January 2012

Me And My Facebook Unfriend Finder

by Bill Brenner January 31, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

Yesterday Mashable had an article about a new plug-in that alerts you when someone unfriends you, de-activates their page or ignores your friend request. Mood music: “That would be bad for my mental health,” I told myself, seconds before hitting the “install” button. I was reminded of the Black Flag song where Henry Rollins screams: You say you don’t want it You don’t want it Say you don’t want it Then you slip it on in…  [Read More]

A Confession (Or Four)

by Bill Brenner January 30, 2012 Coping tools

This is for those who believe in a higher power — especially the messed-up Catholics among us. Those who might take offense should go away and come back tomorrow.  I won’t think any less of you. In the Catholic Faith, there’s a Sacrament of Reconciliation — modern language for going to confession. Duncan did it for the first time Saturday. Sean, Erin and I used the occasion to do it, too. Because you tell your…  [Read More]

RIOT Guitarist Dies From Crohn’s Disease

by Bill Brenner January 26, 2012 Crohn's Disease

I’m sad to report that Mark Reale, founding guitarist of the legendary metal band RIOT, died yesterday from Crohn’s Disease complications. Mood music: Here’s the news from Blabbermouth, a heavy metal news site: Reale died yesterday (Wednesday, January 25) in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he had battled for most of his life. He was 56 years old. Reale had reportedly been in a coma for the past…  [Read More]

The Pity Train Derailed, But Hypocrisy Is Alive And Well

by Bill Brenner January 26, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

The problem with this little chestnut making the Facebook rounds is that it tends to describe the very people who post these things.

But He Had All Those Facebook Friends

by Bill Brenner January 26, 2012 Lighthearted

I have 2014 Facebook connections. Which means my funeral will be a mellow affair.

Smarter People Drink, Which Makes Me Feel Stupid

by Bill Brenner January 26, 2012 Addiction

I’m pissed off about an article in Psychology Today that suggests smarter people consume more alcohol. As someone who’s sober, the article is kind of insulting. After all, I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person. Mood music: Here’s a snippet from the article by Satoshi Kanazawa: Drinking alcohol is evolutionarily novel, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent people drink more alcohol than less intelligent people. Human consumption of alcohol, however, was unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until…  [Read More]

I’ve Been Called A Lot Of Things, But Never ‘Versatile’

by Bill Brenner January 24, 2012 Adventures in writing

My friend Linda White nominated this blog for a Versatile Blogger award. I’m honored. I’ve been called asshole, mentally disturbed, jerk and loudmouth. Versatile is a new one. Mood music: http://youtu.be/EucafWcPav4 Whenever someone honors me, I like to pay it forward, so let’s play along. Rules of the Versatile Blogger award… RULE #1: List 7 Random Facts About Yourself: 1. I recently learned that there’s more caffeine in lighter coffee roasts than the darker stuff I…  [Read More]

Sometimes You Have To ‘Give Yourself To The Dark Side’

by Bill Brenner January 21, 2012 Guest posts

Guest column: An OCD sufferer finds that managing his demon is a lot like managing the dark side of The Force. Mood music: A few months ago I told you about my friend and former co-worker Steve Repsys and how, as two undiagnosed OCD sufferers, our working relationship was often the stuff of comedy. What follows is Steve in his own words, explaining how helpful it can be to open up about the disorder and…  [Read More]

The Wellbutrin Experiment: Day 8

by Bill Brenner January 20, 2012 Depression

As I mentioned earlier, I’m taking Wellbutrin to combat a tougher-than-usual bout of winter depression. Here’s where I stand eight days in. Mood music: I think I’m starting to feel it, though it’s hard to know for sure this soon. The nurse told me it could take several weeks before I’d feel the full effect, since Wellbutrin slowly accumulates. I have noticed a few things, though: –I’m a little more focused than I’ve been in…  [Read More]

Fear Plus Stupidity Gave Us The Patriot Act

by Bill Brenner January 19, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

My friend Mike Spinney made an interesting statement on Twitter: “If only we’d been as outspoken against the #PatriotAct as we are against #SOPA.” Mood music: I feel the same way, but the cause and effect is less of a mystery to me: The Patriot Act passed at the height of our hysteria over 9-11. At the time, a lot of us thought we were seeing terrorists holding vials of smallpox and suitcase nukes at…  [Read More]