>Dads In The Limelight



Our 97th Dad in the Limelight is Lance B. of http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/. I want to thank Lance for being a part of this series. It has been great connected with him and now sharing him with all of you!

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

Hi, I’m Lance and I have no idea what I’m doing as a blogger or a parent. According to the internet that makes me an expert. I recently turned 40 years old. I divorced in 2006 but remarried a great woman and have three daughters. My day job is a communications manager for a fortune 500 company. My other gig is writing. I have been blogging since 2005. My most well known site was a myspace music blog in 2005 and 2006. My current blog http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/ has been running since May 2010. I have a very active twitter account @TLanceB and guest blog on occasion. I am not a fan of the band Rush but the I like the song Limelight. I think that answers the question in two ways.

2) Tell me about your family.
In November, 2008 I married the love of my life, Deana aka Bobina aka @deana_bo on twitter, married her, and blended my family of myself and now 7 year old daughter, with my wife, and now 15 year old and 6 year old daughters. That’s right, I live with 4 women. Even if you are not religious, pray for me. I need it. We adopted a golden retriever in 2009. He’s a boy, but he’s as much as diva as the women.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
When I first became a father, in 2003, with the birth of my now 7 year old daughter, I was clueless. She was born in a difficult time of a difficult marriage and her mother was very sick. I was walking around at 3am, feeding a tiny little girl watching Sportscenter and singing Beatles songs. I thought nothing could be more challenging. Then, after my divorce, I met my wife and two other daughters. I didn’t believe the stepfather horror stories but I thought about them. Everything is working out. We all treat each one as if we’d been around one another since their births. Being the dad of a teenager is very hard. I am blessed with a beautiful, talented, smart, funny, interesting, and special young lady. Her six year old sister is equally as awesome. She’s such a princess. Juggling the multiple families is difficult. Their are mixed messages each child receives. I just try to be as good for each of them as I can be.

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I grew up with a great set of parents. They were hard, fair, old school, and loving, even if they didn’t always show it. Every child is different. I have to talk and listen to my kids. Because I said so, and do what I say don’t work like they did when I was a kid. Be their exmaple of what good, fair, kind, and human is. They don’t want you to be perfect, they want you to be you. Don’t lie and don’t be something you aren’t they’ll see right through it. Admit your frailties, tell them what’s expected of them, hold them to that standard and love them when they screw up.

5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? If you are currently not in the limelight per se, please still answer this in regards to how you balance parenthood and outside life.

Work is work, Home is home. My kids know what I do when I am not playing games, barbies, and football with them. I involve them with my writing froma  point as using them as muses and relating their experiences and mine into something I can relay to blog readers. My teenage daughter is interested in journalism, a field I worked in a sports and news reporter in the late 80s and early 90s. I talk to her about that, advise her on how to to pursue story angles, and show her my writing when she asks.

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

If you are judgemental, you will get whatever bad there is in life to receive. There are not only many ways to skin a cat, there are also many wasy to talk about the skinning. Fathers, especially the ones who write, tweet, and blog, aren’t hung up on showing their superiority like mommy blogger are. Instead of internet knife fights about breastfeeding, food preparation and coupon picking, dad bloggers tend to share their stupid mistakes, rational fears, and anxious moments. We are all full of crap, but if out heart is in the right place ecah of us, as fathers, will be what we need to be for our kids in the long run.

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

If you high expectations, you’ll always be disappointed. If you have low expectations, you aren’t giving you wife, kids, and yourself enough credit and you’ll find only unhappiness. Treat each day like surprise birthday party. I struggle with this philosophy but I;m getting better. Most of all, put your spouse first, even above the children. This will put you and her on the same page in regards to raising the kids. They will see a united front of principled examples.

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

Watching my girls grow up. My teenager went to homecoming with a boy this past fall. Seeing her so young ladyish was moving beyond words.
Seeing my daughters be compassionate to other people, especially children younger or less advantaged than them has been unbelievable. It’s the stuff they do when they think you aren’t watching that’s the most rewarding.
If you have any questions for Lance, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!
*blogger’s note* – This is my guest post for @dadofdivas Dads in the Limelight. I’m the 97th dad profiled. There’s great work over there. Track them down. Hope you enjoy my post.

>Picking Sides


>The sandwich shop next to my office in Washington D.C. has the best turkey on wheat. I paid for one and a tea then walked down to a park. As I took the first bite, I saw a group of kids choosing teams for a baseball game. The last kid to be picked was a harmless looking little guy. He was probably 10 years old, but he looked 8. He looked used to this. I swallowed the final bite of turkey and walked back to my office. It was voting day on the hill and the adults were picking sides.

