From the Mouths of Pre-Teens

by Bill Brenner March 13, 2014 Uncategorized

Both kids have reached double digits since I last did a post like this, which means they’ve gone from cute to witty. Like their old man, that wit is delivered with a sharp tongue. Here’s what they’ve been saying and doing in recent weeks. Like a lot of kids their age, Sean and Duncan are very much into Minecraft and Wii LEGO games. They take the activities very seriously and will frequently yell at the…  [Read More]

Big Dumb Sex, Dumber Men

by Bill Brenner March 6, 2014 Uncategorized

I’ve seen a lot of dumb things on the Return of Kings website. There was the “Five Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder” and another rant about how women who don’t reproduce hurt society. Now there’s an article about how society owes men sex. Mood music: Now, it wouldn’t be fair to criticize without looking at the background of the site. Return of Kings is described as “a blog for heterosexual, masculine…  [Read More]

An OCD Diaries Vacation

by Bill Brenner February 22, 2014 Uncategorized

Just a quick note that there will be no fresh posts here for the next week. Don’t worry, nothing’s wrong. I’ll simply be at a big security event and will be plenty busy there. Until then, peace be with you all. ­čÖé

Angry with CVS for Dropping Cigarettes? Smoke Another One

by Bill Brenner February 10, 2014 Uncategorized

When CVS Pharmacy announced it would stop selling tobacco products last week, most people were either supportive or indifferent. Then there were a few suggesting the chain is a loyal foot soldier of the so-called nanny state; telling people what they can and can’t buy. Mood music: Most of the discontent is over at Fox News, where┬áThe Real Story host Gretchen Carlson asked her guests, “Is it┬áOK┬álegally┬á…┬áto restrict tobacco availability in a private store like…  [Read More]

Not Broken, Just Breaking

by Bill Brenner November 25, 2013 Uncategorized

When a few days go by without a new post from me, I frequently get emails from readers asking if I’m OK. That’s the thing about writing a blog about one’s struggle against the demons. Go away for a while and people start worrying that you’re in the throes of depression or any number of physical illnesses. Mood music: Truth be told, the concern makes me grateful. But the well-being checks aren’t necessary. When I…  [Read More]

Attention Lovers and Narcissists Are Not the Same

by Bill Brenner November 14, 2013 Uncategorized

My post about narcissism the other day was meant to be lighthearted, poking fun at myself and others who tend to have big egos. But some readers took it very seriously. I’m glad they did, because the resulting discussion pointed to another truth: There’s a big difference between those who enjoy attention and true narcissists. Mood music: Fellow writer Laurel Hermanson noted the difference quite clearly: I think there is an important distinction between occasional…  [Read More]

A Fellowship of Narcissists

by Bill Brenner November 12, 2013 Uncategorized

A good friend whose frequent critiques have given me more ideas for blog posts than probably anyone else was at it again this weekend. I made a joke about a mutual friend talking too much about himself. (I was busting balls. That mutual friend is really a humble guy.) To that, my friend the critic asked, “What about people who write about themselves all the time?” Mood music: He’s right. I do write about myself…  [Read More]

Illustrating the Red Sox Nation

by Bill Brenner November 5, 2013 Uncategorized

Yesterday I was sick all day. At one point, I watched little bits of nonsense on YouTube, waiting for my brain function and motor skills to wake up. Humor can be as good as the strongest cup of coffee on days like this. Below is something that truly captures the special characteristics of Boston Red Sox fans. It’s a pretty good reflection of Bostonians, period. I say this with total affection. I’m not as rabid…  [Read More]

Lies in North Andover Teen Drinking Case?

by Bill Brenner October 18, 2013 Uncategorized

I’ve gotten a few messages since writing about Erin Cox, the North Andover High School senior punished by school administrators after driving to a teen drinking party to pick up an intoxicated friend. They suggested that I fell for a fabrication weaved by the girl’s lawyer, that she was in fact drunk and I should be prepared to rewrite my post. Mood music: The feedback I received is that the girl was in fact drinking…  [Read More]

Neuropsychological Testing Sounds Scary, But It Isn’t

by Bill Brenner October 3, 2013 Uncategorized

I’ve told you about our challenges helping our son Duncan manage ADHD. We recently ratcheted up our efforts by getting him neuropsychological testing. When his pediatrician suggested it, I wasn’t particularly happy. It sounded scary. I pictured our boy hooked up to electrodes with his brainwaves being scrutinized on a bank of computers.┬áThe experience turned out to be nothing of the sort. He spent three hours with the specialist, who walked him through a bunch…  [Read More]