Category Archives: blogging

State of the Beej Address, on the Occasion of my Thirty-Seventh Birthday

 

My fellow blogmericans, I sit here before you an older man; greyer of hair and more majestic of beard that I was a year ago.  I am lighter of waist and wallet, and sturdier with new friends and endeavors.  Not all have brought success, but all have been worth the undertaking, heartache and failure far outweighed by the joys and optimism they have wrought.

The state of the Beej is “okie dokie.”

You may recall the landlord saga of two ‘aught eleven.  At this time last year, we were delving slowly into the saga that would unfold, leaving smashed car windows, a harassment prevention order, and lots of stress in its wake. The current status is a criminal conviction for the ersatz gentleman, another pending criminal charge against him, and I am safely away in a new abode, where I don’t have to worry about someone randomly shutting off my power and water.  So that’s good.

I have moved on from my community college (where there were too few Allison Bries, BTW), and now am at big boy college.  I started this here blog, and some of you have even liked it.  I’m doing the best writing of my life, when I find time to write, and it’s gratifying.

I am still (again?) celibate.  As I was discussing with my good, balding friend Aaron last night, we are in the sandwich age:  not young enough to be the vibrant young men to which vibrant young ladies are attracted, and not old enough to be the distinguished old men who can come on to said ladies without being creeps. I have found and lost some good things this year, and may yet find some good things again.

In the meantime, bring on the makeouts.

I have undertaken a healthier lifestyle in the past year.  It is not easy, and I am not always successful.  However, I am thirty pounds lighter than I was at the start of the year.  I do this thing called “running” now.  It’s a cruel, cruel thing, and yet I do it, because it appears to be good for me.  My cholesterol is a full 100 points better than it was a year ago.  I’ve leveled up in karate, and I feel like I am better at it than I have ever been – not great, but good, and really enjoying it.  I am going to run in some kind of mud run this year, and then I am going to murder the man who talked me into it.

In the coming year, I intend to make the most out of my promised jetpack and flying car. My silver lame jumpsuit will be the envy of the land.  I shall keep writing, and maybe I will even publish a piece or two.  I’ll blog some, eat some tacos, and watch some TV.

Maybe I’ll do something to shake up my life.  Who knows?

So, stick around, kids.  Thirty-seven feels more bendy than 36.  Who knows what those sexy angles will bring?  (Answer: tacos)

Tilty Beej is tilty

Why a “Dad blog?”

Hello, friends!

I’m Ben, and I’m a single dad.

While I won’t wait for you to collectively mumble “Hi, Ben,” it does somewhat feel that this is a large and secret confession. Today’s father — while more involved in child rearing than ever before in this country — is viewed as an oddity: a glorified babysitter who only becomes the primary caretaker of his child as a result of some horrific event which left the mother unable to care for her children.

My kiddo is fairly unique. She was the victim of a prenatal cancer which has left her with some serious and life-long medical issues. I have been the primary medical caretaker for my daughter since she was an infant — managing nursing, medical supplies, and coordinating treatment across several departments at a major teaching hospital and at her primary care physician’s office in a different practice.

My situation is also reasonably (though less and less so) uncommon, in that I have joint physical and legal custody of my daughter.  This is not a divorce blog, so I won’t go into too many of the gory details — but to attain that equal footing, I had to fight for years through the courts, and was left financially bereft. While it was the right thing to do for my kiddo, and would do the same thing every time when presented with the same choice, we should not live in a society where one parent is at a severe legal disadvantage because of the flavor of their genitals.  We should not presume that either mothers or fathers are better or worse parents as a whole, and when custody and child support decisions need to be made by the courts that the reality of each unique situation is carefully examined and made on a true case-by-case basis and not conforming to harmful stereotypes.

We also live in a culture where corporations, entertainment, and advertisers perpetuate gender role stereotypes which in turn reinforce them in the popular culture. “Choosy moms choose Jif.”  “Recommended by Doctor Mom.”  More recently, “Amazon Mom” and the entire “mommy blog” phenomenon have left dads father out of public perception as relevant parents than ever.

To borrow a phrase from our President (who, by the way, is one of the few dads out there who is viewed as a really great, involved dad, and kudos to him for managing it), Let me be clear: I am very much Pro-mom.  I read and enjoy several “mommy” blogs. I believe mothers are crucial to kids, and to families, and to businesses.  I also know that dads are equally crucial. What I want is the day to come when we write “parent” blogs.  Gender shouldn’t matter.  Until that day comes, however, I guess we need to keep the gender titles on and raise awareness of how awesome dads are.