For misfits

Remembering Cliff Burton, Metallica’s Original Bassist

by Bill Brenner September 27, 2015 Coping tools

I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging a grim anniversary. Twenty-nine years ago today, Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed when the band’s tour bus flipped over on a lonely road in Sweden. Mood music:  The band’s first three albums had a huge impact on me. In fact, Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” album helped me get through my last major attack of Crohn’s Disease. It might seem bat-shit crazy of me to intertwine these…  [Read More]

Heavy Metal Saved Me

by Bill Brenner February 2, 2015 Coping tools

I am your main man, if you’re looking for trouble. I’ll take no lip, no one’s tougher than me. I kicked your face you’d soon be seeing double. Hey little girl, keep your hands off of me…I’m a rocker. “The Rocker,” by Thin Lizzy A lot of people are amused to learn about my musical tastes. My work space at home and the office is cluttered with political and history-based trinkets, which would leave one…  [Read More]

Human Tourniquets And Freaks Who Love Them

by Bill Brenner March 29, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

I originally wrote this three years ago. Looking at it again, it’s an important post describing a time when not even best friends were safe from my insanity. I’ve updated it for the present.  Mood music: [spotify:track:2YGwSRjcY4Hjz6fktW9619] You know the type. They hang  out with people who act more like abusive spouses than friends. They are human tourniquets. They absorb the pain of their tormentor daily and without complaint. This is the story of the…  [Read More]

The Boy Scouts of America Acted Cowardly

by Bill Brenner February 7, 2013 For misfits

Yesterday I opined that the Boy Scouts of America should allow gays into the organization. I suggested that the organization was being cowardly by leaving it up to individual chapters to do the right thing, but a friend disagreed. Mood music: [spotify:track:3SHPJOuQ357m5S1AjyNpKU] Wrote my friend: At a local level, the scouts are heavily supported by churches and religious groups. An all-out and immediate change would result in a mass exodus of sponsoring organizations, which would…  [Read More]

Let Gays Join the Boy Scouts

by Bill Brenner February 6, 2013 For misfits

As the father of two Boy Scouts, I’ve been following this one with great interest: A movement is afoot to pressure the Boy Scouts of America into abandoning its anti-gay policy. I say it’s time to drop this stupid ban. Mood music: [spotify:track:7iWYgEFFarAhSroaWK6oKA] In this discussion I see a lot of the same comments: Having gays sharing tents with straight kids would have a damaging effect on both parties. Gay kids lack the moral fiber…  [Read More]

Me and My Dysfunctional Twitter Family

by Bill Brenner May 1, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

It feels like Twitter has been with us forever. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a relatively new toy we’re learning to use.  I see it as my second dysfunctional family. Mood music: [spotify:track:2eedJzR1h4Nxk7pGhhoJlb] My Twitter house has 3,262 people crammed into it; many from the information security profession. Some of the smartest people I know sit around the kitchen table every day, bantering without ever getting tired. As it is with…  [Read More]

Guilt Chestnut Number 5: ‘You Never Call’

by Bill Brenner April 16, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

In a dysfunctional family few are without blame for the things that go wrong. But there’s one criticism I’ve heard time and again that makes me bristle: “You never call.” Mood music: It’s not just that I don’t call the person who says that. It’s that I don’t call a lot of people. I’ve never been a fan of the phone. I always feel awkward on the phone, especially when there are pockets of dead…  [Read More]

Being A Misfit Is Your Saving Grace

by Bill Brenner November 2, 2011 Courage

We often come undone when we start comparing our quirk-infested selves to so-called normal people. Instead, we should celebrate our insanity and put it to work for us. Mood music: [spotify:track:3d8yD2C8kNbs54mL9wboE1] I used to despise myself for the things I thought were weird and out of place. The windmill hands. The inability to sit up straight in a chair. My big nose and ears. My laughter toward things others would consider serious and even tragic….  [Read More]

My Mood Swing: A Soundtrack

by Bill Brenner October 20, 2011 Coping tools

I’m in a rotten mood this afternoon and I’m not sure why. Various people are pissing me off though. So I’m listening to songs that seem to commiserate with me. Allow me to share: That’s better.

Be Yourself, Even If People Hate You For It

by Bill Brenner October 3, 2011 Communication skills for the crazy

The more I talk to fellow recovering addicts and emotional defects, the more I realize we have one big thing in common: We want to please everyone and be loved for it. Unfortunately, it’s an impossible goal that can lead to crushing disappointment. Mood music: It’s an especially stinging problem in the age of social networking, where some people have learned to measure their worth by how many “friends” and “followers” they have. Facebook in…  [Read More]