November 2011

Slaying Old Fears In The Hollywood Hills

by Bill Brenner November 30, 2011 Addiction

This week I’ve been in Los Angeles on business. But I’ve been slaying some old demons while here. Mood music: Let’s go back 20 years — July 1991 — when I came out here with Sean Marley on my first trip to the west coast. I didn’t really want to go because I was afraid of everything and everyone. But Sean was red hot about the idea, and back then I was always out to impress the man. So off we went, on…  [Read More]

When Being Smart Becomes A Burden

by Bill Brenner November 30, 2011 Children's issues

Our oldest has an intellect well beyond his 10 years. He absorbs details with little effort and I can’t remember the last time he DIDN’T achieve high honors. But sometimes I forget that he’s still a kid. Mood music: He likes to tell us he’s a tween. To that, I tell him he’s more like a half tween. But he is mighty mature for his age, nothing like the immature, messed up kid I was…  [Read More]

Keeping Up With The Joneses

by Bill Brenner November 29, 2011 Children's issues

It’s not how big your house is. It’s the souls inside that make it a home. Erin and I have had frequent discussions about what it might be like to own a larger home. Our 1300-square-foot townhouse has served us well for more than a decade. But there’s always that desire to have what others have. Mood music: [spotify:track:1gmPJL4u6Jv1oTZEQyDlfw] The discussion usually starts with everything that needs fixing around here: A hole in the kitchen…  [Read More]

Is It Bad That Two Family Members Are In Therapy?

by Bill Brenner November 28, 2011 Addiction

If more than one member of the same family is in therapy, is that a sign that the family is seriously screwed up? Mood music: That’s the question we are asking ourselves these days. As the reader knows by now, I’ve been in therapy for OCD and related issues for seven years. Duncan sees a children’s therapist to help him work through his ADHD. Is this family a basket case? In my opinion, it’s exactly…  [Read More]

Pepperspray, Waffle Makers And Other Black Friday Stupidity

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

This post is all about the folks who make it hard for me to keep my faith in humanity. Consider it a momentary indulgence where I give thanks that for all my screw ups, I don’t behave like this. I spend a lot of time in this blog looking at the brighter side of human nature — examples of people rising above the odds and living to the fullest despite the hand they’ve been dealt….  [Read More]

Thankful Friday

by Bill Brenner November 25, 2011 Faith

I have much to be thankful for this morning after Thanksgiving. A list: Mood music: –Erin’s Uncle David, for letting me take his vintage car for a spin around the block. —Erin, Sean and Duncan, simply for being who they are. –My sister Stacey, husband Sean and niece and nephew Lilly and Chase, for inviting us into their home for an excellent Thanksgiving dinner. –My brother Brian, for cooking. –My kid sister Shira, for her…  [Read More]

Here’s To The Forgiving Souls

by Bill Brenner November 22, 2011 Communication skills for the crazy

A friend of mine was taken aback yesterday when I used a text she sent me in a post. I thought it would be OK because I was keeping her identity a secret. But in hindsight, I should have asked first. That’s the challenge with a blog like this. I need to take things right to the danger line to make points I feel need making. But sometimes I step over that line. I’ve worked…  [Read More]

Schoolyard Gossip And The Damage Done

by Bill Brenner November 21, 2011 Children's issues

I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends among the parents in my children’s school community. But like every community, there are people who blow things out of proportion. Mood music: I guess you could lump me into that class of parent. I needle people, especially when I like them, and I can be like a bull in a china shop at school events. I’ve also engaged in gossip with some of the parents. It’s easy…  [Read More]

A Lesson From Gabby Giffords

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2011 Coping tools

I recently watched Diane Sawyer’s interview with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. To say I was moved would be an understatement. Hers is the story of a spirited fight back from near death. If you ever get the feeling you can’t do something or overcome big challenges, you should watch this. It will show you that nothing is too big to overcome.

Should I Be Upset About This Report Card?

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2011 Children's issues

I’ve gotten word that a reader and dear friend was upset over last week’s post, “Reading Between The Lines Of A Bad Report Card.” She shouldn’t be. Mood music: She said that she would never have sent such a bad report card to her adult child. I think she was also upset at the suggestion that my parents weren’t paying adequate attention to me back then. I don’t mind, though. In fact, I’m happy to…  [Read More]