*blogger’s note* This is my entry for @velvetverbosity ‘s #100words at http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ ‘s 100 word challenge. This week’s one word prompt is “HARMLESS”. In honor of the The President’s State of The Union Address this week combined with a conversation I had with my daughters about playing with their all their friends equally plus being a smallest kid in my neighborhood and school growing up, I chose something that speaks on several levels. Sometimes adulthood and childhood are way too much alike.

>Funny For The Right Reasons


>I don’t laugh at the same stuff most people do. I find funny in the uncomfortable, the weird, the inappropriate, the brutally true. I thought I was a freak because of this until I walked into a comedy club in Atlanta 19 years ago and saw Bill Hicks.

It was a weird night, from what I can recall. Cold outside, the tickets were free from a radio station I worked at, and the person I took with me wasn’t a fan. He thought Andrew Dice Clay was funnier. Bill Hicks came on a few minutes late. He looked tired and disinterested. He started his headliner set like this

“Good evening, my name is Bill Hicks. I’ve been on the road now doing comedy 12 years, so, uh, bear with me while I plaster on a fake smile and plow through this (stuff) one more time. I’m kinda tired of traveling, kinda tired of doing comedy, kinda tired of staring out at your blank faces looking back at me, wanting me to fill your empty lives with humor you couldn’t possibly think of yourselves.”

I was one of maybe 5 people who laughed. For the next 45 minutes or so, Hicks ranted and chain smoked his way through thoughts on sex, drugs, rock and roll, and the state of the Union; skewering every conventional thought I or anyone in the audience ever thought. It was brilliant. Bill Hicks wasn’t brilliant. He was a little off that night, but his material was ahead of it’s time. I never forgot it. He slayed the crowd. I remember my friend being unsure of what he saw and heard. He said he couldn’t stand him and were glad the tickets were free. I was mesmerized.

Hicks and I lived similar lives until the age of 18. He was born in Georgia, moved around, settled in Houston at the age of 7. White, straight, raised southern Baptist, and never got into significant trouble; Hicks’ middle class family wasn’t in show business so he started performing in front of his Sunday school class at church. After leaving home at 17, Bill Hicks changed. He used drugs and alcohol. he read vociferously. His comedy transformed from mildly edgy pop culture stuff to subversive takes on religion (didn’t like it), drugs (liked them), and politics (all over the map, mostly didn’t like). He cultivated an act as a young curmudgeon who chain smoked, ranted, and challenged the intelligence of any audience that would listen.

I was a bad American last night. I didn’t watch President Barack Obama’s State of the Union. I followed it online in between looking up muscle cars and listening to 1990s grunge and punk music like Fluffy. Then I got really sentimental, which is something I rarely am. I thought about Bill Hicks. How would he view our world today. My beliefs are similar to his, although I disagree with him on drugs, smoking, and religion. Where is that questioning middle thats asks the left and the right, “what are you doing? what are you talking about? That was Bill Hicks.

Like Bill Hicks, I get frustrated with the political climate and popular culture. The majority of what and who are liked and celebrated I am astounded as to what many are seeing. Oprah, Sarah Palin, reality shows, Jay Leno, party politics (Democrat and Republican), talk radio, fast food, silly bands and silly bandz; I don’t understand any of it. I get called negative like Hicks did. I’m not. I believe in the best in people. I just think folks are either too busy or too lazy to let the best in all of us flourish.

I wrote a fan latter to Bill Hicks after seeing that show in Atlanta. I never sent it, because I thought it was stupid. I remember thinking that if every performer in movies, music, television, or comedy could be as honest as Hicks, we would be greater as culture. I didn’t watch the President’s speech last night because I knew he wouldn’t look into the camera and tell Americans to get over themselves and be better, and here’s how I am going to help you. Bill Hicks did that every night. Then liver cancer that spread to his pancreas killed him at the young age of 32 in February 1994. Like every great artist, his work became appreciated after his death. if really want to think, to look for answers, and challenge yourself to know more; look up Bill Hicks on youtube or the internet. Even in disagreeance you will like what he has to say.

Today’s song is not only a tribute to Bill Hicks, he came onstage to Jimi Hendrix’s Voo Doo Child, but also an anthem to those rare artists that were ahead of their time but still resonate today. We could use Bill and Jimi right now. Their respective brilliance could cut through the ignorant clutter.

>What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You


>I felt like an egg frying that September afternoon as the sun beat down on my dark blue suit. I walked out of the courthouse a free man, divorced, yet I felt like I was caged by the doubts of people who “knew” me. A man I don’t know feels the same way today. But, he’s a lot colder than I was five years ago.

Jay Cutler is a the quarterback for the Chicago Bears. He makes several million dollars a year. His girlfriend is Kristin Cavallari of Laguna Beach and The Hills television shows.

