BJ Shea

 BJ Shea

BJ'S BLOG 07/31/15 "Mean On Twitter"

A Rock-A-Holic in need is never alone in Group Therapy! Come on in, and get some help from your own people!
We heard from Wendy, who needs some help with a problem that spans from her workplace to the internet. Wendy recently found out that a coworker has a Twitter account, and she checked it out. It turns out the coworker’s Twitter feed is full of weird tweets about Wendy, and this isn’t just paranoia: some of the posts even mention her by name! Wendy and the coworker aren’t close friends, but they have a cordial working relationship; she had no idea her officemate felt that way.
(Are you new here? We never say things to your face in the Pacific Northwest!)
Wendy doesn’t think that the coworker realizes her account is public, and now Wendy can’t stop looking. Unfortunately, I think that would be the case for anyone in this situation; if you know there could be something new being written about you – even if it’s horrible – you can’t resist checking it out.
Wendy is hurt by the whole thing, and she wonders if she should tell her boss. Honestly, I don’t think that’s a terrible idea, but it’s hard to gauge the drama that might follow that reveal, because I don’t know her workplace situation. That being said, the co-worker is an idiot for naming her in public, so I think she deserves whatever she gets.
(Hey, you could always start re-Tweeting her posts about you, for ultimate passive-aggression. )
We’d love to hear your advice for Wendy, good people! Should she confront her coworker, tell her boss, or just let it go! Sound off!
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BJ'S BLOG 07/30/15 "Mean On Facebook"

The internet is a great place, full of wonderful people who want nothing more than to lift your spirits and boost your confidence.
Well…that’s usually how it is on Group Therapy, anyway. I can’t really speak for the rest of the internet.
When it comes to people exhibiting questionable human interaction skills, you can always count on Facebook. Our own Vicky Barcelona could go on forever about the weird and bizarre encounters she’s had via social media, and today’s tidbit comes from her Facebook message inbox…
Recently, she received several fairly polite (but unsolicited, which is kind of creepy) messages from a guy she doesn’t know. He was very complimentary toward her, commenting on her attractiveness and asking about her relationship status. She didn’t respond immediately, which was apparently an insult to her admirer. After a few days, she received another message from him, this one assaulting her at full blast with comments about everything from her perceived lack of manners, to her physical appearance, which he was extremely rude about.
I’ve never been able to understand what it is about social media that makes people think they have the right to engage with people in whichever manner they choose, especially when the person on the receiving end is a woman. It’s really no different from catcalls and whistles in real life, and it irritates the hell out of me to know that Vicky – and countless other females – should have to endure that. Get a life, jerks.
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BJ'S BLOG 07/29/15 "Best Man Hates the Bride-To-Be"

Welcome back, Rock-A-Holics! Before we begin, I’d like to remind you all that we value your sincere and honest feelings in Group Therapy, so don’t hold back...because we certainly don’t!
By the way, I don’t like that shirt on you. Sorry.
Today’s patient-in-need is Kenny, who is all set to be the best man at his cousin’s wedding. Kenny and his cousin have always been the best of friends, but there’s just one problem…Kenny seriously HATES his cousin’s fiance! He just doesn’t like this woman, and the fact that this marriage is following a mere 8 months of dating is adding fuel to the fire.
The cousin doesn’t know about Kenny’s feelings toward the bride-to-be, which makes this next bit even more awkward: during a recent conversation, the cousin asked if Kenny dislikes his fiance. Kenny lied and gave her the stamp of approval, but then the cousin said that he was asking because he values Kenny’s opinion, and wanted to make sure that he didn’t have any reservations about the woman he’s planning to marry.
Now, Kenny’s feeling conflicted, and his wife says he should step up and share his feelings before it’s too late. Kenny’s friends, who ALSO hate this woman, have advised him to stay out of it.
I don’t know the ages of the happy couple – and I don’t know the woman, of course -- but I think eight months of dating seems like a pretty short road to marriage. What’s the hurry? Honestly, I think you could use the idea of “too soon” as a way to lead your cousin in a more thoughtful direction about his life choices. Plus, it might open the door toward some more direct conversation about your feelings toward the bride.
That’s just my opinion. Maybe you agree, or maybe you think I’m crazy…so let’s hear what you have to say on the subject, gang! How soon is too soon? And more importantly, how should Kenny tackle this sensitive subject with his cousin?
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BJ'S BLOG 07/28/15 "Sex Before Vacation?"

