My name is Jason Sperber, a.k.a. daddy in a strange land [or disl for short, pronounced as in Vin], and I’m a dadblogger.
I started this blog in January 2006, when my first daughter was almost 15 months old. Though I’d been reading parenting blogs, especially those by dads, SAHDs, and moms and dads of color, since before The Pumpkin was born, I only took the leap to the other side when the release of Apple’s iWeb application promised to allay my fears of html with drag-and-drop simplicity.
Four years later, everything’s simple and I don’t have to know any html at all [even though I did grudgingly learn some, since my co-founder and I launched Rice Daddies, the group blog by Asian American dads, on Blogger a few short weeks after I started blogging as daddy in a strange land]. And so, I’m using this relaunch after a long and unintended hiatus to ditch iWeb and move over to WordPress. [So please, if there’s anyone out there who remembers me and has old urls or rss links on blogrolls or rss readers, go ahead and update date them. daddyinastrangeland.com will now redirect to this WordPress blog.]
I haven’t blogged in over a year, and that break was unplanned and thus unannounced. A lot has happened in the intervening time, including:
- la dra. [the love of my life and an amazing family physician dedicated to fomenting social change for the betterment of the health of all] and I both turned 36;
- we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary;
- The Pumpkin [our big girl] graduated from her Montessori preschool, started and graduated from kindergarten; and turned 5;
- The Button [our little girl] turned 1 and finally started walking, growing teeth, and talking;
- and oh yeah, after transitioning from working full-time outside the home in social media, digital journalism, and online community management, from when The Pumpkin turned 2 until The Button was born a little over 2 years later, to working half-time wholly from home to be home with our little newbie, I quit my job, becoming a full-time SAHD again.
At the time of this blog relaunch, it’s been about three months, or a quarter of a year, since I left my non-parenting, paycheck-providing gig, and though I’m still looking, I haven’t found any new part-time/telecommuting gigs that involve writing or social media or education or social justice or parenting, those myriad things I’m passionate about.
And so, finally, after much laziness and hemming and hawing, I’m getting my ass back in the writing saddle and blogging again. I’ve got a novel-waiting-to-be-born banging around in my head, sharing company with a long-time dream of a non-profit venture that may finally see the light of day. And of course, more stories from life with my amazing girls and my beautiful, talented and (com)passionate partner-in-life.
I gave myself this nom de blog, and named this blog after it, because, as a self-described progressive, mixed-race, person of color living in a outwardly-seeming homogeneous, conservative place, being a stay-at-home-dad was just one more way I was different, out there, other—strange. But from my point of view, I was the one sojourning in a strange land, and blogging was one way I could process it all, vent about it, laugh about it.
Now, over seven years after moving there and almost six years after becoming a dad, I know that “strange” isn’t always bad—that it can be a good thing, a challenge. Strange is what you make of it. And finally, I’m back to write it all down.