BJ Shea

 BJ Shea

BJ'S BLOG 10/31/14 "Lying on the First Date"

Happy Halloween! Group Therapy is IN SESSION!
Krystal is a Rock-A-Holic in search of some dating advice. She recently started dating a guy, and they’ve been together for two months. When they first met, she told him she was a bartender; it turned out that he’s a bartender, too, which meant that their schedules and lifestyles were compatible. Sounds perfect, right?
Well, Krystal likes this guy a lot, but she’s worried that he’s going to be upset with her for lying about her profession: she’s not a bartender, she’s a stripper.
Krystal isn’t ashamed of her job; she enjoys it, and the money is great. On the other hand, she knows that her job isn’t accepted by everyone in society, and she’s worried that the combination of her profession and the initial deception will result in the loss of a relationship that she’s very happy with.
I don’t like it when people lie, but I have some real empathy for Krystal’s situation. She understands the judgment that follows her career, but she perseveres by her own choice. This is a person that deserves love just as much as anyone, whose life choices set her apart from basic polite society. That makes it one degree harder to find the elusive understanding relationship.
That being said, there is never a situation that is improved by a lie. If you want to find love, and expect some understanding from your partner, you have to live an honest life, Krystal. If you bare your soul about baring your body, he will either understand, or he won’t. If he doesn’t, then you can probably figure out the next step on your own.
Am I wrong about this one, people? Give Krystal your best advice…
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BJ'S BLOG 10/30/14 "Too Young To Trick-or-Treat"

Trick or Treat! Smell my feet!
Okay, let’s be honest: I’m too old for this nonsense, and you do NOT want to smell my feet. Maybe we should just move on to Group Therapy. Maybe they’ll have some candy for us.
A Rock-A-Holic named Mark is having a different kind of Halloween dilemma. His wife wants to take their son out for his first trick or treat excursion with the whole family in costumes, but Mark wonders if the kid might be too young…since he’s only ten months old.
Mark thinks his wife is crazy, and that it’s a terrible idea; in fact, he straight-up told his wife that he thinks she’s dumb. Of course, the wife thinks the whole thing will be fun, and she doesn’t agree with Mark’s assertion that their son won’t even remember this experience.
STP thinks that Mark should learn to pick his battles a little more carefully. Personally, I think the “Happy Wife, Happy Life” philosophy has become a little bit too one-sided, because women have stopped holding up their belief in the reciprocal “Boys Will Be Boys” way of thinking. The whole mutual happiness racket has turned into a heavy-ended see-saw, and nobody wants to ride that.
I need to go find some candy. Help this guy out with some advice, won’t you?
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BJ'S BLOG 10/29/14 "Blaming the Kid"

This is Halloween week, ladies and germs! That’s always a time of hope for me: it means that we’re quickly approaching the one day each year when I can feel a little less unsettled by the creeps and weirdoes that I’m forced to work with around here.
For the other 364 days of the year, I just use Group Therapy to distract me.
We heard from a father who is reaching out for a little bit of advice from his fellow Rock-A-Holics. The man’s son is 23 years old, living at home, and has been unemployed for a while; not surprisingly, his parents are concerned about his future, especially his mother. A few months back, Mom discovered a marijuana pipe in her son’s room. What she doesn’t know is that the pipe belongs to her husband.
Hoo-boy. Let’s go on.
Dad convinced Mom it wasn’t a big deal, so she didn’t talk to her son. A few months later, the still-unemployed kid is back under his mother’s suspicion: she thinks that he’s a pothead, and that’s why he can’t get a job. Having never smoked pot before, Mom has told Dad that he should confront their son, or she will. Now, Big Daddy Weed is wondering if he should come clean to his wife, bring his son into his secret world of (legal) drug use, or go to an as-yet-unrevealed third option, which I assume he’s hoping one of you (or us) can suggest.
My god, it’s like a Lifetime version of “Breaking Bad”.
Get a clue, Dad. You seem to have no idea where the heart of the problem lies, but here’s a hint: it’s nothing you said in your email. I suspect that your fellow Rock-A-Holics can pick up on this, too, so I’m going to let THEM speak to you.
Go ahead, folks. The floor is yours…
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BJ'S BLOG 10/28/14 "Going to a Rave"

