BJ Shea
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BJ Shea

 BJ Shea
Posts from March 2014


BJ'S BLOG 03/31/14 "Harvard Square, Not Just a University"
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders: 

I took a short trip down memory lane last week, wandering through the Village in New York, visiting the Café Wha and Bob Dylan, among others. Now I want to share some memories of a place called Harvard Square, which actually is not a square at all but a large triangular area near the center of Cambridge at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street. It is the historic center of Cambridge and adjacent to Harvard Yard, the heart of Harvard University.

I got a large part of my education in Harvard Square, or the Square, as it’s often called, not at the University but in places like Jonathan Swift’s and Jack’s and the better known Club 47, now Passim. The folk revival movement of the 1960’s forever changed American music, and that change manifested itself solidly in Club 47. One Tuesday night performer was listed as the anonymous “Girl with Guitar.” That performer turned out to be Joan Baez, who at 17, soon after Club 47 opened, gave her first performance.
The Harvard Square of the 60’s and 70’s saw hundreds of performers making the pilgrimage to Club 47 to be part of the Cambridge folk music world: Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Clay Jackson and Ethan Signer of the Charles River Valley Boys, and Taj Mahal. Some were students, or drop-outs, of Harvard, Boston University, and Radcliffe, such as Tom Rush, Joan Baez, and Bonnie Raitt, respectively, and others came because they knew someone here. Joan Baez brought a good, young singer to Club 47, but it was booked, so Bob Dylan played for free between sets, never playing an official gig.

When I first strolled the streets of Harvard Square, it was a lot funkier than today’s upscale version, not unlike the Village, where Cafe Wha still stands on McDougall street but the falafel is now out of reach for a poor musician. My Square was in the early 70’s: the Vietnam War was over, and it felt like a time of peace. There was a gentler flow of energy then, and on hot summer nights, musicians played on every street corner. Maybe the Taurus in me resists change, but I liked the funky version better.

There are more musical memories and other stuff on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Stop by, grab a driftwood seat, and give a listen.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/2014/03/30/harvard-square-not-just-a-university/
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BJ'S BLOG 03/28/14 "Why People Get Divorced"
A law firm in England recently surveyed 1000 divorced couples, and they used their responses to compile a list of reasons why people get divorced. I’m a happily married man, but I can certainly see how these reasons made the cut.
 
One detail that may surprise you: Most people spend as long as 2 years contemplating divorce before making a firm decision. I suppose there’s a tiny bit of comfort in that statistic, if only because it means less people are making snap judgments about relationships that are supposed to be permanent.
 
The list of reasons for divorce probably won’t surprise you, though…
 
Cheating
Unhappiness (this one’s a bit general for my tastes, but your mileage may vary)
Too much arguing
Falling out of love
Not communicating
 
One big cause of divorce is a simple but painful truth: sometimes, people just change. They grow apart, and they can even leave behind the person they were before, to varying degrees.
 
It’s a rare thing to love someone the same way you did when you first met, especially if you came together as a couple many years (or even decades) ago. My wife and I love each other, but we’ve been through the growing pains along the way! They don’t just magically disappear as time goes on.
 
I think it’s fair to say that most people are a “work in progress” for most of their natural lives; if you’re lucky, you can eventually turn into something resembling a “finished work”, maybe with enough time to enjoy it before you become a “fondly remembered work.” You do your best to grow together…and if you’re lucky, you can maintain some happy middle ground.
 
Only 77% of people said divorce significantly affected their kids! So, we’re expected to believe that 33% of children who have been through a divorce are just A-OK? Somehow, I don’t feel like those numbers quite add up for me.
 
My kids are pretty much adults at this point, but they still mean the world to my wife and I. Even if we didn’t have a happy marriage, I’ll admit that I could see us sticking it out to avoid hurting the children. My son might not be so ruffled by that kind of thing, but my daughter would go ballistic. I certainly don’t want that…and no, I don’t mean that I just want to keep her off my back about it. That would just be a real bonus for me personally.
 
