SandersJimmy Buffett


BJ'S BLOG 01/16/15 "Second-Hand Present"

Nicole is a big fan of Group Therapy, but like so many of her fellow Rock-A-Holics, she never thought that she'd have to ask us for help with a problem of her own.

You came to the right place, Nicole! We'll do our best to sort this situation out for you!

Nicole's fiancee got her a beautiful diamond necklace for her birthday, much to her surprise. She couldn't believe that he had splashed out the cash for such a wonderful gift, so she wore it to work the following Monday, simply to show off her new favorite piece of jewelry…

…and that's when she got the bad news.

A co-worker who knows Nicole's man revealed that the necklace had once belonged to the ex-wife of the groom-to-be, but she lost it to him in the divorce. She even showed Nicole a picture of the ex-wife wearing the piece.

I'm sure you won't be surprised when I say that Nicole was pretty unhappy about this new bit of information. She is extremely upset, and her reactions are ranging from "refuse the second-hand gift" to "break off the relationship over it".

On the one hand, I am annoyed that Nicole's co-worker felt the need to drop this bomb, upsetting Nicole in the process; on the other hand, Nicole was flaunting it a little…but isn't that what you do with new jewelry? I suppose the information was bound to get out eventually.

Let's give this long-time-listener-first-time-writer the assistance she needs, good people! What do you think Nicole should do about her secondhand sparkly?

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BJ'S BLOG 01/15/15 "Marshawn Lynch vs. the Press"

The Seattle Seahawks are definitely getting their money's worth out of Marshawn Lynch, but the NFL officials who regulate press requirements for players have been taking some of that money away, as a penalty for Lynch's aversion to interviews.

There may be some who find Beast Mode's reluctance to talk a little disappointing, but there's a movement in the fan community to protect his right to silence. A petition has been started to keep Marshawn Lynch from being financially penalized if he doesn't play the promotion game, and I think that's a perfectly fine idea.

There are plenty of Seahawks players who are great representatives of the team, and they seem to enjoy interacting with the press. Marshawn is clearly not comfortable with the attention, so why should he be forced to go before the cameras and microphones if he doesn't want to? These men are paid to play football, not to be trotted out like prized stallions. Public speaking causes terrible anxiety, and even panic, in SO many people around the world; why should the NFL punish a guy who just wants to focus on winning games and keeping football fandom running at a fever pitch?
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BJ'S BLOG 01/14/15 "Kids and Expensive Gifts"

Welcome back to Group Therapy, my fine fellow Rock-A-Holics! Pull up a chair, and turn off your electronic devices…

(Let's take a moment to pause while a very special subsection of our blog readership struggles with the idea of reading the blog with their electronic devices turned off.)

Are you ready now? Let's get with the program to help Jane, who has a kid-related dilemma. Jane and her husband work hard, and they take good care of their kids, but they can't always afford the fancy electronics and big-ticket toys that the children of today are constantly begging for. Case in point: their ten-year-old has been begging for an iPad, but the budget simply wouldn't allow for the expense.

The kid had a birthday recently, and he was thrilled to receive an iPad…but it didn't come from Jane and her husband; this was a gift from another kid! Jane thinks that it might be wrong to let her son keep the expensive gift, but she's not sure if he'll resent her for forcing him to give it back.

This is where the situation takes a little bit of a left turn for me: Jane, you were making sense until the part where you began to worry about your son's reaction towards you. I've always struggled with parents who try to reaffirm the worth of their own existence by projecting such things upon their children.

It's an expensive gift, and one that the kid should be infinitely thankful for, but maybe it's time to remember that a present is a gesture of affection and appreciation. Why not accept this wonderful gift, and focus your parenting on making sure that your child knows well enough to appreciate the wish-fulfillment that dropped in out of the blue on his birthday?

What say you on this touchy-screeny subject, Rock-A-Holics?
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BJ'S BLOG 01/13/15 "Scorch The Earth"

Welcome back to Group Therapy, gang!

Bob texted us at 7999 (you can, too!) and he really needs some advice. It seems that Bob's wife has revealed that she had an affair, and she's leaving him. To make matters worse, Bob actually knows the guy that his wife cheated with…and he's married, too.

Before we continue, I'd like to take a second to shake my head at Bob's wife: if the marriage is over anyway, why bother revealing details? Is she trying to rid herself of guilt? Why does Bob need to know these things? I'd ask the same question on general principle, but Bob's reaction to the news really makes my point for me…

Bob wants to ruin the other guy's marriage, purely for payback. It's "an eye for an eye" - plain and simple. Men just do this; we always have, and always will.

Bob also thinks that the other man's wife should definitely be informed about her husband's extracurricular activities. I don't feel like Bob is necessarily playing the role of "white knight" on this woman's behalf – it's definitely another way to strike back at the competition – but from one betrayed spouse to another, it's an understandable gesture.