Jay went to Vanderbilt University. He has a lot going for him. I feel quite sorry for him. As he gets out of bed this morning, in the one digit degree weather of Chicago, he likely feels imprisoned by the assumptions made by people he works with, against, and around as well as those who have followed his career as an NFL player.

Yesterday, while his team struggled in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, he complained of an injured knee. What happened after that is pure speculation. By the time the day turned into night, Chicago Bears fans burned his jersey, other NFL players called him a quitter, and the court of public opinion is convicting him of having no heart. Call me one of the few jurors who is voting not guilty.

I won’t go into details of what happened to me five years ago. There’s no point. I got a divorce. I became a single father for a while. Eventually I met the love of my life in my wife and daughters. There’s no reason to pointificate further. It’s unfair to the other people involved who don’t have a blog or a twitter account. I write that I can relate to a star NFL quarterback with a starlet girlfriend and a bank account full of money because I know what it’s like to be ostracized, criticized, and marginalized by people who should know you better. My dress shirt wasn’t burned in effigy that day, but I felt horrible for myself, the situation and wondered what to do next. I also learned, maybe, the most valuable lesson of my adult life. Don’t judge others and don’t let others’ judgements of you, define who and what you are.

I don’t know if Jay Cutler quit on his team. I doubt it. You don’t achieve at the level he has and then stop wanting to be elite. That’s not likely. I don’t know if Jay Cutler has a knee injury. He’ll find out soon. It’s easy to say “you’d have to drag me off that field” or “it’s the big game, he should be tougher”. I’m not Jay Cutler and neither are you. I do know that making assumptions hurts me and everyone involved with me. I’m bad at a lot of things. Gossip and speculation are two that I fail miserably. I get called contrarian, difficult and hard-headed because I don’t always side with the popular opinion or conventional thought of the day about a situation. I have supported friends who were as unpopular as they could be and been right about my support and dead wrong other times. I just believe in what I know. I don’t know if Jay Cutler ditched his team when they needed him the most. I did know what kind of person I was five years ago and what kind of person I am now. I need to remember that the next time I make an improper assumption or draw a wrong conclusion about my family, friends or football players I see only on television.

Today’s song is not only good rock and roll from Cage the Elephant but it’s an anthem for the misunderstood, which I consider myself a member of. There are some naughty words in the chorus and one verse, so listen while the children are away from your computer. Pay attention to the lyrics, though, ribald as they may be at times, they are very straight forward in their message of not judging books by their covers or making up your mind on people right away. Here’s In One Ear, play it loud;

>Awards, Tattoos, Bloggers and Glam Rock…get it here


>For the second time, this blog can be called “award winning”. Myblogcanbeatupyourblog’s sterling reputation was recognized by Leah over at http://thewalmartgourmet.blogspot.com/ . Leah not only wear stylish hats, but has very complex musical tastes. She hates Bruce Springsteen but loves Bon Jovi. She lives in Texas so her issues with New Jersey artists is quite controversial. I do not know where she stands on the Smithereens or Skid Row, but she writes a good blog where she complains about men in an appealing way that makes me and a lot of others laugh. She gave me an award called

Now, my wife, Bobina aka @deana_bo of her own blog http://mythoughtsonthesubjectareasfollows.blogspot.com/ will tell you I have no style. My teenage daughter dresses me. I do have a writing style and maybe that’s what Leah was going for. Although I prefer glam blogger .

There are some rules that go with the award and here they are:

1. Thank and link back to the blogger who gave you the award. (done)
2. Share 5 things about yourself. 
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Here we go!  Cause everyone wants to know 5 things about me.

1.  I am ambidextrous. I do some things better with each hand, but I am capable with the left and the right. 
2.  My favorite band is The Clash. I have everything they ever recorded. I used to wish Joe Strummer was my brother or uncle. I miss him. RIP. Know Your Rights.
3.  As of 3 hours ago, I have 7 tattoos. One on my ankle, one on each hip, one on each bicep, one on my left shoulder blade and this one, a Native American protection arrow, done tonight: 

4.  I walk on the left side of people. It’s a thing with me. Sometimes I let my wife and kids walk to my left side, but rarely. It’s weird.  
5.  Lazy or doing nothing is the opposite of a good time to me. I need to be doing something. Even when I write I’m doing other things. Multi-tasking is a superhero power.