Snap on the glowsticks, and tell the DJ to play my jam…it’s time for Group Therapy!
(I think that’s what the kids say, right?)
Daniel wrote us for some help. Halloween is coming up, and Daniel’s daughter, who just turned 18, wants to go to something called Freak Night; it’s a rave, and single parent Daniel’s feeling uncomfortable because he has a lot of worries about crazy music, skimpy clothing, and less-than-legal party aspects that could rear their ugly head. He wants to know if he can put his foot down and forbid his daughter from going to the rave.
I speak from experience here: your kids turn legal at the age of 18, and it’s pretty hard to play the Parent Card once that happens. You raised the kid, you’re accustomed to having the voice of authority, and you want to invoke the “My Roof, My Rules” regulations whenever you get worried about a situation they want to get into.
You have to know your kids. Is your daughter the responsible type, Daniel? If she is, that needs to be your default setting when dealing with her. If she’s NOT responsible, then maybe your concerns are based in something more than garden variety parental fear. Again, I’ve made these errors with my own (responsible) kids, and I wish I hadn’t.
Sound off, Rock-A-Holics! Let’s hear it from you!
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BJ'S BLOG 10/27/14 "The Lunatic Asylum"

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

For the last episode of a scary Rambling Harbor this Halloween, I want to tell you a true story that happened to me.

Sometime around 1974 in the spooky month of October, on a clear cold night around 1 a.m., I was driven up a narrow winding road in a rural, out-of-the-way location. The road led up to what I later learned was called Hawthorne Hill. I wasn’t sure why I was being taken up this hill, and I have to say I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. The driver remained completely silent, a small smile escaping from the corner of her mouth. Had she been sealed in secrecy by some demon? Oh, the power of one’s imagination on a haunting New England night!

Nearing the top of the hill, I could see the twisted figures of leafless trees dancing against the sky, old abandoned buildings hiding not just their past but their present, a dim light coming from a smaller building still in use—but for what demonic purpose? With that thought, as suddenly as cold wind chills the body, a feeling of death covered me. I knew people had been brought here and died horrible deaths, buried in the woods with nameless markers. Still I had no idea why I had been taken here.

My driver was a woman I had known for only a few weeks who had come to America from Sweden as a stowaway on a tramp steamer, and what did I really know about her? Did some horrible death await me as it had others she may have brought here? Again, the power of imagination on a cold clear haunting New England night!

My friend, knowing my part-time fascination with the supernatural and macabre, had driven me to see “The Lunatic Asylum.”

Danvers State Hospital was a place so scary that the 2001 movie Session 9 was filmed there. (If you want to see a good scary move for Halloween, Session 9 is it!) Danvers State Hospital has gone by many names over the years—the State Lunatic Hospital, Danvers State Insane Asylum, and even Hell House on the Hill. There were reports that inhumane shock therapies and lobotomies were used on humans—Danvers Lunatic Asylum is known as the birthplace of the lobotomy—and experimental drugs and straitjackets were used to keep the crowded hospital under control. How many people are buried on the grounds and what horrible deaths brought their lives to an end will never be told but are perhaps reflected by the dancing trees and the walls of the old buildings. I can tell you that the feeling I had about the place that night had nothing to do with my imagination.

After being closed for many years, the Danvers State Hospital site has been redeveloped as luxury apartments, but stories are still told about unexplained voices and images, and the only thing left of the asylum is the cemetery and the nameless markers.

Join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor as we wrap up our tribute to Halloween.
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BJ'S BLOG 10/24/14 "Rehire the Home Wrecker?"

Today’s Group Therapy really blows my mind, folks. Let’s get right into it…
A woman named Mary is seeking some advice. Six years ago, Mary and her husband became the parents of twins. Mary stayed home for the first couple of years, then went back to work and hired a nanny, who was fantastic with the twins.
Unfortunately, she was also fantastic with Mary’s husband. Two years after the nanny was hired, Mary discovered that her husband was sexually involved with her. As you might expect, Mary fired the nanny, and is divorcing her husband.
Case closed, right?
It’s been four months since Mary sent her problems packing. The kids are unhappily attending daycare, and she says they really miss the nanny. For her part, the nanny is currently unemployed and no longer seeing Mary’s husband.
Naturally, Mary is considering re-hiring the nanny!
So, if she was seeing the husband, then it wouldn’t be okay? It doesn’t matter. The damage is done, and her being a good nanny doesn’t make up for the fact that she slept with your husband.
A letter like this makes me wonder what kind of relationship you had with your husband, Mary. The kids have been traumatized enough by the breakup in your relationship, and now you want to bring back the woman who played a major part in that breakup? It’s no different than bringing your husband back; you’re looking for a situational Band-Aid, and in my opinion, that’s a terrible idea.
According to Mary, her friends and family think she’s crazy for even considering a re-hire of the home-wrecking helper. They can add my name to the list, because this all sounds insane to me
Once again, I’m feeling like I just don’t understand women sometimes. Can someone make sense of this for me?
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BJ'S BLOG 10/23/14 "My Wife's Co-worker Might Be My Kid's Father!"