I'd really like to hear some honest advice from all the Rock-A-Holics out there, especially if you've played any of the roles in a drama like this. Should Bob just walk away, or do you think he should bring the rest of the party crashing down around everyone's heads before he leaves?
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BJ'S BLOG 01/12/15 "R&B, Hip-Hop, and Taylor Swift"

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

I would like to explain myself. Notice I said I would like to. The desire to explain myself happens rarely and never lasts very long because by the time I finish explaining myself I have changed a great deal and have to start over. Also, I already seem to be channeling the great verbal befuddler Yogi Berra again, hobbled by a brain freeze due in part to the 0 degree temperature outside the cabin here at Rambling Harbor—ZERO, as in goose egg, zip, and nada—along with a wind chill factor of -21 degrees. Right now, I have the Boomtown Rats tune "Wind Chill Factor (Minus Zero)" running through my head, and it's 3 a.m.

But I'll try to explain myself. Last week I pretty much ripped apart Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve as being one-sided, apparently paid for by every R&B and hip-hop manager in the world, if the performers, except Taylor Swift, were any indication.

The target audience for R&B and hip-hop, according to radio statistics, is teenagers and young adults, ages 16-25, both male and female, who tune in to Radio 1Xtra, KISS radio, and MTV Base, among other stations. They shop at places like Nike, Adidas, Hugo Boss, Prada, and Giorgio Armani and wear trendy, high fashion clothes like models on the covers of magazines. These were the people viewers saw on the broadcast, which prompted the question I asked in my blog and podcast last week: was anyone over the age of 30 celebrating New Year's Eve in the good old U. S. of A.?

Personally I am not a hip-hop fan, though as with all music I can find parts I do like. I like my music on the rocks, so to speak, so after devoting 4 hours to R&B and hip-hop waiting to see Taylor Swift, who was the headliner but came on last, I have to ask, was this one-sided, or did I miss something?

Hear more thoughts on the rockin' shore of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.
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BJ'S BLOG 01/10/15 "Return the Ring?”

Ring-a-ding-ding, good people! It's time for some Group Therapy!

A Rock-A-Holic named Jack proposed to his girlfriend last December, after saving up the dough to get a custom-made ring to seal the deal. The girlfriend said "yes", and they all lived happily ever after…right?

Of course not.

A short time later, Jack went through an extremely stressful time at his job, and had a bit of a nervous breakdown. The bride-to-be suggested that he take some extended time off to go hiking and concentrate on healing himself. Jack went off to the woods for over a month, and returned to find his relationship on the rocks. His fiance told Jack that she didn't want him back, needed time to herself, and rented a new place for herself and her kids (who presumably have a different father).

Wait, wait, WAIT. What's this now? Didn't Jack's fiancé encourage him to go on this trip? I guess I can see why a woman would be upset under normal circumstances, especially with her own children added into the mix: she needs a stable father figure and partner to raise a family with…but if she told him to go, then why would she react this way when he returned?

Six months have passed since the big upheaval, and communication eventually broke off completely. Now that they've both moved on, Jack feels like he deserves to have the ring returned. The now-ex-girlfriend has dodged every attempt at conversation on the subject, so Jack suspects that she might have sold the ring.

On the other side of the matter, Jack also wonders if he might be getting exactly the treatment he deserves, after his breakdown and resulting walkabout.

This is a difficult one for me to sort out. I feel like we don't have all the information, because it just doesn't add up. Was Jack fired from his job? Did his psychological safari go on much longer than planned? Was there any communication between the couple during that time?

Let's put aside those technical details for now, and focus on the etiquette of getting an engagement ring back. If you have any advice – or experience – that you would care to share, I'm sure Jack would appreciate the help!
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BJ'S BLOG 01/08/15 "Gold Digger?"

It's the very first GROUP THERAPY session of 2015! Just in case you're new here, this is all about Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics! Help wanted!

We heard from Megan, whose younger brother is thinking about proposing to his girlfriend. Megan says she's an attractive girl, but suspects that she might be more interested in her brother's money than his love. Needless to say, Megan is not a fan, but she's never spoken up about her feelings. With a proposal on the horizon, big sister is starting to think about getting involved.

I'm not sure how to approach this one. We don't really have much to go on, although I do find it interesting that Megan only points out one quality about her brother's girlfriend: specifically, her looks. I have to wonder if this "attractive" girl has been written off in advance because she's pretty, and not for any other tangible reason.

My advice for Megan: maybe you should have some quiet discussion with other family members, or friends, who have spent time with this young woman, or maybe make an effort to know her better yourself. Maybe I'm missing some context here, but this seems a little bit preemptive.

What say you, Rock-A-Holics? Should Megan speak up and share her concerns, or give the girlfriend more of a chance to prove herself?
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BJ'S BLOG 01/07/15 "New Year, New Facebook Misery"

Hey there, Rock-A-Holics! Happy New Year to you!

What's that? You're not fully recovered from the festivities yet? Sure, I can try to keep it down a bit, but let's face it: I'm not really a quiet kind of guy. I'm more like a one-man 12th Man, but I wear my colors on Fridays, unlike SOME people around here. STP, I'm looking at you.

