The stormy past

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]

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]

Laughing off the Emotionally Scarring Back Stories

by Bill Brenner November 25, 2014 Lighthearted

When I first opened up about events that scarred me for life, I worried about how it would be perceived. Would I be seen as a whiny, attention-seeking weakling? The reaction was almost entirely the opposite, which has helped me look at my own challenges with better humor. In all the conversations with people that followed the launch of The OCD Diaries, it’s become plain that most of us have an emotionally scarring back story….  [Read More]

Is the Point of Pines of My Generation Cursed?

by Bill Brenner November 19, 2013 The stormy past

A friend from my old neighborhood opined a couple years ago that our generation of Revere kids lived under a curse. “The more time moves on, I think we may be lucky for just getting out of the city,” he told me in an email. “Revere was just eating people up back then. It’s like we lost a generation.” Mood music: The death tally boggles the mind: Stefanie Santarpio died last week at age 36…  [Read More]

Another Point of Pines Tragedy

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2013 The stormy past

For the second time since October 1, something terrible has happened to people that were part of my childhood orbit. Last month, my old friend TJ committed suicide, hours before his father died of leukemia. This past week, the sister and mother of another childhood friend both died within a couple days of each other: The sister died from complications with pneumonia. and then the mother suffered a fatal aneurysm. Mood music: The latter case is…  [Read More]

Perception or Reality?

by Bill Brenner July 10, 2013 Fear and anxiety

A couple friends who were at the 1992 Lollapalooza show I recently wrote about agreed with my general retelling of events but experienced something much different than I did. Said one: “I guess it’s true: Perception is reality.” Mood music: I couldn’t agree more. It reflects a point I’ve repeatedly tried to drive home: The events I describe in this blog are based on my own personal truths, the most accurate retellings I can offer….  [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]

We’re All Lousy Parents. The Trick Is To Not Suck Too Much

by Bill Brenner March 25, 2013 Parenting

I’ve had conversations with other parents recently that highlight a fear we all share: Despite our best efforts, we’ll scar our children anyway. Most of us can point to examples of things our parents did to scar us for life, and we’re horrified to find ourselves doing the same things. My father could be a brutal teaser and taskmaster when it came to things like yard work and working in the family warehouse. It always…  [Read More]

Two-Alarm Fire at My High School

by Bill Brenner January 9, 2013 The stormy past

There was a two-alarm fire last night at Northeast Metro Tech, the place where I attended high school. Back in my day, it was called Northeast Regional Vocational High School or, as most of us called it, the Voke. Mood music: [spotify:track:0oO29Ht2H9AiENqRsq3zIT] I have good and bad memories of the place. It’s where I: Grew my hair long and cemented my love affair with metal music. Truly started to understand, for the first time, that I…  [Read More]

MomDay Monday – School Daze

by Bill Brenner April 22, 2010 Children's issues

Every school has its issues. Issues with teachers. Issues with other parents. Miscommunication. Problems with other students. Every school. There’s no getting around it. We’re all human. We all have failings. And a school is, after all, made up of us imperfect humans. But at what point does a school have so many issues it becomes dysfunctional? Is it when the faculty talks out of turn to your child about their parents’ divorce? Or perhaps…  [Read More]