compulsive behaviors

The Manson Obsession: An Anthology

by Bill Brenner August 9, 2015 The stormy past

I’ve written a ridiculous number of posts about Charles Manson. What can I say? I’m a guy given to obsessions, and the Manson case is a big one. Today — the 46th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders — seems like as good a time as any to share an anthology… Mood music: “Vincent Bugliosi Inspired My Work in Journalism, InfoSec“: Vincent Bugliosi, the man who prosecuted Charles Manson and his family and then detailed the case in…  [Read More]

Accused Haverhill Church Vandal Needs Help, Not Hate

by Bill Brenner January 15, 2015 News

Over the holidays, there was much outrage over the news that someone stole the Baby Jesus figure from a Nativity scene at Sacred Hearts Parish in Haverhill, leaving a severed pig’s head in its place. I was among those offended and troubled. It happened on Christmas morning and had all the hallmarks of a hateful act. A lot of people speculated that it was a hate crime. My guess at the time was that it…  [Read More]

To the Asshole Who Wrote “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder”

by Bill Brenner November 21, 2013 Compulsive behaviors

The Internet has made it possible for all sorts of assholes to have a forum. Although this is common knowledge, some people still manage to shock me. The latest example is an article someone calling himself Tuthmosis wrote called “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder.” Mood music: I always try to see the best in humanity. For all the bad seeds out there, I do believe we’ve come a long way…  [Read More]

Binging a Path from Hilltop Steakhouse to Augustine’s

by Bill Brenner October 15, 2013 Compulsive behaviors

Many of my friends and family are sad to hear about the planned closing of Hilltop Steakhouse on Route 1 in Saugus, Mass. I’m not gonna lie: I never understood the affection people had for the dining experience there. I always found the food mediocre at best, particularly in later years. But I did do my share of binging there because it was close by and affordable. And I can’t argue the place’s significance as…  [Read More]

Athletic Bulimia and Asshole Slogans

by Bill Brenner September 16, 2013 Compulsive behaviors

As someone who has struggled with both compulsive behavior and binge eating, a blog post from Pilates instructor, movement therapist and martial artist Kevin Moore called “The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible ‘Fitspiration’ Photos” strikes a big chord with me. Moore takes aim at the advertisers who put out photos of rail-thin men and women with six-pack abs with messages suggesting you’re inferior, even pathetic, unless you find a way to get ripped. Number three especially…  [Read More]

Latest Obsession: Whitey Bulger

by Bill Brenner September 4, 2013 Compulsive behaviors

I’ve written previously about how my OCD gives me the tendency to latch onto certain subjects and research them obsessively. Examples include the history of the Manson and Amityville murder cases, to the point of getting a closer look at sites related to those cases. I’ve always considered this obsession harmless. It makes me read a lot of books on the subjects and visit places when the travel schedule permits, but what’s wrong with that?…  [Read More]

Think Before You Talk About Your ‘OCD’

by Bill Brenner September 3, 2013 Compulsive behaviors

People often ask me if I get offended by jokes and movies about OCD. The answer is usually no, because I think it’s healthy to see the humor in one’s afflictions, and the movies, when done right, educate the masses on what it’s like to suffer from this scourge. But one thing does piss me off. It’s when people say they “went OCD” after doing such routine tasks as cleaning their house, cooking or completing a…  [Read More]

Be The Blessing

by Bill Brenner July 9, 2013 Coping tools

I privately responded to a reader this morning who gets eaten up over current events, be it the government spying on citizens or news of potential calamities. She asked how to make it stop, and I gave a long answer that left out the most important point of all. Mood music: The reader’s message said, in part: I deal with scrupulosity, ruminations over heaven and hell, conspiracy theories and intrusive thoughts. It’s gotten to the…  [Read More]

Waiting Is the Hardest Part

by Bill Brenner June 18, 2013 Compulsive behaviors

One of my biggest struggles has always been impatience. I hate waiting, whether it’s being stuck in a long line at Starbucks or getting adjusted to life’s changes. Since I recently started a new job, the challenge has grown particularly steep in recent weeks. Mood music: It’s all good, really; I’m enjoying the new job. But I’m always obsessed about where I want to be in the process, and that has made for a world…  [Read More]

Look Out Honey, ‘Cause I’m Using Technology

by Bill Brenner June 7, 2013 Compulsive behaviors

It’s a miracle I’ve survived a decade of writing about information security in my day job, considering how technologically inept I can be. As I try to set up a new analytics tool for this blog, get accustomed to the daily use of Skype and install work email on my Android, I find that my OCD is off the charts. I keep hearing this in my head: “Look out honey, ’cause I’m using technology! Ain’t…  [Read More]