It’s Group Therapy, where Rock-A-Holics help their own kind with a situation that’s too big for one person to tackle alone!
Christy is a Bothell native who now lives in L.A., and she’s stayed loyal to our little radio show. For that, we must show our immense appreciation! Christy has been dating a new guy for about three weeks. He’s a TV writer, which seems like unnecessary information, but it actually has some bearing on the situation, as you’ll learn shortly. Things are going so well, she’s moving slow…and hasn’t slept with him yet. It’s not that she doesn’t want to, but she likes him so much that she’s taking a different approach from her usual relationship M.O.
(I don’t understand a woman taking things slow sexually when she’s trying to keep her new guy, but let’s keep going....)
Here’s the thing: the boyfriend’s TV show is going on hiatus for the summer, so he is taking a month off to go on tour with a friend’s band. Christy is wondering if she should seal the deal before he leaves.
Let’s hear it from you, good people! I’d love to get some opinions on this conundrum, especially from the ladies…but as always, we’re open to thoughts from anyone!
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BJ'S BLOG 07/27/15 "Thinking, Part One: Starfish"

Today's blogs come from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

This blog turned into almost 2,000 words, and I said to myself, “That’s not a blog, it’s a short story.” The last thing I wanted to do was whittle it down from the magnitude of verbiage it once was, so I decided to present it in three parts, one each week for three weeks and no part connected to any other part. If you miss a part or lose interest in a part, stop reading and feel free to sing “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes.

Many years ago at the end of the Vietnam War, a friend told me she hoped I would say our work is finished, and believe me I wanted to say that more than anyone. My entire adult life had revolved around that war. But instead I said there was still so much more to do. Look at hunger, homelessness, and nuclear proliferation, to name but three battles to wage. I think that annoyed her mostly because she knew I was right.

Perhaps you wish I would lighten up and talk about the good ol’ days of broadcasting when vinyl delivered the music, weighed 10 pounds, and was played on a thing called a turntable. Sometimes I do that and more. Just get me started on Ted Nugent and the Brave Arrow tune (you remember Brave Arrow, one of my spirit guides, who wrote “I’d like to stick my arrows in your nuggets, Nugent.”)

All life needs protecting, and we are indeed our brothers' and sisters' keepers. Since we two-legged animals have the resources to protect the rest of life, WE are the guardians, whether those lives live next door or across the ocean, in the mountains or under the sea.

This belief is not based on deep religious convictions but simply on what is right and wrong, what is good and what is not. There are so many things on our little planet that need to be changed, it can be overwhelming, and “What difference can I make?" is a fair question to ask. This reminds me of the story “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley, which tells of a little man walking on the beach, picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. An old man who was watching asked him why he was bothering. “You cannot possibly make a difference to them all,” he said. To that the little man replied, “You're right, I can't, but I am certainly making a difference to this one."

In the podcast, among other things, there are thoughts on Deflategate and new rules (or not) for NFL umpires, songwriter Wayne Carson, and the Beatles’ “Sexy Sadie,” an alternate title to one of their songs. Do you know the original title? Join me for the podcast on the shores of Rambling Harbor.
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People : Dan SandersLoren EiseleyWayne Carson


BJ'S BLOG 07/24/15 "Funeral or Bachelor Party"

I’d like to thank everyone for joining us on this special occasion…wait, what are we doing? Oh, right! It’s a Group Therapy session!
(Sorry, I have trouble keeping my events organized sometimes.)
Apparently, I’m not the only one who can’t keep his events organized: a Rock-A-Holic named Jared is torn between two occasions, and he wants some advice. You see, Jared’s buddy is getting married soon, and the bachelor party is coming up very soon. Unfortunately, Jared’s girlfriend’s grandfather recently passed away, and his funeral has been scheduled for the same night as the party.
Unsurprisingly, the girlfriend has asked Jared if he would go with her to the funeral, knowing full well that he’d have to sacrifice the bachelor party. Jared says he didn’t know the man very well at all, and they had no relationship, so he’s feeling like he doesn’t have any real obligation to escort his girlfriend to the ceremony. He wants to know if going to the bachelor party would make him a bad boyfriend.
This is one of those Group Therapy situations that looks like a no-win scenario. I’m dying (whoops) to hear what the Rock-A-Holics have to say…and I’m especially looking forward to seeing how the answers are different between the sexes. Sound off, gang!
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BJ'S BLOG 07/22/15 "Coming Clean"

