BJ Shea

 BJ Shea


BJ'S BLOG 09/02/14 "Same Sex Ex"

Welcome back to Group Therapy, gang! I'm glad you're here, because we have a Rock-A-Holic in need of some serious advice.

Holly's a little bit worried about one of her boyfriend's exes…because the ex in question just happens to be a man. She says she feels guilty that she's a little bit weirded out by this recent discovery, but the whole thing makes her think that she's in competition with EVERYONE. Holly is especially concerned that her boyfriend will cheat on her with another man.

Our societal views on gay (and bisexual) life choices have certainly loosened up over the last couple of generations, but there are still some stigmas left to shake off for some people. Personally, I think that Holly's comfort level with her boyfriend's past shouldn't be affected by his flexible sexuality, because that doesn't have any direct correlation to his trustworthiness as a partner.

Does anyone have some feedback for Holly? Is she overreacting? I'd love to hear from all kinds of people, but I'm especially keen to hear from those of you who have experience with this kind of situation…
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BJ'S BLOG 09/01/14 "Spinning Boobs for Dollars"

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

We've watched and left behind the MTV Boobs, I mean Video Music Awards, which some of the females almost got dressed for. Don't get me wrong. It worked for me, and I'm sure it gave many males across the country a reason to watch yet another awards show for zillion-"dolly"-ers. Though I admit I gave up on the boob tube broadcast early on, I did see Justin Timberlake, who thankfully was clothed, win Music Video of the Year for "Mirrors," a case where a really good video saved a mediocre song. (Traveling in time, the first winner of that award was The Cars in 1984 for "You Might Think.") Oh, and let us not forget Miley Cyrus, who presented a new twist on jail bait. She chose Jesse Helt, a homeless Salem, Oregon, native to accept her award to draw attention to the homeless youth problem in this country. Almost instantly, it was discovered he was being sought for violation of probation, stemming from previous charges including criminal trespassing and criminal mischief, and he turned himself in to police the next day. Good idea, Miley, but next time, get 'em after they've been in jail.

The 66th Annual Emmy Awards, with Seth Meyers as host, was way more worthwhile in at least some respects. Sofia Vergara, spinning around like desserts on a Lazy Susan (take your pick from the goodies), no doubt kept many male viewers watching, but most noteworthy was the film The Normal Heart, originally a Tony Award­-winning play written by gay activist Larry Kramer, which deals with the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1981 New York City. The film received 16 nominations (almost every actor was nominated), and it won two Emmys, the top honor for Best TV Movie and a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Makeup (Non-Prosthetic)in a Miniseries or Movie.

A sad note in the world of entertainment was the passing of Lord Richard Attenborough, President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, on August 24. With such great film credits as Miracle on 34th Street, The Flight of the Phoenix, Gandhi, and Chaplin as Actor, Director, Producer, and Father, it bothers me that he might be most remembered for Jurassic Park.

In other news, Allstate Corp. has confirmed my belief that Boston has the worst drivers in the country. According to Allstate's recent survey, a Boston driver will get into an accident every 4.4 years. The full report included 200 cities, and Boston ranked 199, ahead of only Worcester, Massachusetts, an industrial city of 181,000 people 40 miles west of Boston. The large U.S. city that boasts the best drivers is Phoenix, where a driver, on average, will get into a collision every 9.5 years. Could it be that all the retirees there don't drive fast enough to hit each other, or are they just better drivers?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, an event that seems ridiculous on the surface, at least to me, has raised $88 million, which proves that stupid behavior can pay off if the reasons are good enough.

There's more on boobs, drivers, spinners, and actors, as well as whatevers, on the shores of Rambling Harbor. I hope you'll grab your favorite driftwood seat and give a listen.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/spinning-boobs-for-dollars/
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BJ'S BLOG 08/29/14 "Looking out for your Daughter"

 
Happy Friday to you, good people! Before you start your long holiday weekend, we’d love to get your thoughts on today’s Group Therapy session!
 
Today’s topic comes from Danny, who is struggling with his 17-year-old daughter’s decision to get back together with a guy who cheated on her. Danny’s first instinct is to interfere, and tell the girl that she’s making a huge mistake…but Danny’s wife says that their daughter needs to learn this lesson for herself.
 
It’s hard being a parent sometimes. I have a daughter, and it’s difficult to watch her experience the pain and disappointment that is part and parcel with becoming an independent woman in the adult world. As much as my heart might scream and yell for me to step in and save her from all of life’s evils, my brain has learned to put the brakes on. Well, most of the time anyway.
 
Being a man makes it even more difficult! I’ve been a man (some people may say that I still am), and I know how men THINK. I know what we do, what we say, and what our stupid little reptile brains drive us to do. That doesn’t really help to generate much support for the poor guys who want my daughter’s attention.
 
What do you think, Rock-A-Holics? Should Danny just relax and let his daughter ride the roller coaster of adulthood without her father holding her hand?
 
