The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
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Who are you?

My name is Benjamin Taylor. (Those of you who know my middle name can feel free to call me by that.) I was born and raised in NJ, went to college in PA, worked on wall street and on main street, in the government and private sector, am an investment advisor, was and remain (in my mind at least) an athlete and am generally interested in making this world better off for me having been here. I know that sounds corny but it”s true. I am also the father of two diamonds. Two beautiful children, daughters, that are the loves of my life.

Where’s mom?

Mom and I are not together but she is still on the scene and is involved with our girls. She and I share joint legal and residential custody (yes there is a difference) of our girls.

What’s the point?

I’m not sure. I really haven’t decided what the point of the site is. I originally had the idea that I would, as a catharsis, blog about a difficult period in my life when I was in the midst of divorce and custody proceedings with the aforementioned mom. Then I thought I would write for other fathers who might be in their own battles and maybe something I write might help them. Then I thought maybe I”ll just write about being a father in general, it would help me and whoever reads the blog. And then I thought who the heck cares really. And then I thought, somebody might care. And then I thought…

Finally, I think I’m settled on just seeing what this develops into. Hopefully I can help and entertain some people while helping myself become a better father and man.

What’s with the name “Big Piece of Chicken”?

I’m a fan of comedian Chris Rock. The first time I heard the phrase was during his HBO special “Bigger and Blacker” in reference to the reward – the big piece of chicken at dinner – good fathers get for going about the normal business of caring for their children. A New York Times article explains “Mr. Rock excoriates deadbeat dads and laments the lessened importance of the traditional father”.

In the act Rock says,

”I’m talking about the real daddy that handles the [expletive] business. Nobody ever says, ‘Hey, Daddy, thanks for knocking out this rent!’ ‘Hey, Daddy, I sure love this hot water!’ ‘Hey, Daddy, it’s easy to read with all this light! Think about everything that the real daddy does. Pay the bills, buy the food, put a [expletive] roof over your head, everything you could ask for. Make your world a better, safer place, and what does daddy get? The big piece of chicken. That’s all daddy gets is the big piece of chicken.”

I certainly don’t care about the ”big piece of chicken” and am not looking for praise for doing the normal business of parenting. The love of my children is reward enough. (I know, very high on the sap-o-meter.) I really just think the reference is funny.

What about your kids?

My girls are 8 and 3 years old (as of January 21, 2009). I will tell more about them but not everything about them.

What’s your view on cursing?

I do it. In fact I do it more than I realize. I find it funny when my daughters curse, although I certainly don’t condone it. I agree there may be better ways to express oneself. I’ve heard and I can’t recall where from, that cursing is a lazy-brained way to express oneself. It is only done because the person lacks the linguistic arsenal to express himself or herself any other way. Maybe. But sometimes a well-timed and properly punctuated curse word is just what the occasion called for and no words in the English language could have sufficiently substituted. All that said, I will refrain from using this type of language on the site. When the occasion calls for it I might use a substitute like, “Aw, cheese and crackers!” or “Good googa mooga!” (my grandfather’s curse) or “Great day in the morning” or “Jeez Louise”. Where those don’t suffice I might use “[expletive]” or the universal curse word characters “*@#&$”. It’s likely, you’ll know what I mean. I believe cursing is a tool, there’s an art to using it, but overused it’s just foul language.

More to come later…

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