Oh, baby…we’ve got a serious Group Therapy session today, Rock-A-Holics.
We’re hoping to get some advice for Frank, who is 55, with a 37-year-old wife. They just had a daughter together, which is great…but Frank is starting to question whether or not he is the father of this baby girl.
After ten years without using any contraception, Frank wonders why his wife has suddenly gotten pregnant. He also doesn’t think that the baby looks anything like him, and he is starting to think that one of his wife’s co-workers might be the father. She works long hours in a male-dominated workplace, and the suspicions are eating away at him. Frank wonders if he should say something to his wife about his worries.
Back in the day, people didn’t really speak up and question anything when a baby seemed to not match up with its father. In the modern age, it’s far too easy to prove the situation if that question comes up, but I also think that we live in a more suspicious, paranoid time. It’s a tough position to be in, certainly – if he’s wrong, Frank could destroy his marriage, but if he’s right, the situation will definitely end up being far worse.
That being said, I think the idea of a two-week-old child not looking like its father might be a bit of an early call. Maybe Frank should visit his wife’s workplace, and check for a resemblance.
Let’s hear what you have to say, gang…
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BJ'S BLOG 10/22/14 "Breaking Bad Action Figures"

Hey, kids! Are you looking for a new role model to add to your action figure collection? How about legendary entrepreneur Walter White from “Breaking Bad”, the popular children’s show?
Surprise, surprise…a mother in Florida doesn’t like that idea very much. She’s started a petition to remove Breaking Bad figures from the shelves of Toys ‘R’ Us, despite the fact that the toys are clearly marked for ages 15 and up.
Breaking Bad is about a man who decides to make and sell methamphetamines in order to secure his family’s future; I’m not saying that’s a hero for kids to admire, but I also don’t imagine that many young kids will even look twice at these figures. They very likely don’t know what Breaking Bad is, so they’re going to pass right by these toys and head to the aisle with all the Avengers and G.I. Joe figures.
The concerned mother, who claims to like the show itself, has managed to recruit 5,000+ petitioners for support, and has successfully managed to get the toys pulled off the shelves!
In case you don’t know, grown-up themed figures are nothing new, and they’re growing in popularity. I have some Doctor Who figures that would be perfectly appropriate for most kids in principle, but their appeal spreads to a much wider demographic. On the adult end, Todd McFarlane has been producing toys based on Teen+ rated video games, and horror movies for two decades now. I find it funny that we haven’t heard this kind of uproar about McFarlane’s ultra-successful line of figures from The Walking Dead.

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People : Todd McFarlaneWalter White


BJ'S BLOG 10/21/14 "Pulling Over A Cop"

Good afternoon (or morning, evening, or night), fellow Rock-A-Holics. Do you know why I pulled you over to the blog today?
Actually, I wanted to share an interesting item: a Washington state citizen recently pulled over a cop in an unmarked patrol car, asking him for I.D. and threatening to have him written up. This ordinary citizen wanted the officer to explain why he was using the car, because Washington law prohibits their use. The officer was taken aback by the challenging approach, but he complied with the request to see his I.D. and registration.
You can see the video below, and I encourage you to check it out.

I’m a bit flabbergasted by this man’s snarky, self-righteous posturing. It speaks to the professionalism of the officer that he didn’t respond in kind, and chose instead to respect the citizen, and prove himself as an officer of the law. I fully understand that the officer may not have been in compliance with Washington law, and that should definitely be corrected, but this would-be do-gooder is lucky his roll of the dice didn’t end with him ruining a stakeout, or worse yet – finding out that the man in the unmarked car was something quite the opposite of a policeman.
I’ve been accused of being a “rules lawyer” when I play games with my pals, because I’m a stickler for the technical details…but I can’t get behind this approach. What say you, good people?
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BJ'S BLOG 10/20/14 "An Illusion Called Time"

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

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 that went running (pardon the expression) hell bent 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 have 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 great 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 year 2014? 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, sited 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. (What Albert planned to use as a saddle is unknown.)

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.
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