Now, I have to pass the award on to five others:  

1.  Jack of http://www.thejackb.com/ He’s hardcore at blogging. No one tries harder, gives more effort, and posts so intensely. Read him and you will never feel shorted or disappointed.
2. . Sassypiehole from http://www.sassypiehole.com/ Newly discovered blog full of originality, spunk, and hilarity. It’s told through the eyes and mouth of her toddler little girl and sassy’s own wicked sense of humor. A must read.
3. C aka C-Lo is one smarmy mama and proves it at http://onesmarmymama.blogspot.com/ . The smarm is backed by funny and honesty. She makes good blog.
4. Chopperpapa over at http://www.chopperpapa.com/ Unique perspective on parenting from a rough and tough biker dude with a twisted sense of humor and killer attitude. You won’t read anything like him.
5.  I haven’t been reading him long but I feel like I’ve known his work a long time. Micheal aka @tolthinkfree is one of the deepest thinkers, brutally honest writers I’ve ever read. He lays it all out there and you appreciate every word. Go here: http://thinkingoutloud-thinkfree.blogspot.com/

   Go check out these awesome bloggers.  

Today’s song pays tribute to the originality of the aforementioned bloggers and my new tattoo. You all pump your fist to I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Joan is great, but the song is a a cover of British glam rock pioneers The Arrows. I think the first song is really good and deserves recognition. So, put another dime in the jukebox, baby.

>Bon Jovi Still Sucks


>I laughed when I saw the Nirvana concert t-shirt at Target. The only time I could have seen them, early 1992, reminded me of a black eye. “Kurt Cobain should ban you from the show for liking Bon Jovi too.” That was the last straw for my friend who bought the tickets. Then I said something else obnoxious, and he punched me. I chuckled through the pain, ending the friendship with another stupid comment. I recalled the last thing he ever said to me, “You don’t have the credentials to insult people like you think you do!” I bought the t-shirt.

*blogger’s note* This is my entry for @velvetverbosity ‘s 100 word challenge at  http://http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ . This week’s one word prompt is CREDENTIALS. This is a partially true story of how my music snobbery gets me in trouble. I never had Nirvana tickets, but I did get sucker punched for saying Bon Jovi sucks. I still feel that way. Kurt would have been proud of me. I do own that t-shirt.

>The Irony Of Nice


>I have been called a lot of awful words in my life. Some of them are remarkably accurate. I have grown very thick skin. I’m divorced, remarried, the father of three girls and friends to several people of questionable character; there’s not a lot I haven’t heard. Yet, one 4 letter word, a horrible insult when studied,  I can’t handle when it’s used toward me.

NICE – (nais) adjective :
1) pleasant or commendable – “a nice day”
2) kind or friendly – “a nice gesture of help”
3) good or satisfactory – “they make a nice job of it”
4) subtle, delicate, or discriminating – “a nice point in the argument
5) precise, skillful “a nice fit”
6) Now rare fastidious, respectable – “he was not too nice about his methods”
7) Obsolete
a – foolish or ignorant
b- delicate
c- shy, modest
d- wanton

Notice how the dictionary listing of nice includes one negative definition and tags it at the end of the entry? That’s how society gets you. Well I should say me, and the thousands of dudes who get called “nice guys” by people, especially by the opposite sex, and it becomes an insult. Nice guys finish last, nice guys finish in their hands, don’t be so nice all the time; how many of you have heard those phrases and felt defeated? I was reminded about 2 years ago by a high school friend (oh how I despise The Facebook and glad I deleted it) about a girl we knew. The original story is pointless except that it brought back a memory of when I was my daughter’s age, so 15 maybe, I “liked” this girl. One day, as I was finding the courage to ask her out, I overheard her exchanging scouting reports with her girlfriends about me and a couple of other guys I knew. I was called “the nice guy”. It was clear, none of the girls had interest in me as boyfriend material. Now, I laugh at these girls because the one good thing about The Facebook is pictures. You see how they turned out at age 40. But, then, at age 15, I was devastated. Unfortunately, like a single A baseball outfielder who struggles with hitting a curveball and throwing to the cutoff man, you are branded for your high school career and into college.

My parents did an outstanding job raising me. My father is one of the kindest human beings on the planet. The worst thing you can do to him or around him is be rude or impolite. He instilled that into me early and often. I love him so much for it. My mom was the same. She is a good southern lady with manners and treats people by the golden rule. I think my problem was, and to a certain extent, still is, I took being kind, having manners, treating people with respect, combined with my caretaker, people pleaser personality and had “nice” run me over like a MAC truck.

My wife knows me better than anyone. She remembers to not call me nice. Naive, over-trusting, people pleasing, positive and pollyannic, but never nice. Puppies, quilts, fireplaces, and babies dressed for Easter are things you call nice. If you call a guy nice, you may as well call him late for dinner, because he isn’t coming.

Today’s song would have been an obvious choice if I hadn’t blogged about Alice Cooper recently. Instead of No More Mr. Nice Guy, we’ll go with another group that should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Social Distortion. Their lead singer and songwriter, the man’s man, awesomely tattooed, Mike Ness would probably beat you senseless if you called him nice. It’s why I idolize him. Since this blog post is about The unfortunate Story of my Life, this tune is perfect and prophetic. Play it loud. Nice guys….punk rock out.