Divorce is not fun. The best you can do is try to live a happy life with a strong relationship, and everybody does their best to watch for the potholes and pitfalls along the way. There will always be bumpy roads, but they’re a hell of a lot easier if you’re not driving them alone. 
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BJ'S BLOG 03/27/14 "Weird Hobbies"
With a major comic book convention taking over Seattle for a few days, this is the right time for some Group Therapy on the subject of weird hobbies.
 
Rock-A-Holic Jenny has been dating a guy she likes; he’s athletic, and hits the gym on a regular basis. Things have been going really well…but Jenny’s a little bit freaked out after learning that her guy likes to go to Renaissance Faires with his friends. They dress up in costumes and really embrace the experience. Oh, and he would love for his girlfriend to join him at an upcoming Faire.
 
In case you’ve never listened to our Geek Nation podcast, let me fill you in: I’m a geek, and I’m sure Jenny would find me to be EXTREMELY weird by her standards. Our beloved Vicky Barcelona – a geek in her own right -- had a choice word for Jenny, and it rhymes with “witch,” “hitch,” and “ditch.” Obviously, we take this kind of thing personally.
 
Vicky and I can’t help but defend the guy…BUT we’re here to help everyone, so let’s see if we can get Jenny some impartial advice from her fellow Rock-A-Holics.
 
Do you think Jenny’s being too judgmental? Do you have to love your mate’s hobbies in order to love your mate? Have you ever been in this kind of situation with a “weird” hobby?
 
BONUS HONESTY POINTS: Are you a Renaissance Faire enthusiast who had to reveal their hobby to a new mate?
 
 
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BJ'S BLOG 04/26/14 "Bad Masseuse"
Hello again, friends and fellow Rock-A-Holics! Today’s edition of Group Therapy is all about one woman’s quest to be rubbed the right way!
 
(Get your minds out of the gutters. We’re not talking about what you’re thinking about.)
 
Heather celebrated her birthday recently (Happy Birthday, Heather!) by treating herself to a two-hour massage at a fancy spa. What a perfect way to relax and forget your problems, right?
 
WRONG!
 
Heather says that her female masseuse went on and on about her personal problems, including detailed accounts of financial strains and her husband’s medical issues. Not surprisingly, Heather’s experience was depressing instead of relaxing. The whole massage was unpleasant and awkward, and Heather ultimately feels like her entire birthday was ruined.
 
Rather than make the situation worse, Heather opted to keep her complaints to herself, but she did leave a much lower tip than she would have otherwise.
 
Looking back on her experience, Heather is still annoyed. Was the woman trying to give her a sob story in the hope of getting a big tip? Or did she simply not understand the concept of keeping her problems to herself when she’s massaging a customer?
 
Heather wonders if she should complain to the spa management, and ask to have the cost of her massage refunded. She sincerely feels like this inconsiderate woman ruined her birthday.
 
This may come as a real shock to you folks, but I’m a little bit socially awkward.
 
When it comes to a situation like this, I have a hard time knowing how to react. I have had massages that I didn’t enjoy -- more than a few, in fact -- but I struggle when it comes to complaining about bad service. This extends from massage therapists, to waiters, to bank tellers. If someone is doing something for me in a service-based setting, I am always afraid of rocking the boat and coming off like a total jerk.
 
In the case of my bad massage experience, I eventually just switched to a new massage therapist; that should tell you something about how I handle these awkward encounters. Ultimately, I have to agree that the best solution for a problem like this would be for the customer to stop the massage as soon as it becomes annoying…but I’m still not sure I could do it.
 
Does Heather still have the right to request a refund, even though she didn’t try to correct the problem while it was happening? How would you handle the situation? Let’s hear your thoughts, Rock-A-Holics!
 
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BJ'S BLOG 04/25/14 "Bob Dylan and the Bikini"
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

In early 1962 “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens was the Number One song in America. That January “The Twist” by Chubby Checker broke loose, followed by “The Peppermint Twist” by Joey Dee and The Starliters, and on Feb 24, 1962, “The Duke of Earl” by Gene Chandler was rockin’ at the top. It seems to me, maybe without knowing it, we were bubble-gumming ourselves to death. Just add high school sweaters, no thinking required.