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BJ'S BLOG 08/28/14 "When Your Partner's Clothes Embarrass You"

Welcome back to Group Therapy, people! Everybody’s looking good—actually, just wait a second. You there, in the back - is that what you’re planning to wear for this session? It is? Oh, no, it’s cool. I was, um…I was just wondering. Enjoy the rest of the blog, but just, uh…just make sure you stay back there. We don’t want you to lose your spot.
 
Today’s topic comes from Beth, who has been dating a guy for about 6 months. He’s always dressed incredibly well, but she thinks he may be too comfortable now. Whenever they go out, he wears jeans, t-shirts…and Crocs.
 
She likes the guy a lot, but she hates the shoes so much that she’s forcing herself to get past them. This is hardly an earth-shattering Group Therapy matter, but here we are: Beth wants to know if her boyfriend is lame for wearing Crocs.
 
Here’s my simple answer: There will always be something that your mate does that bothers or embarrasses you. If you love them, then you figure out a way to navigate around it. I have no affection for Crocs, but I can’t help thinking that you’ve still got it pretty easy overall.
 
Perhaps the good people who read this blog will have something else to offer you, Beth. I’d love to hear some stories of spousal embarrassment…and BONUS HONESTY POINTS will be awarded to anyone who is willing to admit (with examples!) that they are the embarrassing one!
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BJ'S BLOG 08/26/14 "My Partner Was Invited To Swing, But I Wasn't"

Hello again, fellow Rock-A-Holics! It’s always fantastic to see you, but why don’t you introduce me to your date? Wow, what a specimen you are! It’s lovely to meet you. Would you like to join us for some Group Therapy?
 
Today’s edition is a real doozy. We heard from Marissa, who recently found herself in an awkward and confusing situation. Marissa and her boyfriend were out with several friends, hitting the club to go dancing. As they were dancing, one of the other couples approached them and asked Marissa’s boyfriend if he would be interested in swinging with them!
 
Marissa is an open-minded young woman, so this request didn’t shake her up at all. Her boyfriend said he’d have to ask how she felt about the idea, but the other couple said that they didn’t want her to be involved.
 
OUCH.
 
Marissa was offended by the idea that she wasn’t chosen to be a part of this sexual escapade. This is a pretty natural reaction; we have a society that thrives on inclusion, and being excluded can lead to some pretty serious hurt feelings, especially in a situation as intimate as this.
 
The boyfriend thinks that she should just drop the whole thing. Personally, I don’t understand why a couple that’s so open-minded in their sexual thinking would assume that asking one-half of a couple to have sex with them wouldn’t have some dramatic repercussions.
 
Marissa wonders if she should ask the couple why they excluded her from their offer. What do you think, gang?
 
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BJ'S BLOG 08/25/14 "Emotional Break Time"

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

The last couple of weeks have been heartbreak city for many of us with the loss of Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, and just last week the great voice of Don Pardo. My emotions, as yours probably are, are on sadness overload. So this week I have decided to drift into make-believe and fantasy. I leave the question open, though, is it really just a dream?

One summer in the 1700’s, a boy walked up his favorite hillside, the dark blue sky and white clouds drifting above the water, and looked at the harbor below, seeing the sky reflected in the blue waters, made more beautiful by the white sails of the tall ships and the white clouds right next to them. It was as if the sky was the sea and the sea was the sky. It seemed to him that the world could be turned in either direction and still keep a steady keel.

He continued his hillside walk to the highest point, looking down on the harbor he loved, down on the schooners and whalers, the frigates and war ships. It was the ships that carried goods from faraway exotic places that thrilled him the most. He dreamed of the day he too would sail outside the harbor to those places of mystery and magic. The sea called to him like a mistress waiting in the dark, barely hidden behind a dream, calling to him to learn from the trade winds of life that would forever blow.

On this day as he looked at his town, he wondered what changes time would bring, how hundreds of years would change what he saw, the new and incredible things that would change his town that he would never see. Oh, how he longed to be a part of this place forever.
Hundreds of years later, I wake from this same dream, the dream I have had repeatedly since childhood, the dream of a boy and the great sailing ships, the harbor, and the view from the top of his hill.

That same morning, I walked to the top of the hill and looked down. I knew this place had spoken to me, had called to me through the ages. Even though the skyline had changed, the sky had not, and though the ships had engines instead of sails, my harbor remained. As I stood on my hill, I could not help but wonder, which was the dream?

It was once again as if one was either, and both existed one inside the other, and this place had always been and always would be my place in time and space. There was more to know, and I knew that the dream would continue and the question would remain. Which was the dream, the boy or the man? Could you turn one, one way and one the other way and still have an even keel? Is the dream a memory? Is the spirit of the boy still walking those hills today as the man? And what role is time playing?

Not sure what flights of my imagination wait on the shores of Rambling Harbor, but join me there and give a listen.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/emotional-break-time/ 
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BJ'S BLOG 08/18/14 "Whistling"

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

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..

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/whistling-1408282124/
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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.
 
Sigh.
 
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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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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