It’s time for another another round of Group Therapy, and we swear that’s the truth!
We heard from a Rock-A-Holic named Carissa, who dated a guy for a couple of years before he moved out of state. Some time passed, and the guy returned, reuniting the couple once again. Things have been going well, and it’s looking very much like they’ll return to an exclusive status. There’s just one little hitch, however: while they were apart, Carissa slept with his brother.
She says it was a one-time thing that she regrets, but she’s not sure if she should come clean about the lapse in judgment. The problem is compounded by the fact that the two brothers aren’t particularly close; in fact, they have historically been aggressively competitive with each other.
Oh, stupid humans; do we ever change? Talk about a race driven by simple needs, with little regard for the consequences. I’m going to go shake my head in the corner, but I’d love to hear your feedback on this one, Rock-A-Holics…
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BJ'S BLOG 07/21/15 "Ex To The Wedding"

Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! The summer weather has cooled down a little, but Group Therapy is just getting warmed up!
We heard from Renee, whose sister is getting married soon. Renee is worried about her date…because he happens to be the bride’s ex-boyfriend.
Here’s the scoop: the bride-to-be dated this guy for about six months, and things didn’t work out. Renee started dating him two years later, so it’s not as if the guy just jumped from one sister to the other overnight. Renee and the boyfriend have been together for a few months, and it’s going very well. Still, it’s understandably awkward.
Renee didn’t say whether or not she’s in the bridal party, so it’s hard to properly gauge the exact situation. We also don’t know if the sister is even aware of Renee’s relationship, although it seems like a safe assumption that she knows.
Let’s leave the question as simply as it was presented: should Renee leave her date behind for her sister’s wedding? We’d love to hear your thoughts, gang!
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BJ'S BLOG 07/20/15 "Old Things"

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

Cyril Connolly was a literary critic and writer as well as the editor of the literary magazine Horizon. He once said it’s better to write for you and have yourself than to write for an audience and have no self. How woefully difficult that is when there is a carrot-shaped dollar bill waved in front of your nose.

Tom T. Hall, singer-songwriter, penned a song called "Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine” in which he declares that the three things in the title are all that’s worth a dime in this world. Simon and Garfunkel’s “Old Friends” from 1968 is about the importance of those who have been our friends for many years.

I don’t own an eBook or a Kindle and likely never will. I do own books, and some I have had for years. Some were inscribed to me by hands no longer in this world. I like holding them, knowing what other hands had passed over their pages. Other books came to me used, and I have no idea who their owners had been. The mystery of who had sat for hours reading the words that the author had put there, words that had made a child smile, sitting under a tree on a warm summer day, or an old person whose feeble hands could barely turn the pages, find joy in the words, sitting for hours in a rocking chair on a porch. Someday words and memories are all any of us will have left.

I like old things, not because I think they are better made or have greater material value but because old things have much to tell us. Even in their silently kept secrets, they tell stories. I think part of my love for old things is that they are survivors. They have escaped landfill.

I have a small book in front of me now, published in 1926, titled Last Poems. It’s a translation from The Book of Indian Love, and it has lived longer than I may. It has seen 89 summers of hands and love touch it, and when I hold it I feel I’m holding a piece of the time and place when it was new.
Here’s a poem I wrote about old things.
   Old Dress

Old dress I really must know
Where was the party
And with whom did you go
Who wore you so proudly
And danced with such flair
Straight into the morning
Like floating on air
The wine stains
How did those get there
A hand waving
Through music
And slicing the air
Just a slight little quiver
That’s how it got there
Old dress
your party has ended
You rest now alone
With your memories sealed tightly
Of one you have known
She who danced
In ribbons and bows
Keep your secrets
Old dress
I’ll not ask again
For answers to questions
I feel we both know

 There are more thoughts, old and new, on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Please join me there.
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BJ'S BLOG 07/17/15 "Be Honest In Relationships"

It’s time for another survey, where everyone is encouraged to be completely honest. If you can’t manage that, just try to make up a decent lie. It’s insulting when you don’t put any effort into it, y’know…
A recent survey says that 68% of women have dumped a guy because they didn’t like the smell of his cologne, and 52% of THOSE women have used that reason to dump a guy on the first date!
Ladies, why can’t you just be honest? If you don’t like a scent that people CHOOSE to put on their bodies, then just say so. If it’s a deal-breaker for the person you’re telling, then it wasn’t meant to be; clearly, they have their own shallow issues to deal with.
For your part, it’s all about being forthright. Is that so difficult? If you can’t handle a cologne level of confrontation, then you’re going to have hard times ahead in a serious relationship.
Lucky for me, my wife has very specific taste in her man’s cologne. Not so lucky: she prefers a scent that shall remain nameless, but is well-known for its douchebag associations. Me, I’d just prefer to smell like…me. Like it or not.

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