But things were about to change. On March 20, 1962, 52 years ago, “Hey Baby,” a little known and not often remembered ditty by Bruce Channel, was holding at Number One—and Bob Dylan released his first album. The self-titled album didn’t make it to the Billboard Top 100, only selling 5,000 copies, but four months later he would record the track “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which would change music and many lives forever. Dylan never had a number-one hit—the closest he came was Number Two with “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Woman,” but everyone from Norah Jones to the Ramones has done covers of Dylan's tunes. After 52 years, I think it’s safe to say his influence on music has been number one. Robert Allen Zimmerman, born May 24, 1941, will soon celebrate his 73rd birthday. In my life and many others, he has made a big, positive difference. Thanks, Mr. Dylan.

In a notable historical fact, Louis Réard, a French mechanical engineer, introduced a new garment to the media and the public on July 5, 1946, at Piscine Molitor, a public pool in Paris. He named it the bikini.

In other events, ‘The Mouth,’ as I call him (or should I say one of the mouths of show business), Kanye West, was given 24 months’ probation and ordered to do 240 hours of community service for hitting a photographer at LAX airport. He is also required to complete 24 sessions of a level-two anger management program and must turn himself into the LAPD for a formal booking. Anger management? Well, it’s a start.

I was born at the right time—Dylan and the Bikini. There’s more on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Stop by and give a listen.

http://creative-treehouse.com/bob-dylan-and-the-bikini/
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BJ'S BLOG 04/19/14 "Lying for Your Friend"
You want the Group Therapy? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE GROUP THERAPY!
 
Apparently, there are also some people who can’t handle the truth.
 
We heard from Jeannie, who has a situation that reeks of the drama that people bring into their lives, and then spread into the lives of others. Man, I hate that.
 
Jeannie and her husband are good friends with another couple, but things are a little complicated now. The woman in this couple asked Jeannie to say that they had lunch together recently…if her husband happens to ask Jeannie about it.
 
Yep, she wanted Jeannie to cover for her with a lie. When Jeannie asked why her friend was asking her to cover for her, the woman said she’d explain later, and then left. There are some obvious conclusions that someone might reach about this scenario, so Jeannie is pretty freaked out.
 
Jeannie still wants to be friends with this couple, but she’s not okay with this. Should she refuse to lie, and possibly harm the friendship? Or should she confront her friend, and try to keep her from making a mistake?
 
I don’t like people who want you to cover for them. With the exception of the very rare surprise party organizer, people who need cover stories are up to no good, every time.
 
As a husband, I would be very unhappy if my wife covered for her friend. So, the drama moves further into our lives, because this woman’s bad decisions might lead me to question my own wife’s principles and character. Unacceptable!
 
The idea of Jeannie trying to help her friend directly seems reasonable to me. At the very least, she could end up learning the whole story, and make her judgments then.
 
Let’s hear from you, Rock-A-Holics! What do you think Jeannie should do?
 
BONUS HONESTY POINTS:
Have you ever covered 
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BJ'S BLOG 04/18/14 "Pinched"
Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! We’ve got a big Group Therapy session to tackle here!
 
I’m from Boston, and there was definitely an Irish influence in my house, courtesy of my mother…
 
…but I pretty much always forget St. Patrick’s Day, especially the part about wearing green.
 
We heard from Hank in the early morning hours of St. Patrick’s Day, and we knew he needed our special brand of help.
 
Hank starts work at 5 A.M. every day. By 5:15 A.M. on this particular day, Hank was extremely angry, because his female boss pinched him for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. She pinched his side, down near his lower back; Hank says it was awfully close to his butt, and he’s not happy about it.
 
Hank is wondering if he should report his boss to upper management. After all, if he had done the same to her – even as a ‘holiday tradition’ – the situation might not be so festive. He’s really not sure what to do, and it’s not too difficult to understand why.
 
I have some big issues with this. There seems to be a real communication gap between men and women when it comes to the parameters and rules of “all in good fun.” Women don’t think that men understand how to act appropriately, but the rules we play by are interchangeable, and men have a hard time figuring out exactly when the double standard is working in their favor.
 
