With a blizzard in the New England forecast this week and next month’s 37th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978, I thought this might be of use: Mood music: I got a message awhile back from a mom who reads this blog regularly. I’ll keep her anonymous but share some details of the note: “My son, only 7, has suffered from pretty severe anxieties about weather over the past 3 or so years. It took me…  [Read More]

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Online marketplace Etsy caused a kerfuffle recently by selling shirts emblazoned with the suicide note of the late Kurt Cobain. Etsy and other e-commerce sites have since pulled the shirts from their virtual shelves, but the big question remains: Who in their right mind would wear such a thing? Mood music: To be fair, some would wear it to make a statement about depression. But most kids just want to shock people. I know, because…  [Read More]

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This Song Isn’t What You Thought It Was

by Bill Brenner January 21, 2015 Lighthearted

In the 1990s, the band Semisonic had a hit with the song “Closing Time.” I always thought it was about closing time at a bar. Pretty much everyone did. But according to singer-guitarist Dan Wilson, it’s about something far different. Enjoy this video as he breaks it down verse by verse.

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The Business Is Over, But Its Legacy Lives On

by Bill Brenner January 20, 2015 Dealing with life

Those who knew me growing up remember the family business, especially the blue-and-gold building on Route 1 in Saugus across from Kappy’s Liquors. The business is closed, but it leaves a lasting legacy. Mood music: I’ve been helping my father manage the realty trust that’s been part of the family business, with the objective of selling the building. His eyesight is bad, so I frequently read documents aloud to him. Yesterday was one of those…  [Read More]

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MLK on the Hole in Your Soul

by Bill Brenner January 19, 2015 Inspiration

This being the day we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I thought it appropriate to share 10 favorite quotes from the man. He didn’t just lead the way on Civil Rights. He led the way on addressing that hole in the soul that caused people to be full of racism and rage to begin with. It’s that same hole that turns many of us into addicts and bullies. May…  [Read More]

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Accused Haverhill Church Vandal Needs Help, Not Hate

by Bill Brenner January 15, 2015 News

Over the holidays, there was much outrage over the news that someone stole the Baby Jesus figure from a Nativity scene at Sacred Hearts Parish in Haverhill, leaving a severed pig’s head in its place. I was among those offended and troubled. It happened on Christmas morning and had all the hallmarks of a hateful act. A lot of people speculated that it was a hate crime. My guess at the time was that it…  [Read More]

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My Problem with “One Day at a Time”

by Bill Brenner January 13, 2015 Compulsive behaviors

“One day at a time? You wouldn’t believe the crap that swirls around my head one day at a time.”–Anonymous Recovering addicts have a saying burned into their brains: “one day at a time.” It’s important wisdom to live by. But when the recovering addict has OCD, there’s a big problem. Mood music: In the world of 12-step recovery programs, the idea of “one day at a time” is not to be overwhelmed. Instead of…  [Read More]

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Brother Lives on in a Nephew He Never Met

by Bill Brenner January 12, 2015 The stormy past

Thirty-one years ago this week, my older brother Michael died at age 17. I felt the need to write something to mark the anniversary. But to be honest, I didn’t know what to say. Part of that is because I wrote the whole “how his death affected me” post three years ago in “Death of a Sibling.” I also delved into the lighter memories — the outrageous and hilarious shit he used to pull —…  [Read More]

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The OCD Diaries in the News

by Bill Brenner January 12, 2015 Adventures in writing

The Haverhill Gazette, part of the company I once worked for, ran a main article and an editorial. I don’t think I’m worthy of such attention, but I appreciate it all the same. Such attention comes on the heels of a podcast about the blog, as well as some other mentions. Here’s a round-up. Thanks to all for the mentions. “In the Right Frame of Mind“: Man’s blog shares mental illness struggles, supports others. “Man…  [Read More]

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EddieTheYeti’s Images, My Words: Chapter 1

by Bill Brenner January 7, 2015 Coping tools

I’ve been releasing posts as part of a project where I put my feelings to images created by artist and infosec pro Eddie Mize, more popularly known as EddieTheYeti. The project will continue indefinitely, but here’s a compilation of what’s been done so far. Think of it as chapter 1. Mood music: EddieTheYeti: Art as Mental Therapy I sucked at a lot of things as a kid, but I could draw. It was the one thing…  [Read More]

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