A New Year brings many new things, but a recent poll tells us that 11% of Americans believe that 2015 won't be as good for them as the now-in-the-past 2014. That may seem like a small percentage, but let's not dismiss these poll results. In my opinion, the worst part will be the misery that those 11-percenters share on Facebook.

It's especially hard to see sad Facebook updates during the holidays: you're enjoying a nice, relaxing evening at home, with some hot buttered rum and a cookie nearby…but then you surf over to your social media, where tales of woe and tragedy are just waiting to be read. I'm not saying I don't have sympathy for the plight of others, but maaaaaaaan, does it bring the party down a notch, or what?

Overall, I suppose the 11% statistic isn't terrible. If we were in the 30s or higher, I'd probably have to consider a New Year's Resolution to avoid pretty much everyone for the entire year.

(Yeah, I know that would probably guarantee a better 2015 for some folks…)
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BJ'S BLOG 01/05/15 "Another Lucid Moment, While Eating Persimmons"

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

Yes! It's true! I watched Ryan Seacrest and company on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, 4 hours of tribute to boy bands and R&B/Hip-Hop, whose agents must be doing a happy dance, as well as Taylor Swift's, unlike the agents whose groups are female. While watching, I had a Lucid Moment and joined Brave Tune and Chloe Cat on the floor, eating persimmons.

On August 8 last year, you might remember, I had a lucid moment. I titled my blog "Lucid Moments" (of course you remember!). You may also recall my spirit guide, Brave Tune, who wrote the song about Ted Nugent called "I'd like to stick my arrow in your nuggets, Nugent" after Teddy Boy called Native Americans vermin and less than human.

Brave Tune and I reconvened on New Year's Eve, sitting on the cabin floor with Chloe Cat, waiting for the New Year to begin, and we started singing "All Along the Watchtower"and arguing about who did the best version, Hendrix or Dylan. There are only 27 lines in the entire 4-to-5 minute song. Of those 27 lines, all we could remember was something about a growling wildcat (no, sorry, actually that was Chloe Cat who remembered that one). I remembered something about a howling wind, and Brave Tune said something about two riders, so we ended up with a song that went like this:

All along the DC tower two riders did prowl.
As cougar Sarah Palin she began to growl,
I can see the Willard Hotel and Russia just as well.
At this her lungs began to swell.
And then a rider named Boehner said that life is but a joke.
And Chloe Cat chimed in with
I think you both might choke.

So we sat there in the middle of the room, eating persimmons, and waiting for the moon, which we could see from the floor. Chloe Cat then broke into Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" (that kitty can move!), and we ate more persimmons, but when Chloe Cat suggested singing Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj's "Bang Bang," she was cut off from eating any more persimmons.

Finally midnight arrived, and Ryan sank in midnight gloom, and Taylor sold out and didn't need to moon—so much for New Year's Eve. I hope your New Year is full of peace and lots of love.
There will be more on Seacrest and Swift in the podcast. Here's the Snoop and its One Direction to the shores of Rambling Harbor. With a little "Wiggle" I hope you'll join me there.

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BJ'S BLOG 12/29/14 "A Mythical King and New Year's Eve"

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

The new year comes creeping across the earth like a shadow, starting in Samoa, moving through Bangladesh and Kazakhstan, slowly making its way to New York, meandering through the Midwest and lastly to Honolulu. As it engulfs each region of what we call earth, it creates outbreaks of giddiness and foolish behavior, with people making promises of all kinds to be better, do better, and have a better life. The fear of no more time swallows people whole, causing partying and drinking and all forms of debauchery and other kinds of fun. I swear this year I will do it!

The tradition of New Year's resolutions dates back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome placed at the head of the calendar, had two faces and could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol of resolutions, and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

At midnight on New Year's Eve, the bell tolls, the chimes ring, and the cuckoo cuckoos. I love clocks that have arms, watching them as the longer arm swings toward its final destination of midnight as we also grow closer to the end. The clock has swung 876,508,127 around itself, and we celebrate and fear the old year's ending and the new year's beginning. We remember friends and old times, places we've been, loves and battles won and lost. I always have a soundtrack in my head, and part of my soundtrack for New Year's Eve is the Gordon Lightfoot tune "Does She Mention My Name" and Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days." There's also a poem from an ancient mathematician, astronomer, and poet, written in 1120, that comes to mind:

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."
--Omar Khayyam (Quattrain LXXI, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward FitzGerald)

Live for today, hope for tomorrow, try to smile even about your failures, make all the resolutions you might break, and most of all live each day like it's New Year's Day, because that's what it is—a brand new day. Happy New Year!

On a lighter seasonal note, I have a question, a question I've had in mind since I was a child and one of those questions I never knew how to ask my mom or dad: Is it worth being good 364.4 days a year for one day of presents? Still wondering.

There are more rambling thoughts on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Come ashore and give a listen.
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