I have personal experience here, so this subject really hits home for me:
I was at a radio event several years ago, during which I was onstage with several sexy women (not unlike our own KISW Rock Girls, but somewhere else) and a female co-host. During the show, this woman said something along the lines of, “let’s see if B.J. is enjoying this,” and then grabbed my genitals in front of the whole audience.
 
I didn’t say anything about it, but it was an uncomfortable situation that continued to bother me over time. My anger about the incident hit a new high years later, when the same woman successfully sued the company for sexual harassment. You can’t tell me there’s no double standard when it comes to this kind of nonsense.
 
I definitely believe that Hank should avoid discussing this matter with the female boss who pinched him, because that’s practically filling out a request for more trouble. That being said, I don’t think that he’s blowing this out of proportion, either.
 
Do you think this is a serious enough issue to discuss with upper management? Is it truly inappropriate? Do you believe Hank could have pinched his boss with no fear of consequence? We’ve got questions, and we know you have answers!
 
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BJ'S BLOG 04/17/14 "Say What?"
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:​

A noted conversation with baseball legend and verbal befuddle Yogi Berra goes this way: Mom to Yogi, “Yogi, don’t you know anything?” Yogi to mom, “Mom, I don’t even suspect anything.” Another quote from Yogi is, “There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.” I love all of Yogi’s sayings and could fill more than a page with just my favorites, but how about this one? “You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you.” It’s so true!

Having spent 56 years of my 67 years in broadcasting, I have developed a strong appreciation for the spoken word in all its creative and colorful forms and expressions, and accordion to a recent survey, replacing words in a sentence with names of musical instruments often goes undetected. See it? A great trick of broadcasting is to not let the listener know you know you made a mistake. The other day, I heard a major newscaster say “the highway makers were hard to read” instead of markers. Most listeners, if they noticed it at all, probably thought they heard it wrong. Start listening closely and you’ll hear a lot of flub-ups.

My heritage is deeply rooted in the south, so some of the creative expressions I grew up with came from there. When my mother critiqued my singing, she would say, “The boy couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with a handle on it.” That alone could explain why I decided to talk for a living and am not a big rock-and-roll star. Mom and the expression were right.

In the podcast I have a few more funny stories from the on-air studio as well as some thoughts on the world of entertainment. For example, I watched a movie on Netflix the other night called the The Inner Life of Martin Frost. Have you seen it? If you like psychological, mind-bending mysteries I recommend this one about a writer on retreat who encounters a beautiful muse who may or may not be real. Join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor and give a listen.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/2014/03/16/say-what/
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BJ'S BLOG 03/14/14 "Asking for a Raise"
Hello again, good friends and fellow Rock-A-Holics! I know it's Friday, and we're all anxious for the weekend, but we need to solve a WORK PROBLEM for Amanda before we scoot out of here. 
 
Amanda went out drinking with a co-worker recently, and now she's looking for advice. After a few drinks, the co-worker mentioned how much money she makes, and also noted that employee reviews are coming up for both of them. 
 
Don't we all know by now that discussing money with your co-workers is a terrible idea? No? Just me? Okay. Carry on.
 
Amanda and her co-worker perform the same job for their employer. It just so happens that the co-worker makes more money...a LOT more, in fact. It's one thing to quibble about a few dollars, but this woman makes 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS more per year. 
 
Ouch.
 
Amanda feels like she has an obligation to address this during the employee review. However, there is one more detail that seems pretty important to me:
 
Amanda says the only difference the two women is that the co-worker is extremely attractive, and well-liked by the males in the company. Their boss is a man, so Amanda is worried that bringing up the salary issue may seem catty, and could label her as a problem employee.
 
It seems like Amanda liked her co-worker just fine before the money beans got spilled. They were out for drinks and girl talk, right? Isn't that an indicator of a friendly relationship? The co-worker's attractiveness didn't affect that part of their friendship, so I find it curious that it's a nitpick item now. 
 
Should Amanda address this issue with her boss? Do looks really factor into this? Is there a resolution that doesn't reflect badly on either woman in the long run?
 
If you've experienced this, or just have some insight, Amanda would love some Group Therapy!
 
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