May 2011

Mark Twain And The Brenner ‘Curse’

by Bill Brenner May 30, 2011 Adventures in writing

My father had a minor stroke Sunday while Erin and I were off exploring the home of Mark Twain. The two seemingly unrelated events have me thinking strange things. Mood music: http://youtu.be/RFsOwnZkIm8 I’ve always wondered if there’s a curse over my family, given our tendency to embrace our destructive impulses and pay the consequences. At the end of the day, I know it’s not a curse. We choose to behave a certain way and we…  [Read More]

For Veterans, A Holiday Here and There Isn’t Enough

by Bill Brenner May 30, 2011 Addiction

Funny thing about holidays where we honor veterans: Everyone puts those who have fought for our freedom on a pedestal for the day, then the next day some of us go back to treating the same people like garbage. Mood music: http://youtu.be/V-zqIS7vWbY Flashback: September, 2010: I’m walking the streets of Brooklyn on a beautiful night, and a guy comes up to me. He has a hole in his head where his left eye used to…  [Read More]

Why We Judge Each Other

by Bill Brenner May 27, 2011 Faith

This whole debate over security curmudgeons has me thinking about our tendency to judge people. We all do it. I sure as hell do. But where’s the line between fair and unfair? Mood music: [spotify:track:25RpoTWuW0SBd9XBrGzY5d] I’ve said my thing on that matter, and promised that my post yesterday would be my final word on the subject. So I’ll ask you to read those posts, which I link to above, for the background. The rest of…  [Read More]

You’ll Bitterly Disagree With Me Sometimes

by Bill Brenner May 26, 2011 Adventures in writing

A couple days ago, in the security blog I write as part of my day job, I did a post about folks in the security community who consider themselves curmudgeons. As expected, some folks passionately disagree. Mood music: I knew when I wrote it some people were going to be pissed off. That’s how it is when you write an opinion piece: You’re inevitably pissing in someone’s bowl of Wheaties. I don’t do it to…  [Read More]

Two Bad Memories

by Bill Brenner May 26, 2011 Family

I just got over a fairly typical stomach bug that had me feeling bloated and miserable. It wouldn’t be worth mentioning, except that it brought back a couple bad memories and served as a wake-up call. Mood music: http://youtu.be/bWsYuW9ULdU For one thing, I felt just like I used to feel after a brutal junk-eating binge. Not the usual ate-too-much kind of bloat normal eaters feel after Thanksgiving, but the kind I felt after a really…  [Read More]

Fear of Coming Clean At Work

by Bill Brenner May 25, 2011 Courage

No, not my fear. I came clean about my fight with OCD a long time ago and my work colleagues are nothing but supportive. At this point, my life is an open book. But for those who are at the other end of the spectrum, I came across an article that might help. Mood music: http://youtu.be/bWsYuW9ULdU It’s an item on About.com from Dr. Owen Kelly called “OCD and Work: Dealing With Employers.” There was a time when…  [Read More]

Why This Day Will Not Suck: May 25

by Bill Brenner May 25, 2011 Lighthearted

Every few months, I try to step out of the craziness of daily life and take stock in my life. The struggles will always be there, but I have so much to be grateful for. With the sun finally shining bright after a long stretch of bad weather, I’m feeling like nothing can keep this from being a good day. Mood music: –Whatever this day hurls at me, I have a lot of people in…  [Read More]

Looking To Share In All The Wrong Places

by Bill Brenner May 24, 2011 Adventures in writing

I’ve become aware of an interesting problem since starting this blog. Somewhere along the way, I lost the ability to separate blog posts from personal conversations. Mood music: Last week, Erin noted that I’ve been more tight-lipped lately. Some of it’s the depressive effect a lot of gray weather has had on me. But on further reflection, I realized something else: I tend to spill all my thoughts into this blog. Many times I think…  [Read More]

About The Mood Music…

by Bill Brenner May 24, 2011 Adventures in writing

Some readers have asked why I put mood music in my posts, and how I go about choosing the daily selection. I use them because in my mind, music and writing go hand in hand. I used to require absolute silence in the room to do my writing. Now I can’t write without some noise. Some days, the music will fit the theme of what I’m writing about that day. Other times I use music…  [Read More]

What’s YOUR Insanity?

by Bill Brenner May 23, 2011 Addiction

“Paint a garbage can platinum and underneath, it’s still a garbage can.” Nikki Sixx In Chapter 3 of the AA Big Book, we’re introduced to an alcoholic named Jim. He has a successful business until he starts drinking at age 35 in an attempt to dull a nervous tick, and everything goes to hell. From pages 35-36: “In a few years he became so violent when intoxicated that he had to be committed. On leaving the…  [Read More]