July 2011

Happy Birthday, Melanie

by Bill Brenner July 29, 2011 Courage

Today is my Cousin Melanie Segal‘s birthday, and I want to acknowledge it here because hers is a birthday to celebrate for many reasons. Mood music: [spotify:track:6a7V0wnRCVdoH2W0hFzFFZ] We’ve always enjoyed poking fun at Melanie because she likes to play the airhead. Or at least she used to. But I think that all along she’s been smarter than most of us. She’s always been the ray of sunshine in the family, always positive, always smiling. She’ll…  [Read More]

Born On A Street Corner

by Bill Brenner July 29, 2011 Lighthearted

I thought we had a good childbirth story when, on the way to the hospital to give birth to Duncan in 2003, Erin’s water broke as I plowed our brand-new car over the train tracks. But Tim Whitman, one of my security PR friends, and his wife, Lauren, just wrote their own birthing tale that just goes to show how far Tim will go to generate publicity. Here’s a bit of the story from the…  [Read More]

Debt Ceiling Debate Would’ve Killed Me A Few Years Ago

by Bill Brenner July 28, 2011 Fear and anxiety

I’m watching the political brinkmanship over the debt with much interest. But this time I’m more detached. A few years ago, I would have been sick over it. Mood music: http://youtu.be/t43VgJ4U9_Q That’s not to say I’m not more than a little concerned. If the U.S. goes into default the depth of economic chaos for us all will be severe. The world won’t end, but a lot of jobs could, which is a bad combination when…  [Read More]

My Filthy, Despicable Mouth

by Bill Brenner July 28, 2011 Coping tools

When my first child was born, I resolved to clean up my language. I was pretty successful for a long time. Lately, though, the Revere talk is reasserting itself. Mood music: I probably wouldn’t even notice the increasingly filthy mouth if not for the curse jar Erin put out. Whenever someone uses a curse word, they have to put 25 cents in the jar. The kids were delighted last week when Erin herself said something…  [Read More]

I’m a Narcissist (And So Are You)

by Bill Brenner July 27, 2011 Addiction

Someone asked me when I reached a point in my recovery where I stopped being self-absorbed. I told her I never stopped. But when you think about it, you’re not much different from me. Mood music: As I’ve said before, people with obsessive-compulsive tendencies are basket cases about being in control. Maybe it’s simply control of one’s sanity. Usually, it’s control of situations and people you have no business trying to control. Part of it, to be honest,…  [Read More]

I Thought I Was Perfect. I Was Just Stupid

by Bill Brenner July 26, 2011 Addiction

Let me tell you about the time I wanted to be perfect, how the urge nearly ruined me and how I learned to accept — if not embrace — my flaws. One of the great delusions an OCD sufferer labors under is the notion that he/she can achieve absolute perfection. Maybe the goal is to be the perfect employee. Maybe it’s to be the perfect parent and spouse. In some cases, the goal can even…  [Read More]

You Can Change Your Name, But You Can’t Hide Who You Are

by Bill Brenner July 26, 2011 Communication skills for the crazy

An epilogue to yesterday’s post about Lynn, Mass.: A reader reminded me yesterday of the time some Lynners tried to get the city’s name changed so the “Lynn, Lynn city of sin” insult could no longer apply. Mood music: From my friend Katherine Doot: “Thought they wanted to change the name to Ocean Park some years ago? So it was Ocean Park Ocean Park never go out after dark?!” I had forgotten about that, but…  [Read More]

I Hung Out In Lynn, Mass. What Can I say?

by Bill Brenner July 25, 2011 Communication skills for the crazy

In this corner of the planet, Lynn, Mass., is the city everyone likes to pick on. One barb I do agree with is the saying, “Lynn, Lynn, city of sin. You never come out the way you came in.” But I don’t see that line in the spirit in which it was intended. Mood music: It is a city of sin, but every city is a place of sin. We all sin, so it’s wherever…  [Read More]

A Word Or Two On Amy Winehouse

by Bill Brenner July 23, 2011 Addiction

I’ve been asked for my thoughts, as a recovered recovering addict, on the death of singer Amy Winehouse at age 27. To be honest, I don’t think I have anything to say that hasn’t already been said. I was never really a fan, though I did think she had genuine talent. I feel for her fans. I remember the sadness I felt when Kurt Cobain died. It all goes to show that addiction and mental illness…  [Read More]

I Am The Facebook Superstar. Hear Me Whine

by Bill Brenner July 23, 2011 Lighthearted

This statement, which made the rounds awhile back, is deadly accurate when it comes to how we all behave on Facebook: “Welcome to Facebook. Where love stories are perfect, shit talkers tell the truth, everyone brags they have the perfect life and claim to be in love with their partners. Where your enemies are the ones who visit your profile the most, your ex-friends and family block you, your ex-lover unfriends you. Where you post…  [Read More]